Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Denim McCalls 7095

This top really worked my last nerve. My fabric choice, the sleeve cap and my sleeve choice all made this top much more difficult and time consuming than it should have been.



Let's start with the pattern. I've made this pattern three times before always using a drapier fabric. I thought this fabric was lightweight enough to handle the gathering but my fabric choice was debatable for this pattern.

The fabric ~
It was purchased last fall from Michael Levine's online store, where there is still some left. When I bought it I thought it was a little heavier, topper weight instead of blouse/shirt weight. It took awhile before I figured out what I wanted to do with it. 

A note: I also found this fabric on fabric.com for a couple dollars less a yard where it's presently out of stock but the site says it will be back by March 31st.

I prewashed this piece even though I was concerned about the embroidery on it. However, if there was going to be a problem I wanted to know about it before I started constructing the garment. It went through the washer & dryer okay with a small amount of puckering around the embroidery that was easily pressed out. I'm glad that I did prewash it in hot water with a very hot dryer, being hard on the fabric let me know how it would react. In the future, my tunic will be washed and hung to dry to avoid future shrinkage around the embroidered area. 

Construction ~
I decided on a tunic/top because I like the ease of wearing and I can add a sleeveless turtleneck or tank top under it for a little extra warmth. I assembled the shell and it was pretty long. It made me rethink where I wanted to go with the tunic. 

Before I decided on the length, I went ahead and put the sleeves in. What a disaster! My previous makes were from ponte, rayon and velvet. Soft fabrics that I could ease the extra from the sleeve cap into the armhole. It must not have been too bad because I didn't remember the sleeves being a pain to insert. However, the denim was not as friendly to work with and inserting the sleeves was a total pain. The sleeve cap has way too much ease in it for a less drapier fabric.

Honestly it stumped me for a minute. I measured the armhole of my garment (which I'd widened about an inch or two) then measured the sleeve cap. There is an 8" difference. I realized that my TNT dress/top/tunic sleeve has a sleeve cap about that width so I decided to make a new sleeve using that pattern piece as a guideline.


The sleeves are different on all four versions of this top. The first has flared sleeves with a pleated lace/ribbon added to them. The second is color blocked with elastic in the sleeve hems. The velvet version's sleeves are lengthened and flared. This time I gathered the sleeves into cuffs. The cuff pattern was borrowed from my Butterick button downs.



Pictured above is the finished sleeve that just wouldn't go into the tunic. So I ripped it apart. I laid my TNT pattern piece on the fabric and recut the sleeve cap.



However, I didn't want to give up on the embroidery at the sleeve hems. So I took my scraps and pieced them together to make a band of embroidery which I added to the sleeve hems.

After wrestling with that problem, I realized the top was dress length but a little too short for my comfort level. That resulted in a couple of wasted hours of trying to make the dress long enough to cover my knees. I added a ruffle to the hemline made from the scraps of the remaining fabric. However, the ruffle only made the dress look juvenile ~ great for a 12 year old but not a 58 year old woman ~ so I removed it.

The tunic sat while I figured out what to do.

Finally I decided to remove some more of the fullness in the body, unpin the ruffle, cut some of the bottom off, hem the tunic to just below the border and hem the sleeves.

A few photos of the tunic in action ~





Conclusion ~
I'm not sure if I did this amazing piece of fabric justice. To me this is definitely a case of a so-so fabric/pattern match. By the time I was hemming it I was so tired of this garment. Why did a simple little tunic become an epic sew? Especially after I saw this picture of the fabric used in the latest edition of Vogue Pattern Magazine. My version seemed tame & predictable.



I like tunics ~ just tunics that hit me a couple of inches above my knees. I want more of them but I definitely need to choose my fabrics better to achieve the right drape and coverage. When I finished this tunic, I wasn't sure it worked for me until I took the pictures. 

What's up next? Another repeat top is on the cutting table hopefully I can do it justice...

...as always more later!




35 comments:

  1. Huh? I think it looks great and the use of the fabric surpasses the model version!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love it, and think it really suits you. Perhaps you just need some distance between the annoyance of the sewing :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are you KIDDING? This is another home run! So what if putting the border of a border fabric on the sleeves and hem of a top is predictable? It's your personal choice of a totally GAWCHUSS border fabric that makes this top look so great! Your border placement is impeccable here, and this length is very flattering on you. What I love most about your pictures is your smile. You smile that big, beautiful smile that just lights up the world when you've created a fabulously flattering garment, and it's great to see you so happy. Cindy (Creative Hormone Rush)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I absolutely love this top and if you don't want it I'll have it! I think it is a creative use of the fabric and showcases the embroidery panel beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The fabric is absolutely beautiful, and I love the top. What a pain getting through all those construction dilemmas, but you will enjoy wearing it, and I am sure you'll get lots of compliments!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Au contrare ... I love this. You look so youthful and fun. This is a win. That jacket is predictable. Worth the pain. Wear it knowing you look sensational!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Totally agree with the majority here: the tunic is terrific and is an ideal showcase for that great embroidery. The jacket looks "meh" to me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well I think it's a fun looking tunic and you should just enjoy wearing it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love border prints & your version is a definite win !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think the top looks great too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. All that trouble, but such beautiful results. Very nice indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a garment that needs to go into the "magic closet" for a season. When you get it out in 6 months or so, you won't remember the irritation or the nitpicky problems you had with it. This happens to me SO OFTEN. We are our own worst critics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it was the trauma of sewing it. I hate when simple/easy projects become huge epic projects that you have to figure out challenge after challenge. I don't mind that on complicated projects because I expect it but it drives me nuts on the easy ones.

