Project #54: And another one…

Project: Long Sleeved Knit Dress
Pattern: Modified McCall’s M6355
Size: 12 altered
Fabric: Rayon/Poly/Lycra Ponte Roma

Another one

This is very exciting reading no doubt, but these two new knit dresses will be very useful for me this winter.  I didn’t even own a long-sleeved dress of any kind a week ago.  Now I have two!  Both will go with numerous jackets and cardigans in my closet, which is always a plus.

This dress is exactly the same as the green one, except that I turned the neckline under and cover-hemmed it rather than binding it.

I didn’t even try it on until it was completely finished.

Yes, I know better.  ;-)


FNSI Update!

The Friday Night Sew In  took me by surprise this week, but I still managed to participate!

It seemed as if most participants were working on Christmas sewing, but I seldom sew gifts.  I had to think of something fast so I revisited the inset cowl that I was working on a while back.

This time, I drafted a regular cowl and extended the point downward.  It worked out pretty well:


I like it, but I’m probably done with this particular style. Let’s face it, I’ve never sewn things for the sake of having them. I sew things to see if I can do it.

I can do it.

YOU can do it.

Project #52: Long sleeved knit dress

Project: Long Sleeved Knit Dress
Pattern: Modified McCall’s M6355
Size: 12 altered
Fabric: Rayon/Poly/Lycra Ponte Roma

It was done by dinnertime, including a trip to town for thread.

Side Front Back

Sure, showing it on Brunhilde is not much better than a hanger shot, but it gives you the idea! Just imagine Brunhilde with 20 pounds of padding. I initially sewed in the front waist darts, but a side view caused me to remove those post haste!

To lengthen the sleeves, I aligned the grainline of my previously altered short sleeve with one of the cutting mat’s vertical lines and put some tracing paper on top. After I traced the sleeve cap, I marked the vertical grainline and the desired length on the tracing paper. Once that was done, I marked the hem circumference and connected the hem line to the end of the sleeve cap.

With the sleeve drawn, I checked the elbow and bicep widths to be sure they weren’t too tight. After that I added a hem allowance and called it done.

The dress took less time to sew than all the prep–drawing the sleeve, buying the thread, and threading three machines.

The neck binding and hems were all done with the coverstitch machine. I don’t use that thing much, but I sure do enjoy it when I do. Thankfully I had marked the binder, so I didn’t have to spend much time getting it aligned properly.

I did something unusual with this dress: I sewed the sleeves in flat. Generally I prefer working with the smallest unit possible, so I always completely finish the sleeves and sew them in round. For some reason, (I had one at the time, but I don’t remember what it was!) I decided to sew these without finishing them first.

They came out fine, and it was fun doing something a bit differently.

While I’m on a roll, I may make another of these in a different color. I’ve got three or four lengths of Ponte Roma to choose from, and I can always use another of these versatile dresses!

Coming down to the wire.

I’m done with my new vest, but I can’t show you until after Saturday.


I just finished it a bit ago, and I really like it.  It’s quite unlike my usual wardrobe choices.  Sewing a sep–OOPS!  No details.

Trouble is I don’t have anything to wear with it so I’m going to make a knit dress–another plain McCall’s M6355.  I’ve extended the sleeves to full length and will probably lengthen the dress proper an inch or so.

This dress will be made from a deep aqua blue Ponte Roma.  It’s a lovely shade that I would have called green until I got out my 3-in-1 Color Tool and matched it up.  I got the yardage on sale at Sewing Studio Fabric Club last winter and I have a number of coordinates for it.

When I started to lay out the pattern I realized that I had not reviewed the dress.  A trip to PatternReview showed me that there were only two reviews, so I took the time to add mine.  This is one of those patterns that is timeless and (I think) anyone could wear.  Too bad the pattern envelope makes it appear so unflattering.

I’ll cut it in the morning and provided I have matching thread, should finish easily by Saturday.


Cowl, take 1.

On Friday morning I awoke with visions of Vogue 1250 plus sleeves dancing in my head. In case you’ve not noticed, Vogue 1250 is the wildly popular sleeveless knit dress with a cowl that sewing bloggers have been working overtime this year.  To move the trend into fall, several have added sleeves.  (Vogue should take note.)  Here’s Art Attack’s method and Debbie’s.  All I had to do was choose one and copy.

My own copy of Vogue 1250 had been resting in a project box along with a likely-looking knit print while I did other things.  (Frankly I was worried that the dress would get stuck on my wedding cake and not hang smoothly.  And, as I eschew shapewear, there would be no help for it.)

Musing over the pattern brought me to the realization that I already had a knit dress pattern that fit the way I like–that is, fitted with a natural shoulder line–with usable sleeves.  That would be McCall’s 6355, which I’ve made twice this year.  The only thing that pattern lacks is a suitable cowl neckline.

All weekend I worked on cutting other garments–which I’ll tell you about another day, allowing the idea of adding a cowl neckline to my TNT dress pattern to percolate in the back of my mind.

I could simply add a large floppy turtleneck-style cowl to my existing dress.  That would be easy and would give me some coverage on the back of my neck, unlike Vogue 1250. But it occurred to me that there was another pattern with a cowl neckline that I admired.  That one–The Sewing Workshop’s new Stella & Luna Tops–has an inset cowl.

I’ve never actually sewn (or seen) an inset cowl, but I couldn’t let that stop me now could I?

Aided by some drafting books, I traced my TNT, adding the collar in back and traced off the inset shape I wanted to use:

Front 1 Back 1

To get a big floppy cowl for the inset area, I laid the inset piece on a folded piece of tracing paper and simply pulled the top edge outward a few inches leaving the bottom in the same place.  Then I trimmed off the top of the resulting piece so that I could cut it on the fold.

Cowl 1

I muslined it in some of that floppy rayon lycra that everyone has and no one likes. I also tried out the sleeve while I was at it.  No surprise that the fabric was totally inappropriate for this pattern, which seems to work better with a more stable knit.

Muslin 1

It’s fine for a first attempt, but I don’t like the collar seams at the sides of the neckline. Plus the back facing is weird,  and it’s too high in front.

At this point I’m rethinking the inset–it really doesn’t hold much appeal now that I’ve seen (and sewn) it.  I may go back to the big floppy turtleneck-style cowl and call it a day. Since I’m not sure there are any more unloved knits in my stash, I want at least a semi-pleasing garment out of my next try.