McCalls 7020Tunic with Extended Cowl

I actually made this tunic nearly two years ago, have probably only worn it once or twice and have never photographed it.  Hubby and I celebrated Valentine’s Day early and I had planned to make something new to wear for that but as always, the kids all decided they wanted to wear bow ties for Valentine’s Day (see post here) so that’s how I spent my sewing time the weekend  before Valentine’s Day so it was a perfect time to pull out this oldie but goodie.

I sewed up the pattern as is with the exception of a modification to extend the cowl (find instructions here) which I love because it can double as a hood for those impromptu rainy days.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: Very loose-fitting, pullover tops and tunic have sleeve variations. A: Three-quarter length sleeves. A, B, C: Scoop neckline. B: Bust pocket. C: Contrast sleeves, and left front and right back cut on cross grain. D, E, F: Cowl-neckline. E: Side seam pockets. B, C, D, E, F: Long sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: 4-26. (Pattern currently not available to order from the site but is available as a downloadable PDF pattern.)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? I’ll say yes, except for the extended cowl modification but the fabric choice actually makes it look a bit different.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions for this are pretty good.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the more dramatic cowl and that there are a few views to choose from. I the seam across the bicep has caused some people some problems but I have pretty healthy biceps and didn’t have any issues.

Fabric Used: I used a ponte knit from fabricmartfabrics.com

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I modified the cowl to extend it so it could be also worn as a hood.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think I might eventually make this one again but I have a bunch of other things that are ahead of it on the to-sew list.

Conclusion:  This s a great tunic and came in handy with all of this rain we’re having. It’s easy to make and fun to wear.

I wore it with leggings and these over the knee Steve Madden boots which I have had forever but had never worn because they are a bear to actually put on because SM neglected to put in a zipper anywhere.  Since these were my first over the knee boot purchase, I didn’t realize how critical that would be but since I bought them on clearance, I couldn’t return them.  They actually went on just a bit easier than the first time I tried them on but I definitely don’t want to be rushing out the door when I plan to wear these babies.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day – Bow Ties for the Littles

My eldest son has loved bow ties every since he wore this ensemble, I believe what he said at the time was “bow ties make other ties look weak”.  Kids, gotta love them.  Once he made his plans to wear a bow tie know, the other two quickly followed suit.  We set out to the fabric store, which is no small feat by the way since my local Hancock closed and now the nearest store is 3o minutes away if there is no traffic which there almost always is.  After letting them each picking out their fabric, I set out to find a (hopefully free) bow tie pattern.


The Besties

McCalls 7432 My Make it Work Moment

This pattern is from the early-Fall collection and it’s been cut and waiting to be finished almost since then.  I’ve made a few other looks from the McCalls’ learn to sew collection and they’re actually pretty cute, but what I like about them most is how quickly they sew up which for me, these days is even more important than before.

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description:  Pullover dress, fitted through bust, have neckline, sleeve and hem variations. A, F: Sleeveless. B: Three-quarter length sleeves. C: Long sleeves. D, E: Short sleeves. A, B: V-neckline. C, D: Crew neckline. E, F: Scoop neckline.

Pattern Sizing: 4-26

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Although I didn’t use them since the dress is super easy to put together, the instructions are straight forward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love how quickly it comes together and the deep v neckline.

Fabric Used: I used an ITY knit I purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics. http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will definitely sew this one again. I plan to make a maxi version which this one was actually supposed to be before a mishap.

Conclusion: Quick sew, cute dress. Another winner for the learn to sew series.

I used a cut of fabric that was less than a favorite because I intended this dress to be a wearable muslin to work out any fit issues. I’d planned to make the Maxi version but what had happened was…

I often sew/cut late at night because when I have chucks of uninterrupted time.  Most of the time that works out for me but every now and then something goes wrong.  So as I mentioned I intended for this to be a Maxi, I cut it out, sat it to the side and got busy with other things weeks later I decided to go ahead and sew it up. Imagine my surprise (and horror) when I went to pin the sides together and the front was at least 8 inches shorter than the back!!  Now I can be a bit dramatic sometimes so my initial thought was to throw the dress away but after I calmed down I decided to just cut the back to the same midi length and rock it with my kick ass boots and make it work.