      Delete
  13. I love your tunic! I think it so pretty on you! And way to go persevering and making it work. I don't always have that kind of patience to fix the problems I encounter.

    I saw that fabric at the Vogue Fabrics booth at the Sewing Expo and was very tempted, but I couldn't think of anything to do with it and the price was just a bit above my comfort zone to buy with no clear plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was pricy and I waited until it was 20% off on Black Friday when I bought mine so I understand why you didn't get any. I hate UFOs and I've been sewing long enough that I thought I should be able to fix the things that weren't working. I'm glad it's done though! *LOL*

      Delete
  14. Great top, you look lovely in it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Isn't taste just so individual! To me, your top is fun and youthful (in a positive way, befitting your personality - as it's shown in this blog at any rate!) whereas (to me) the magazine photo is a bit off somehow... I hope you come to love this after some percolating because it looks fab on you: so fun and approachable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right because I think that jacket is stunning! My tunic is nice but I guess I had higher expectations.

      Delete
  16. I like tunics like that and I would be happy in it. I have had the same problem in several patterns so that I came to the conclusion that they use the exact same sleeve pattern piece in all patterns. I am spatially challenged so I have been working years to try and develop skill with sleeves. Blogs like this help me learn.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think your tunic top is gorgeous! All the trouble you went to to fit it and it is absolutely stunning! I've been sewing for a long time so I know what is involved in fitting and ease. Don't be so hard on yourself. It is definitely a keeper.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's got a sixties vibe. I like it. I've been eyeing that fabric on Fabric.com too. Oh well, guess I'll wait till the 31st.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin - there are a couple of Telio pieces on fabric.com that I want. Just trying not to buy them because I don't need them!

      Delete
  19. Beautiful fabric and a great save . I really hope you get to feel the love for your tunic after all your work . It seems to be a piece that fits in with your current work wardrobe - good casual.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It was definitely worth all the trouble coz it turned out so beautiful. Looks great on you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think its a great top, not what you expected but nice none the less. Great save.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I really enjoyed reading about your many dilemmas with this project, and admire your refusal to give up. Of course, the fabric deserves all of the attention and care you gave it, and you were rewarded with a wonderful outcome. Actually, your experience is familiar to me, and probably to all of your readers, because everyone has experienced snags and frustrations. Not everyone perseveres, but the end is all the sweeter for those who do. You have at least three reasons to love this tunic: 1) You overcame obstacles to complete it, 2) you proved that you are a problem solver, and not a quitter; and 3) Your tunic does justice to the fabulous embroidered fabric. Bravo! By the way, I have asked Fabric.com to notify me when the fabric becomes available again. I didn't even notice that jacket in the new Vogue Patterns, until you pointed it out. Now, I absolutely must make myself something with that fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Eeek! I love this! I saw it scrolling on IG and forgot to come to the blog to see the details.

    You may like it more when Spring has sprung. It's an amazing use of the fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I like it too! Love how you handled the print and the tunic looks like it'd be a comfortable, stylish wear. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I saw this fabric on Fabric.com and at the time there was still in stock. I ended up buying another piece with ivory embroidery as a border. I was thinking of making a tunic, just not sure which one as I have a couple in stash. With all your trials with this fabric, I like how it looks!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Love this! That fabric is amazing and I think your top shows it off much better than the Vogue jacket.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well, the end result is fab even if the process wasn't so fun! I've made that pattern a few times and it has a really tall sleeve cap. I made it in a drape-y gauze and it worked but I figured if I ever made it with sleeves again I'd have to alter the sleeve cap. Love the fabric!

    ReplyDelete
  28. It looks awesome U did a great job :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great use of the fabric! I just had the same sleeve issues as you on another pattern and did something much like you (though more hacking and less measuring!). When patterns get frustrating it's really easy for them to turn into UFO's, so good for you for finishing it and having a great finished garment. Hope I can do the same with mine!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey, ease off: Show yourself a little compassion. The top looks great, even if it isn't meeting the vision you had for it. If the fabric seems a little stiff for the design, in your opinion, well, you've learned something from this experiment. Good for you!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails