Saturday, May 2, 2015

McCall's 6035 Pattern Notes

I know this isn't what I said I would post next, but I was working on a new shirt today and managed to screw up so many things that I'm now calling this one a muslin and I wanted to jot everything down before I forgot and screwed up the next one too.

I was trying to make McCall's 6035 view A. Now I want to start off my saying there is nothing wrong with this pattern. Everything that got messed up was just me screwing up!

So, the first thing I did was decide to do a mock french seam for the princess seams. My justification was that french seams don't work well on curves, but I had read that a mock french seam would.

The mock french seam really doesn't lie well on the curve either. I thought it would at least look okay, but it just isn't as pretty as a real french seam either. Next time I make this shirt I am going to just do a clean finish on the princess seams. It will probably be easier, quicker and prettier. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the most complicated solution is not always the best one. 

I do think I'll stick with the french seams at the side seam because they seem to lie well enough and they are still my favorite seam finish. 

And speaking of seam finishes: the next thing I screwed up was the flat fell seam at the shoulders. The first shoulder went well enough, but when I was trimming the seam allowance to finish the second I managed to cut a hole in my fabric. The picture is from the inside of the shirt where the hole is still visible. 
I was lucky that I cut the hole before actually cutting any of the seam allowance so I "solved" the problem by trimming the other side and pushing the seam toward the front of the shirt instead of the back so from the right side you can't see the hole. Unfortunately, I had already done the other side of the shirt and had pushed the seam allowance towards the back on that side, so now my two seams don't match. 

I know most people wouldn't actually notice it, but I think you can see it even in this picture, and I would know it was there and it would bother me. Not enough to not wear the shirt, but enough that I might not enjoy wearing it. 

It's about at the next picture that I started thinking this shirt was not going to be wearable when I was done. 

I've done flat fell seams on the sleeve cap before, but I've never done one where there was actually extra sleeve to ease in. I had it in my head that the seam should push up onto the shoulder, rather than down onto the sleeve. Not only did that emphasize the horrible job I did easing the sleeve, it actually made the puckering worse. 

Here is the second sleeve. I pushed the seam allowance down onto the sleeve for this one, and as you can tell the finished seam looks much smoother. I don't know why I thought I needed to do it the other way. After I did this sleeve I pulled out one of my boyfriend's ready to wear flannel shirts and saw that on it the seam allowance was on the sleeve. It also pushed the shoulder seam allowance forward toward the front of the shirt, but I think it looks better facing the back. I guess the big thing on that one would just be to have them facing the same direction. 

 So, the sleeve bands managed to have three issues (which I personally think is pretty impressive for such a small section of the shirt). First, at a 5/8 seam allowance the band is too tight around my arm, so mental note add half an inch to the band when I cut it out next time. Next, normally on a sleeve band or cuff I would stitch one side than slip stitch to secure the other side, just like bias binding, because I really don't like the look of top-stitching and I can't ever seem to get a nice straight stitch 1/16" away from the seam. In the fist picture, you can see that I was way too far away. What is harder to see in the picture is that the band is also trying to twist, like it was off grain, even though I know it wasn't when I cut it out.

For the second band I managed to get that nice 1/16" edge stitch, but when I attached the sleeve I realized that I'd attached the band backwards, so the wrong side was up with the sleeve put in correctly. 

I'll admit that was when I really decided that I was calling this shirt a muslin and not doing anything more with it. I safety pinned the front to determine that the bust did fit, so at least I made the right size, but I just did too many things wrong to try and fix it all. At least it was cheap cotton bought with a coupon so I'm out less than $10. Especially if I use the buttons I bought for this on my next attempt. Still, totally frustrating headdesk moment because I can blame no one but me for everything that went wrong. If I hadn't tried to be so fancy with my seam finishes I would have a wearable shirt right now.

Focusing on the upside: now I know how not to finish the seams for this shirt, and next time I will do better. 

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