Monday, May 14, 2012

McCall's 6241: The One Yard Wonder.

Lately I've been needing, well wanting new tops.  Easy T's and quick blouses to spruce up my jeans and a t-shirt uniform.  I love skirts and dresses, but I'm always cold, so I rarely wear them.

Here is my latest top experiment.  McCall's 6241.
I call it an experiment because though I've been wanting to make it for some time now, I recently read the reviews and they were far than glowing.  I figured, that I'd call this a wearable muslin and move on to something else quickly.  Luckily, it was very quick and I finished it in an afternoon.

Some notes on the top:

I made View A, the short sleeve version.  As you can see in the picture below, I drafted an attached facing to flip under so I would not have to narrow hem the cheap jersey. This facing worked GREAT and the neckline stays perfect all day long.  For the back neckline, I removed some of the seam allowance and drafted a binding that I just serged on, then topstitched.  It was a great solution to the narrow hem problem.

The cool thing about this top is that it only took 1 yard because I made a size 8 and the fabric was 60" wide.  The pattern calls for a 1 1/8 yds., but I squeezed it in!   I think I'm going to enter it in one yard PR challenge for the heck of it!

 More Pics:

If I ever make this again, I will shorten it by a few inches and choose a nicer knit, but I doubt I will ever work with this pattern again.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pixelated Camo Blouse

I finished my blouse a last week.  It's not bad, not great, but it's definitely wearable.  The fabric I used was a poly crepe de chine I got at the swapmeet and it was a pain to work with.  Extremely difficult to cut out.  It also does not lay as nice as silk would around the neckline.

I used S1806, View E.  I thought the instructions were pretty good, but the top was not difficult to put together.  Pressing was the hardest part.  the back pleat would not stay pressed and therefore shifted even with plenty of pins and basting.  My only problem with the instructions was with the sleeves.  The pictures were unclear as to where to stitch the bias binding.  My SA was not 5/8" so the armsyces are a little snug, but its not a big deal.  I also had to tack the back of the collar down to the shirt because it would not lay correctly.  I tacked the neckline facing to the shoulder seams and the 3 seams in the front.  I chose to do french seams throughout to make the shirt pretty inside.

More pictures:

That's it.  I'll be posting a review on PR soonish.  :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Sewing Kit iPhone App

App Store

When I got my iPhone in December, I downloaded an App to help catalog and organize my sewing patterns.  It is called Sewing Kit by Vesta Software.  I haven't heard of any other sewing bloggers using it so I thought I would do a review.  Lately, I've been spending ALOT of time taking photos of my patterns and putting them on my phone.  Already over 125 patterns!  Below is the description from the iTunes App store and  I'll tell you a bit more about my experience with the program.  

Description (taken directly from the App Store site)

Sewing Kit is your new home for all of your sewing needs!

If you have ever been in a sewing store looking at patterns, but couldn’t remember if you already bought the one you like, or if the fabric you like will work with the project you are working on, then you will love Sewing Kit!

Now scan the pattern envelope while in the store to look it up, and add it if you don't have it!

Sewing Kit lets you search through all of your patterns, fabrics, projects, and people to make sure you are not buying something twice, or getting home and finding out you forgot to get something you really needed!

With Sewing Kit you can store and search on all of your:
- patterns
- fabrics
- projects
- measurements for people

All of these things, all in one place.


For Patterns, each entry has: company name, pattern number, size, brand, your own rating of it, where you are storing it, “unlimited” photos, “unlimited” notions, “unlimited” types of fabrics, and much more!!!

Also - for each pattern from Butterick, Kwik Sew, McCall’s, Neue Mode, Simplicity or Vogue, Sewing Kit will _try_ to download the envelope images (including the back panel) if they are available on the company’s public web site (Butterick usually requires a "B" as the first digit in the pattern number for this to work, "M" for McCalls, and "V" for Vogue). Not all images are available. Not all sites have the back panel image available. All images remain copyright of their respective web sites.

For Fabrics, each entry has: name, color, material, amount, been ironed?, been washed?, where you bought it, where it’s stored, “unlimited” photos, and more!

For Projects, each entry has: name, who its for, notes, “unlimited” photos, pattern being used, status, type, and more!

For People, each entry has: person’s name, “unlimited” photos, and “unlimited” measurements!

Sewing Kit is also highly customizable! You can manage your own list of Pattern Companies, Fabric Types, Notion Types, Ratings, Measurements, and more!

Sewing Kit has been localized into English, Spanish, and French! Let us know if there are other languages you would like to see Sewing Kit in.

SewingKitLT (our Lite version) is also available (for free!) to try out all of the features, before buying the full version.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Ideas for more features?
Come by our site at or drop us a note at, or if you find bugs,

Please let us know what more we could be adding to make Sewing Kit even better!

These “unlimited” items are limited by the amount of free storage space on your device, not by Sewing Kit.
 Examples from the site (these photos are very accurate.  looks the same on my phone):
App Store

App Store

App Store

I like the app a lot, but it has a few bugs. Firstly, it crashes from time to time in the middle of uploading a pattern.  It used to do this more often, but now it is less frequent.  Also, it rarely has older OOP patterns or very new patterns in their database.  It almost never has the back of the envelope with the size and yardage information.  Usually only the tech drawings are included.  This means I have to take photos of every pattern front and back first.  I use a different app from the Camera App included on the phone, transfer the files to the Camera Roll, then insert them in the Sewing Kit App.  By taking the photos in the Sewing Kit App, the pictures tend to come out blurry.  The process is time consuming, but it works for me.  Oh, one more negative thing.  The customer service is pretty bad.  I emailed months ago about the freezing that occurs.  It was driving my crazy.  (It is much better now).  I got no response and there wasn't an update for months.  It worried me, but the program is working better now.

What I love about the App is that it is truly customizable.  I have added tons of vintage patterns to the App and have added the Pattern Company names (Hollywood, Advance, Marian Martin, etc) to the Pattern Company List.  Under Categories, I have included tons more (children, men's, accessories, etc) so when I search for something, I can find it by category.

I also like how I can put people measurements in the phone.  I have only done it for my mom, which has been very useful because she can never remember her measurements.  When we go pattern shopping, this comes in handy.

It has been very helpful when I shop for fabric too. I don't have to bring patterns with me.  This is great for the delicate vintage patterns and saves room in my purse.

Right now the price is $4.99.  I think I paid almost $10, and that is really disappointing.  It is worth the 5 bucks, if you are willing to spend HOURS cataloging your patterns.  I don't know if I will do the same with my fabric.

Even with the bugs, I think I would recommend it.

Does anyone else use this App or another one like it?  How is it?  Do you like it?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Little Sewing at Disneyland...

I've been loving the vintage sewing displays on Main Street in Disneyland.  Thought I'd share them with all of you:
So cute, I think this is the newest display.  

A close-up of the back wall of another.

And my favorite:  Shot glasses and a vintage sewing machine.  Hard liquor...just what you need after a long day sewing....
Thanks to my latest followers frau tipmatic and chesneykat.  Check out chesneykat's blog at Room for Sewing.