Still Sewing, Still Learning

I’ve made a little more progress on my #2017makenine line up, beginning to tackle McCalls M7473 view D, the line drawing included in the image below.

01-10-17 #2017makenine

“Once you stop learning, you start dying.”    -Albert Einstein

The good news is, I’m alive and well. Unfortunately, I’m sharing another failure / learning experience. It was so disappointing because I sewed a muslin, made fit changes, altered the pattern and thought everything was good to go. Then I cut my fabric and mostly constructed the entire thing before slipping it on. Great fit! Pattern matching, not too shabby! Left side, love! Right side, hmmm??


It took a while staring at it in the mirror and thinking about the process to come to the conclusion that the underside, when cutting the front and back pieces on folds, must have slipped and come up shorter. I’m not sure how I want to go about salvaging the fabric yet but I see no way to fix this particular garment.

I really like the pattern and feel good knowing the issues weren’t due to the modifications I made to it, which were to lower the neckline, drop the notch on the side seam to create coverage down to hip level and extend the sides of the front panel to more closely match the shape of the back. The original pattern is only sewed to below bust level and I’m not about showing off that much skin at this stage of life or requiring the right under layer in order to wear it.

What really bums me out is after my failed initial attempt at the Anna dress using a similar type of fabric, I thought I’d done my homework and was more prepared to work with such shifty material. I didn’t pre-wash it and took great care to line up the pattern and keep the grain straight but just didn’t anticipate the underside slipping so much, even when pinned.

I’ve since read advice to use a felt board or flannel backed tablecloth to keep the fabric in place so I will try that next time as well as tracing off a full pattern piece rather than cutting on a fold. I’m feeling hopeful about the next version, but need to figure out what to do about fabric as I’ve used this piece down to scraps. So much to learn. So little time.



5 thoughts on “Still Sewing, Still Learning

  1. thenaughtybun

    I keep looking at this an wondering what the problem is. Yes, there’s additional pattern on one side when compared to the other, but why not just chop it off? Straighten the whole thing? The pattern matching is lovely, so I really don’t get what the problem is.

    1. Kaci Ferguson Post author

      Well that’s promising! Maybe I’m just being too critical of my own work. On the left side, the slit hangs nice and straight and on the right, the slit is pulled way open like it’s too small. When I have it on, it feels sort of like when your tee shirt seam turns and you just want to keep making it straight, you know? I could probably make the left side match the right side, but I don’t love the way it looks so I’m worried I’ll spend a bunch of time redoing it then still won’t wear it.

      1. thenaughtybun

        Aha! Well, when you tell me, I can see it. Could you just pattern match a small addition with a flat felled seam? Just in the opening there? I guess you feel the faults of the top way more than anyone sees it. What I noticed was the pattern matching, something even expensive rtw brands fail at.

        1. Kaci Ferguson Post author

          I’ll revisit it when I have the patience to begin again, but have already moved onto something else for the moment. And YES!! The terrible pattern matching on expensive clothing is the first thing I started noticing when I got serious about sewing. The worst!

          1. thenaughtybun

            I’m honestly amazed that they manage to sell such sloppy makes at premium price. Clearly no pride in making something beautiful. Otoh fast fashion doesn’t invite quality in, does it? Doesn’t matter if it is a cheap or expensive brand.


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