This week’s project is another entry into the Pattern Review sewing Bee. This week’s round two project was to make a bias cut garment and McCall’s 7116 fit the bill! I added a little flounce to the bottom of view C for some adding flare. Read my review copied from the site for more info on how I made this dress below. BTW, I found this fabric at Joann and I love it for fall!
A big thanks to my Dad for taking my photos! I’ve been having some trouble with the focus on my camera so we had to use the flash giving my photos a bit of a glare. The other photos were taken on my dad’s I phone 6. I guess I need a new camera soon. My Canon T2i has been a great little workhorse, but seems to be conking out after 6 years of steady blogging use.Pattern or style, and how it fits the criteria:
McCall’s 7116 is a dress with a bias cut skirt and a crossover bias cut front bodice. The back bodice is cut on the straight grain. There are ruffled cap sleeves and I drafted a circular flounce for the bottom of the skirt. The skirt on the pattern is originally above the knee. Mine is longer.
Fabric used – material and yardage:
2.25 yards of a polyester woven twill type fabric from Joann fabrics.
What other components did you use in your garment (closures, pockets, trim, etc):
I added a circular flounce to the hem. I had originally lengthened the skirt and added godets but I really didn’t like how they looked. I had about 1/3 of a yard of the fabric left and it was just enough to add an 8 inch flounce. I traced the bottom of the skirt, added 8 inches length to it, then slashed the pattern and opened it to create the flounce pattern piece. After trying on my muslin I realized it didn’t need a zipper at all. I have another pattern, the Colette Oolong, that is very similar to this pattern and all three of my versions had no zipper and fit easily over my head. Adding a zipper to a bias skirt can be frustrating as it can ripple easily, so I was glad not to have to bother with it.
Describe how the bias grain was used in your entry, and why:
The bias grain is used on the skirt to give a thirties style drape. Since the dress is a bit stretchy. The bias grain on the bodice also gives it a nice drape. The circular sleeves and flounce also work nicely with the bias skirt and top.
Describe the fitting technique(s) you used to achieve shaping:
I made a one inch full bust adjustment to the bodice and I scooped out about 3/4 at the center back skirt for a swayback adjustment.
The directions tell you to cut out both skirts with the bias grain going in the same direction. In my experience sewing bias dresses it’s best to cut the back and front pieces with the bias grain going in perpendicular directions instead. I’ve found that I have less tugging when I do that. I also like to baste the side seams at the seam allowance line, then press it stretching it slightly. The seam allowance naturally becomes a lot more narrow, My 5/8 inch seam allowance was reduced to about 1/4 of an inch. When I do this I have a lot less stretching out of the bias. I let my skirt hang for two days and it didn’t stretch out more on one side, but my fabric was also quite stable and didn’t have a lot of stretch , even on the bias, so that may be why, too. I cut a size 12.
Have you included at least 3 pictures, including minimum one on a live model and one photo showing the bias grain?
Describe what you like most about your entry:
I like that this dress has a vintage feel but still is quite current looking. I started this week with one of my forties patterns but after making the muslin, it felt almost like a costume and I knew that I would most likely never wear the finished dress. I really wanted to make something I would enjoy wearing and that fits with my personal style. This is also my first fall piece I’ve sewn this year and i can’t wait for the weather to cool down so I can wear it.
Describe your biggest challenge in sewing this bias garment:
I had to make a lot of minor adjustments to get the dress to fit comfortably. I had to let out the shoulders a bit, and also had to make the fitting adjustments described above for a full bust and swayback. My muslin actually fit quite a bit different than the fashion fabric version. My finished version was much tighter then the muslin, since the fabric was thicker and more stiff, so letting it out a bit at the waist seam and shoulders helped.
What other information would you like to share about this project and your process?
I think the key to making a bias skirt is to not make it too fitted , because it will tug and be really uncomfortable. But then if you make it too loose , it just looks kind of droopy.
Addendum: Two weeks after posting…
No this dress did not get moved to the next round. I was pretty disappointed as I thought this was one of my better pieces I’ve made lately, and looked pretty damn good on me if I do say so myself! But one has to be prepared not to win when one enters a sewing contest, whether they feel it’s undeserved or not. Still, it would have been nice to hear some feedback from the judges. I would have had to drop out of the Sewing Bee anyway, since my father in law died unexpectedly that week and then I didn’t have a printer and would not have been able to print and sew up the Rue dress in time, which was a really stressful project for the contestants who stayed in anyway. Apparently it’s a pretty difficult pattern to fit properly, if you read the reviews. So it was for the best. I’m still not in the mood for sewing much so a little rest was in order.