Monday, May 31, 2010

The skinny on McCall's 5752, view B

McCall's 5752
Oh, McCall's 5752. I've wanted to make this dress ever since seeing The Slapdash Seamstress's (Trena's) version of it last year.

I intended to do view A (with the drape (aka the fake ties)) and wound up doing view B.

Sewabeginner wanted to know what the cons of using binder clips are (which I use while fitting a garment). Using pins is unstable for me--they sometimes fall out, or they poke my skin while I try to gingerly put the garment on. I've tried pinning a garment while wearing it, but it seems easier to pin it while not wearing it and then put it on. Binder clips are strong and sturdy and they won't fall off while I try a garment on and they aren't going to pierce my eyeball either. However, they do weigh the garment down. It's just something I came up with one day and I use that method a lot. Here's when I looked like a dinosaur (good times):
Jalie 2921 in progress: dinosaur!
She also wanted to know if the fabric was from SPR weekend and the answer is yes for the turquoise (it was 2.25 yards from London Textiles, and it had a stain on it that I worked around since it didn't come out in the wash), but the brown was stash fabric.

Jodie (hello and welcome!) commented on tissue fitting with knits, and how it's generally not going to be accurate for a few reasons. I too was thinking about how tissue doesn't stretch while I was tissue fitting, but it was in the directions and I was being a patient learner and following the pattern directions which said that "tissue fitting is a no guess method!" (exclamation theirs).

I also wasn't paying attention to quite how much the tissue was puffing out, as I thought, oh, all of that will go away with the gathering (er, not the case!)

attempt at tissue fitting
Ok, so I didn't take a picture of me wearing the tissue, but this is what it looked like after...

What I learned is that I've been getting away without doing a small bust adjustment on many patterns, but this one and others I've tried in the past where there was a crossover leading to something resembling an empire waist never went well--and it's all because I need to start making the small bust adjustment (SBA). While this pattern had lines and instructions for an FBA, it does not take us smaller busted women into account at all. I wound up using Amanda S's method for tightening up the gap (which involved taking out a chunk of fabric at the center back collar seam, hiking everything up--similar to the Jalie scarf shirt alteration) but after seeking advice from Antoinette she lead me to Trena's SBA posting which is just wonderful as it mentions all sorts of patterns where SBAs are needed, not just darted ones. I will be using Trena's advice in the near future! And as it turns out, Trena used the same SBA adjustment Amanda S did for this dress. Here's what it looks like:

what I cut out of the center back collar for a SBA (a la Amanda S)

After sewing up part of the bodice...

hrm. I binder clipped everything together and it was just too big (tissue fitting FAIL), and I felt the top would benefit from being cut smaller--so I ripped apart the bodice and then cut the 12 for the top. Then I graded the midriff from a 12 to a 14.

painfully too big

I used the swayback lines on the midriff piece and it seems to have worked out fine. It also seems like a, dare I say, easy adjustment to make in the future??

Like many others before me pointed out, this pattern calls for 3 layers of fabric at your precious waist--the rouched layer, the "stay" and also a lining. I omitted the lining layer. While many sewists enjoy making the inside of their garments as pretty as the outside, I salute you as I am generally not one of those people.

So I made the midriff and found that the brown outer layer was not very tight in the back, and also the waist was a bit unidentified. So I shaped this area a bit more:
How I stretched the midriff band further
and a bit more again:
removing another 3/8 or so from the side of the band, on the bottom
til the top of the midriff and bottom of the midriff were getting closer to the in the same plane. I also stretched the back brown band to be further out from the stay, so that it stretches more while wearing and isn't as droopy.
back band

and here's the front:
front band

I wound up sewing the "skirt" down to what I think is a 12.

Also I didn't think the drape would look good after all so I ditched it (and thus view B became view A).

I then twin stretch needled the hem 1.25 inches and armhole with a minimal hem.

I wrote last night that the dress was 99.7% complete because I had to deal with the turquoise basting stitches that were down the middle front of the brown midriff. Finally this morning I switched the thread over to brown and then stitched it down the front, and removed the turquoise basting stitches.

I'm still wondering if this dress would look better in turquoise overall? But I've always liked the color combo of turquoise and brown!

Conclusions (If you've made it this far):
  • I'm still addicted to twin needle stitching.
  • Why don't all patterns have adjustments like the SBA and swayback on them? Is there a pattern brand out there that includes adjustments on all their patterns?
  • After sewing for 11 hours, I had all sorts of creative ideas last night. Woo!

Next up: Vogue 8379 (which is coincidentally featured in Trena's SBA posting) and then probably New Look 6748 in, well, turquoise with a brown placket. I think. I still am stalled on a NL cardigan from last weekend; I might give that a go tonight. Or not.

McCall's 5752


  1. Love the dress, and thanks for the tips about SBAs in crossover tops. I've avoided all tops with crossovers because I know they'll gape on me, but I'm fixing to do one for my SIL and now I know where to go for help. I feel empowered!

  2. I love the colour combo. The alterations were well worth it as this is a very flattering dress on you.

  3. Fabulous job! I love the colors!

  4. Wow, what a great dress. You've added so much great info about this pattern. Thanks for taking the time to take so many photos. Your color combo is great!


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