Showing posts with label mccalls 6404. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mccalls 6404. Show all posts

Feb 28, 2013

McCalls 6404 Re-do

Sadly, in the world of sewing (as in nearly everywhere else), you get what you pay for. (Except when it comes to bargains like Craftsy classes on sale or McCall's $1.88 pattern sale, both which are happening right now. You're welcome).

I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule, but in my experience I'll always regret using cheapo fabric — especially if I want, you know, to, like, actually wear the garment in question. 

Today's Exhibit A is my leather patch leggings, which I sewed from McCall's 6404, a pattern I liked even though it had a wacky amount of ease built-in (I took them in to reduce wrinkling after this picture was shot):  

Ease-y rider

But then I was riding the bus with my preschooler on a rainy day when I noticed little black specs all over her hands. "What have you been touching?!" I asked her, alarmed. 

"Nothing!" she insisted. And that's when I noticed, it was all over my hands too! Looking around, it became clear that the culprit was my leather-patch leggings, the knees of which were shedding a layer of ...what? plastic? Ick!

So I threw them in my sewing bin, hoping something could be done to salvage them eventually. I loved the main fabric (a soft and lovely double knit) too much to toss them. But clearly the el cheapo pleather patches were not up to the task of actually being worn. Rage!

Luckily, I had just enough of the gray double-knit left to make knee patches (hurray for hoarding!). Unpicking all those seams last weekend was an unpleasant experience. In the middle of it, I was considering other hobbies. My sister-in-law just began log-rolling classes. That sounds fun.

Incidentally, that double-knit cost twice as much per yard as the faux leather. And when I re-did these leggings with knee patches made in the same fabric, I finally got what I paid for:

Not the best photo in the world (I suck at selfies!), but I'm very happy to now have a pair of very wearable leggings (though the back rise on this pattern is dangerously low for me; I have to wear a looooong top to keep my underpants under wraps when I bend over or sit down):

I like the subtlety on the seaming now. To anyone considering this pattern, I would suggest adding a few inches to the length (and the back rise if you have a round butt!), and sewing the smallest size you think woud fit you. There was so much excess in these after my initial pass at this pattern.

Is there any case in which cheap fabric doesn't come back to burn you? What's your biggest fabric fail?

Oct 2, 2012

FInished Project: Rock and Roll Leggings!

That would be a D chord, FYI

Last winter I refashioned a pair of longjohns into leather patch leggings, and then proceeded to wear them to DEATH. Granted, the faux leather I used wasn't the highest quality, and they were a touch too tight, which meant more wear and tear on the seams than a pair of pants can handle in a season. Still, I loved layering them with T-shirts, tunics and cardigans, and wore them until the weather warmed and I couldn't deny they were destined for the landfill.

But with Fall finally here in NYC, sewing another, better pair was high on my list of things to make this month. And luckily for me, they appear to be just as in fashion this fall as they were last winter. You can find both high- and low-end examples, from these pricey stretch-corduroy riding pants: super cheap maternity leggings at H&M:

So when McCall's/Vogue/Butterick held one of the its bi-monthly pattern sales (OK, maybe they're not bi-monthly, but they happen often enough that you probably never need pay full-price for a pattern from those three makers), I scooped up McCall's 6404, an easy Misses leggings pattern with four variations:
Sometimes you have to look past the styling to see the potential!

And though my first crack at this pattern turned up a few fit issues that will need adjusting before I make 10 more pairs, I was happy enough with the results to put on some black eye makeup and grab my husband's guitar for a photo shoot. The main fabric is a double-knit from for $12/yard — a price that was worth it: the drape and feel of this fabric is just lovely. The faux leather was from this place on 39th Street in the Garment District. (I don't remember the name and can't find it on Google street view — darn those roll-down metal gates!)

The saggy, baggy knees will require more than just a side seam adjustment; this wrinkling is the result of the leggings being too lengthy through the knee for my petite frame. Luckily, that's an easy adjustment to make on the pattern.

Really, I can live with this — and will be wearing them to the playground today. Like Dixie DIY once wrote about the overfitting we do as sewers, we put up with a lot of imperfections in the ready-to-wear stuff we buy, so why sweat every little fit issue in our self-made garments? (That's a rough paraphrase, and I'm sticking with it — at least until I sew my second pair, which I know will fit much better).

I also need to add an inch-and-a-half to the back rise; my round butt requires a little more fabric to cover it than most, apparently. But that's something I don't need documented in pictorial form on the Internets. Just imagine a little dip at center back. 

I see so much possibility in this pattern now: black on black; a bright hue with brown faux leather; stretch denim leggings with faux suede patches; zebra print ponte with black patches: 

Ok, maybe not for me. But I could picture this on a few of you...admit it. If not this, what would you make with McCall's 6404?

Sep 24, 2012

Fall Sewing With Knits, Leather and Leggings

I'm pretty sure I resolved some time last winter to sew more garments that I would wear every day, rather than these cute dresses we all love but are useless to a work-at-home mom such as myself. If you saw my closet, you'd have no sympathy when I whine, "I have nothing to wear!" But I can't kick it at the playground in a dress. (You're thinking, "Yes, you can! They do it all the time on TV!" But real life goes something like this: stubborn kid refuses to go down slide unless you accompany her + gust of wind =  all the Russian and Dominican moms get a good laugh at the lack of elasticity in my underpants. Now they're really never going to talk to me.)

I've said too much already, haven't I? Anyway, I have a few patterns on deck, but little in the way of fabric (I should start accepting donations). 

First up, these leggings — McCall's 6404, View C. I have a black double-knit and faux leather for the knee patches. They're very similar to a pair I Macgeyvered last winter, using some old Mountain Equipment Co-op longjohns. I loved those to death. (Truly: they're in a landfill somewhere now). Hopefully this pair will be sturdier:

I also like View A, though minus the welt pockets. I think those make these leggings look too much like ski pants:

Of course, I'll need something to wear on top of my new leggings, and I still love me a Dolman sleeve, so: Vogue 8771. 

I like how a cowl neck balances out my pear-shaped figure, so Vogue 8831 is another knit option with a myriad of possibilities.

I've done so well at sewing out of my stash this past year that (other than the aforementioned pleather) all I am left with is odd yards of chiffon for kid craft projects and quilting-weight cottons. So get to the Garment District I must, so I can find some good knits for all of these. Anybody have a favorite source for knits in NYC?


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