Tag Archives: rayon challis

Butterick 6487 Test Run

Inspired by a designer blouse, I wanted to make Butterick  6487 with a couple of potentially complicated alterations. I wanted to move the zipper from back to left shoulder. A zipper on the left shoulder is easier for me to do than one in back. My plan included long ties at the neck that could be tied many different ways, including at the back of the neck and draping down the back. So moving the zipper to the left shoulder keeps it out of the way.

The other potentially troublesome alteration was an FBA. Following the advice from the helpful members of Sewing Pattern Review Forum, I added side darts.

If I was doing just one alteration or the other, in a moderate or cheap fabric, I’d just dive in and do it. But, I planned to use a piece of silk crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. It was a pricier fabric, and no more was available.

So for this make I used some floral rayon challis from my stash, leftovers from a different project. To dress it up a bit I decided to cover the collar and cuffs with scraps of black lace.  I skipped the ties on the sample top.

The FBA went smoothly, and inserting an invisible zipper in the left shoulder seam was surprisingly easy. In fact, everything went together smoothly, until it came time to apply the cuffs to the sleeves. And then I realize I omitted the vent in the sleeve, and the cuff is huge. It flops over my hand. Adding a vent at this stage is trickier than installing a vent while the sleeve is still flat. A vent is a lot of extra steps; cutting the facing or binding, interfacing the opening, installing the vent itself, then the cuff. I’m not sure how easy it will be to put a buttonhole in lace covered fabric.

Throwing caution to the wind I decide to make faux cuffs, permanently sewn closed, just big enough for my hand to slip through. I’ll use the same technique used to attach a ribbed cuff to a knit sleeve, by gathering the end of the sleeve, slipping the sleeve inside the cuff, lining up raw edges and notches, serging the cuff to the sleeve and finally flipping the cuff down.

I start by pinning the cuffs to the proper size, with a red pin holding the inside lap, a blue pin marking the outside overlap, and a white pin matching the button position. I’m not going to do a buttonhole, I’ll just sew the button to all layers of cuff.

Lace band inserted into the sleeve

I start with the sleeves right side out. I mark the notch on the outside/backside of the sleeve with a blue pin. I turned the cuff inside out, slipped it over the sleeve, and lined up the blue pins. I adjusted the gathers evenly around the cuff, and sewed it to the sleeve.

Amazingly, it worked! Then, I closed the cuff and sewed on a permanent decorative button.

Next I attached the sleeves to the bodice, and tried it on. That’s when I discovered Big Mistake Number Two.

The sleeve was way too short and a little weird. What went wrong?? Well, me, of course, I used the WRONG pattern piece!!

I wasn’t giving up on this top! I picked a spot about 4″ about the cuff, and cut the cuff off the sleeve. I used the very last bit of black lace scraps to make wide bands that I inserted into the sleeve. The band extended the sleeve enough so that it fits comfortably. And because I used the same lace on the cuffs and collar it actually looks intentional!

Invisible zip in left shoulder. The zipper tails are not sewn down yet

In spite of the mistakes, the odd corrections, and the fact that the lace and fabric are scraps from other projects this blouse came out nice.

<b>Pattern Description: </b>
Misses blouse with gather detail mock neck, cuff or ruffle sleeve, and optional contrast yoke

<b>Pattern Sizing:</b>

<b>Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?</b>
Yes, in spite of all my errors, it does look like the pattern envelope!

<b>Were the instructions easy to follow?</b>
Yes, the instructions were clear and correct

<b>What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?</b>
I like the gathering at the mock neck. I did not like the zipper in the back seam

<b>Fabric Used:</b>
Floral rayon challis and black lace. Both are scraps from previous projects

<b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:</b>
FBA by adding side darts. Moved the zipper from the back to the left shoulder. The cuffs are mock cuffs, due to my mistake. I added a wide lace band on the lower part of the sleeve, again to correct my mistake

<b>Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?</b>
Yes, I would sew this again. As a matter of fact, this particular blouse is actually a test make for another blouse from this pattern


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McCalls 7358 Wrap Top Make #1 and Make #2

First, a pink button front version

I needed a summer wardrobe of cool and comfortable tops to wear on vacation. The inspiration for my first make on McCall’s 7358 was an asymmetrical button front shirt from a catalog. I couldn’t find a pattern exactly like the inspiration shirt, but this McCall’s pattern came close enough.

I chose a pink rayon for my shirt, and large cream colored plastic buttons from my stash.

I used a normal shirt collar instead of the pattern collar. On the pattern, the front panel is squared off at the wrap point. I extended the slant all the way out to a point, and added buttons and buttonholes. It was actually quite tricky to get the buttons in the right place! I pinned and repined, pinned and repinned to get them correctly placed. I added a few extra buttons (but not buttonholes) on the front panel below the point at the side. I also made tabs for the sleeves.

Which way to put the buttonholes? Normally, front button shirts have vertical buttonholes. But, the placket on this shirt is diagonal. Vertical buttonholes might look weird. I thought about putting them diagonally along the placket, but I worried that might be tricky and might not hold the shirt shut. I settled on horizontal buttonholes.

The end result is not an exact duplicate of the inspiration top, but it’s really close. The inspiration shirt has a slim line, mine has a fuller line (for a fuller body). I have extra buttons on the lower section, and the collar sits a little differently.

Pattern Description: Wrap shirt with belt

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No, it isn’t supposed to.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions were clear and notches lined up.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the wrap front and the comfortable, relaxed fit. I did not like the shape of the lower front facings.

