Tuesday, 25 March 2008

McCall's 8745 Pattern Morphing


A little while ago I wrote about Johanna Lu's review of a bias cut, dartless shirt, that I greatly admired. Ideas inspired by this shirt have been perculating in my head, as I want to make more blouse type tops to wear to work, but they need to avoid collar clash with the V2925 jacket, yet allow sufficient movement for my active work.
Not too long ago, I bought a bulk lot of patterns on ebay. They were very inexpensive, which was just as well, as they are mostly about 10 years old, to old to be current, but too young to be vintage. One of the patterns was this dartless, but not too boxy looking McCalls 8745, copyright 1997. I thought this might work as a bias cut top. When I opened it, I was suprized to see that although the envelope says 8,10, there is only one size on the pattern tissue - I suppose this is why the envelope also says "Small". This concerned me slightly, as size 8 would usually be too small for me. The ease however, seemed to be considerable at 37 and 1/2 inches for a bust measurement of 32 and 1/2 inches for size "small' so I thought I might get away with it.
I usually trace my patterns, but this bulk lot has very little value to me, so I gaily chopped and changed the tissue, quite a liberating experience! I widened the shoulders and the neck by 1cm, and lowered the neck by 1/2cm front and back. I redrew the front facing to a modified T shape, and drew a back facing as the pattern does not include this. I then cut out the pattern pieces on the bias, in a quite nice mid weight linen that has been sitting in my stash for over 5 years, so I have forgotten the provenance. I am calling the colour "caramelized apricot" to fit my SWAP theme of Winter Indulgence. I cut out the facings on the straight grain, and applied pro weft textured fusible interfacing to the facing pieces.
When I machine basted the shoulder and side seams together, there were severe diagonal wrinkles at the front, so I took the side seams out and added side bust darts, I also shaped the waist a little. I then stabilized the shoulder seams with selvage. The pattern called for a roleau loop at the neck. I made a 3 loop piece, and basted it to the front opening, then sewed the neck facing seam in a tadpole shape, cutting down the tail of the tadpole after stitching. The sleeves were eased in, very simple when they are cut on the bias, and I left side openings at the base of the side seams.
I was quite happy with the shape and fit of the top at this point, but it looked very plain. I machine embroidered 3 rows of alternating fern - like leaves around the neck, starting at the base of the t each time, so that they all faced in the same vertical direction. I was pleased with this effect, and did not want to interrupt it with buttons, so have fastened the neck on the inside. I also embroidered 2 of the same motif above the side slits at the side seams.
I have not hemmed this top yet, I want it to hang for a few days as it is cut on the bias.

I am experimenting with places to display my SWAP as a whole, so have taken a photograph of the top pretending to be a hanging basket from my verandah. I don't think this will work for the wardrobe shot, the photo is blurry because the wind kept blowing the top about.
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Nancy W. said...

I love all the decorative stitching you've done on this. I need to figure out what I'll be doing for a wardrobe shot too. I only have two things left to make.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

I too like the decorative embroidery stitches you did around the neckline. It also looks like it will be very comfortable. Nice Work.