Showing posts from July, 2014

Encounters with McCalls' quixotic definition of acceptable ease

Well, let me say upfront that I am one unhappy sewist.
Over the last week, I've been working on a muslin for McCalls 6441:

I have spent hours of my life I will never get back, and it's been a waste of time as far as I can tell.
The problem:  that chestnut, the unusual definition of ease adopted by the Big 4 pattern companies.

Pictures tell a story, here are two that say it all.
I'm pinching out a good six inches there are at the waist. Ridiculous.

And the back is completely out of control.
And this is the muslin for what is described as a "close fitting" jacket. Sorry, but I find this completely unacceptable.
I am the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to fitting. But I am not a beginner either. I don't think this is the result of a mistake I've made.
For info, I traced a 14 at the bust according to my high bust measurement, then graded out to an 18 at waist and hip. (I did an FBA.)My measurements at waist and hip place me between 16 and 18,…

MBM - Sewaholic Minoru jacket

Like thousands of others since 2012, I made a Sewaholic Minoru jacket. More importantly, for the first time, I made a lined jacket. I did it! Go me.

The Minoru has been a very popular pattern since its release. A scan of reviews on-line show that there are no major issues in the draft of the pattern, and there is good feedback overall.  So although I had never attempted a lined jacket before, I felt I was on solid ground giving this pattern a crack.
First of all, the fabric: a good-quality baby wale stretch corduroy I bought at Paron Fabrics in New York in 2012. The cord is lovely, just the sort of fabric I like to wear and feel in winter. I wish I could have bought more.  

The lining is some sort of stretch something I bought in Cabramatta in my very early days of sewing. I bought it, then looked at that print, and thought “what in heck will I make out of that?”. Well, it took a while but here it is. The zip is also from New York, ordered on-line from Zipperstop to be precise. Thank…


I’m “calmly and methodically” (as our Federal Government tells us it is governing, again and again, and again) plugging away at the Minoru, and touch wood, should have something to show next weekend. Meanwhile, though, as ever I’m planning upcoming projects in my head. And really, I think half the fun of sewing is in the planning. Would anyone agree? No urgency in the day-to-day wear section of my wardrobe, but I have two events coming up in the next  few months that require attention. At the end of August I’ve been invited to a fundraising lunch. The kicker is that the guest speaker is Cate Blanchett. Yep, ethereal beauty, style-icon Academy Award winning Ms Blanchett. Now, not being a lady who lunches (I am though, a lady to enjoys her lunch J) I have no idea as to appropriate wear for this event.  The compounding issue is that I am sure my fellow attendees will be putting their best style feet forward, so the pressure is on. I'm probably crackers for even be considering sewin…

MBM - Style Arc Harper Jacket

Two posts ago it was Simplicity 2603 in Pine Lime Splice Merino. This time its the Style Arc Harper Jacket in Orange Fanta ponti purchased from Tessuti last year.
Kristy has already noted the similarities between Simplicity 2603 and the Harper. The differences really are minimal - slightly different cut of the front piece, a centre back seam on the Harper, different ways of finishing the back collar seam. Simplicity is styled for knits with drape. The Harper is designed for ponti knit specifically, and Style Arc sends you two pairs of large hooks and eyes when you purchase this pattern so you can hook the jacket closed.
The Clothing Engineer has done an exhaustive review on the nitty gritty of this pattern here. It was an easy enough sew, but I agree with her that the Style Arc's direction to sew a french seam on the back collar makes no sense - why a french seam on a fabric like ponti, when the seam is going to be enclosed anyway? Beats me.

This is how the Harper looks with one h…