Fabric Used: Rayon challis

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Added a shirt collar and tabs to the sleeves. Extended the front panel all the way to a point, added buttons and buttonholes

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I would sew this again. In fact, I already have! I liked it so much that I made a second version, below, even before I completely finished this version. Yes, I’d recommend it, but I’d point out that the front panel does not extend all the way across the front, it does not reach the side seam. Also, the lower front facing pieces are a little funny

Then, a blue floral version

I liked this top so much that I decided to make another right away. This time, I used a blue floral rayon print, with a solid blue rayon for accent. I tried to make the shawl collar into more of a double ruffle collar, but that didn’t work quite as I hoped. I also added double flounces to the sleeves.

The body, upper collar, upper sleeve, upper sleeve flounce and one side of the tie belt are blue floral print rayon challie. The undercollar, lower sleeve flounce, front facings, other side of the tie belt, and hem facing are solid blue. The neck and sleeve flounces, both solid blue and floral print, are finished with a three thread rolled hem.

I like this shirt! I feel a little bit like Carmen Miranda when I wear it. But, the event I planned to wear it to didn’t happen, so here is a photo of me wearing the shirt on my back deck

Pattern Description: Wrap blouse

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? This time it came pretty close, except for the doubled up collar and sleeve flounce

Were the instructions easy to follow? Because this make is closer to the pattern with fewer design changes than the first make, and because this is my second time making it, everything went together a lot easier.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The lower front facing was a little funny, for this make I used a wide strip of blue bias. Also, the top panel does not wrap all the way around to the side seam, it stops about 3/4 of the way across the front

Fabric Used: Rayon challis

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Tried to make the shawl collar more of a ruffle or flounce, but it didn’t work quite as I expected. I doubled the collar and sleeve flounce, and faced the hem with solid blue.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I’d recommend this pattern. Will I make it again? Maybe.

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Simplicity 1694 – A casual rayon shirt

I like this button front shirt. The A-line shape is comfortable, easy to wear, and somewhat flattering on my figure.

We planned a vacation in Washington DC in June, when the weather is hot and sticky. I needed some tops and shirts that looked nice and would be comfortable both indoors in air conditioning and outdoors in the summer sun. I chose rayon challis in a soft army green shade.

I’ve made this shirt before, and it went together easily. Until I reached the buttonhole step. I was confused, and made the buttonholes down the front horizontal instead of vertical. I used buttons from my stash, and they’re a bit larger than the pattern suggests, so it’s probably for the best that I made the buttonholes horizontal. If I had put them vertically, they might have looked a little too crowded.

Pattern Description: Button front A-line shirt with collar stand, collar, jii-low hem and sleeve tabs

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except my buttonholes are horizontal

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes the instructions were clear, but the notches on the collar didn’t quite line up right for me.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the A-line shape and hi-low hem

Fabric Used: Rayon challis in soft army green

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Omitted the pockets, and tipped the buttonholes sideways

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I think I’ll sew this one again. And yes, I recommend it. It isn’t too hard, even a beginner could manage it.

Horizontal Button Holes

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Two Quick Tops

I can’t believe it’s almost Valentines Day! The holiday season was a little crazy this year. I didn’t have any time to blog, but amidst the laughter, tears, and expensive car repairs, I did manage to squeeze a little sewing in.

First I’ll share two quickie tops. I do not have any “in progress” photos of these, just the finished tops. The first is a pink silk jersey cami to wear under sheer tops. The second is a fun, floaty pullover in a wild 60’s inspired print.

Pink Silk Cai

Pink Silk Cai

The sheer look is going to stick around for awhile. Sheer barely there blouses look great on the right body. That body is not mine! So I whipped up a little cami top to wear under sheer things. The silk jersey fabric came from FabricMart a year or two ago. The soft pink color is nice for undies. I used my ordinary cami pattern. I tried stitching in the ditch at the neckband. It was extremely difficult to do, and the results were not great. I took a different approach to the armoholes. I folded the binding over to the back along the seamline, sort of like a facing. I did not fold the raw edge under, I left it exposed. I topstitched the binding/facing to the armholes using a decorative stitch that had a little bit of stretch. I finished the hem by serging the raw edge, turning it under twice, and top stitching. I serged the edge so it would not roll and curl. I used the same decorative stitch for the hem.

This light, floaty pullover top was inspired by a late night window shopping excursion at the Neiman Marcus website. I spotted a mod-print challis mini dress, with an interesting variation on princess seams. I made Simplicity 1199 before, in a kint as the pattern recommends. The fit was slightly baggy, so I was sure that, with some pattern tweaking, it would work in a non-woven fabric.

Super light and floaty pullover in a wild print

Super light and floaty pullover in a wild print

The fabric itself is a soft, light as air, rayon challis. The wild print in bold, contrasting colors has a distinct Cat-In-The-Hat feeling. The wide fabric has a distinct border down each selvedge. I decided to mix up the borders. The front and back center pieces and one sleeve have one border at the hems, the sides and second sleeve have a different border at the hems. I thought the mismatch fit the fabrics Cat-In-The-Hat theme. I decided the wild design needed a little taming, and used black binding at the neck and hems to help define the edges of the top and give the eye a place to rest. I used scraps of rayon knit for the bindings, to preserve the soft, floaty hand. Another advantage is that the same fibers need the same kind of cleaning treatment.  Inspiration for my Cat in the Hat top




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