I don’t generally wear this silhouette but I’m kinda digging it.  I like the deep v neck but wore it with a scarf knotted at the neck to make it safe for work.


These pictures were taken at the end of a very long day and I was super tired but didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to photograph this dress for you guys.

Happy New Year!

Is it just me or is anyone else having a hard time believing it’s already 2017?  It seems like last year just flew by which actually I’m starting to dread a little since my children seem to be getting older so fast.  I tried to sew a bit more in 2016 so check out my year in review.

As always, there are a few pieces that I just somehow didn’t get photographed.  I always have such grand sewing plans but with work and a busy family,  life often gets in the way.  I could go on about how I’m still not sewing as much as I’d like but instead I’ll be grateful for the pieces I was able to make and the sewing accomplishments achieved this year.

Looking forward to seeing what the New Year brings!

McCalls 7429 – My Birthday Dress

My birthday was yesterday and thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes.  I am so happy for the online sewing community and friends that I have made over the years.  You guys are amazing and mean the world to me.

I celebrate my birthday all month but usually do some kind of gathering close to the actual day.  Of course a celebratory gathering calls for a new dress.  This year I chose McCall’s 7429 which I’d had my eye on since it came out.  I’ve never made a twist knot dress before although I have seen patterns around but something about this one compelled me to take the plunge.  I’ve seen a few of these made up and the dress looks great on many different shapes so of course I had to give it a shot.

Pattern Review:

Pattern Description: Close-fitting pullover dress has front twist detail at waist and neckline variations. A, C: Sleeveless. A, D: Mock-neck collar. B: Long sleeves. D: Short sleeves. Note: No provisions provided for above waist adjustment.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty Close

Were the instructions easy to follow? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I am definitely enamored with the style and I think it’s super flattering on me and everyone else that I’ve seen it on, however, the instructions go completely south when it comes to assembling the dress from the twist on. Luckily I’m confident in my sewing abilities and understand construction so I ended up abandoning the instructions after a bit, laying the dress out first on the floor to figure out what went where for the twist and then later pinning the front on my dress form to figure out the construction after the twist. The skirt portion of the dress is actually a wrap skirt which you can’t really detect from the pattern pictures or line drawings but certainly would have been helpful to know at the beginning of construction.

Fabric Used: I used an ITY knit from fabric.com

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I had seen this dress on someone who I know is the same height as I am and knew I wanted the dress to be slightly longer because I like my dresses to hit just below the knee so I added two inches to the hem. I also shortened the sleeves for the view that I made which was View B but I used the shorter sleeve of View D.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This dress gave me fits because of the instructions but once I figured it out, it really is a pretty easy sew. Once I get back on speaking terms with this pattern, I’m sure I’ll make it at least once more because it is very cute and has lots of possibility.

Conclusion: This pattern results in a great, very flattering dress and is something that you can make and wear year round with all of the options BUT be sure to read through the instructions and study the design lines of the pattern so that you get an idea of the construction of the dress before you start the sewing.

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My boots are over the knee boots found at LaneBryant.com. FAB! right?

It’s my Birthday!!!

Today will be pretty low key, I’ll be recovering from yesterday watching movies and spending some time sewing. It’s been a great year am I’m looking forward to seeing what this next year brings. Thank you for all of your kind words, encouragement and support. MUAH 

Budget Fashionista: My Target, F21 and Walmart Finds

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Hi, luvs! I’m in such a good mood today and am having a great day.  I don’t always do OOTD posts because since I started this as a sewing blog, I sometimes forget that you guys might benefit from some of my great RTW finds too.  Now I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a bargain/budget shopper, however I do love a good deal, especially when it comes to clothes because as a seamstress, I just find it very difficult to pay full retail prices for things that I could simply make (if I had the time).   I do however buy a lot of basics because I don’t find it quite as fun sewing them.  If you don’t sew, or if you don’t want to sew every outfit, you still don’t have to break the bank to look pulled together.  I put this outfit together for $55 for everything other than the shoes.  The jeans are from F21, the basic turtleneck is from Wal-Mart (Tip: For a roomier fit, check out the men’s department for basic layering pieces like this.  There is usually a broader size range, and they are usually cheaper as they don’t generally price gouge men the way they do plus-size women) and this color-blocked moto jacked is a Target find from a year ago add my oldie but goodie Steve Madden booties and I was ready to go.

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