Tag Archive | sleeves

McCalls M6274 – Puffy Sleeves

IMG_0046If you keep up with the Joann’s Fabric and Craft ads, you may have noticed several great sales on patterns over this last summer, and like any good fabric store shopper, I could not pass up a great sale on patterns. I did my research before going in. I studied the pattern web sites and made lists of my wanted patterns. I decided on the styles and sizes I needed before entering the store. I took the husband with me to Joann’s on purchase day so he could search out the patterns as I called out the wanted numbers. At the check stand, I delighted in the saving at the bottom of the receipt. I hurried home with my new patterns, and promptly poked them in the closet. But, the other day I just was not in the sewing mood to begin altering my second pattern for myself. And so I pulled out these bags of fun new patterns instead, and I decided it was time to sew some of them up. I quickly chose McCalls pattern M6274 as my next project, a size 4 girl’s shirt with puffy sleeves.

.

.

Puff PatternI started by reading the pattern directions. Since this project was to try a new pattern, I decided early on that I would be good about following the pattern guide in making this shirt, and not deviate from the instructions and improvise my way through the sewing as I usually do. So, as I traced the pattern and cut it out, I was careful to add all of the markings from the original pattern. Being the first try of this pattern, I did not want to use a favored piece of fabric for this shirt, so I checked out what I had in my scrap boxes. I picked this purple and white stripe for it, but I debated a while about using it because of the stripes. I was already trying a new pattern. Did I want the added worry of aligning stripes too? But since I’m a daredevil like that, I finally decided on the purple and white striped fabric for this shirt.

.

.

P1030582Cutting out the pattern was no problem and soon the sewing had begun. After sewing the shoulder and side seams, it was time to make and insert the puffy sleeves. Because I had decided to follow the pattern guide more closely than usual, I read the pattern guide carefully and had the markings for the gathering stitches and the tab all in place. This all worked to my advantage. The construction and insertion of the the sleeves when smoothly. Much more smoothly than I had anticipated. Even the gathering process went smoothly. Maybe I’m getting better at gathering? I was very excited. The sleeves had even worked out great with the striped fabric. I had worried that with the gathered sleeves that the stripes would look askew but they lined up fine. I did use a double needle on the hems of the sleeves. This was a little tricky with the tab, but in the end it worked out great. I did deviate from the pattern in one spot. I decided to not make buttonholes in the tab, but to just sew the button and tab to the sleeve. I saw no reason why the tab would ever be unbuttoned, so why go to the extra work of a buttonhole. I did notice right away that these sleeves were the shortest short sleeves I have ever made. It seemed like the hem was almost to the armscye. At first I thought about lengthening the sleeve but then decided not to. I was following the pattern and this was the length the pattern said to make the sleeves. Plus these are cute little puffy sleeves, and lengthening them may take away from that look.

.

P1030751After inserting the sleeves, all that was left was to finish the neck and bottom hem the shirt. It all sounded pretty simple but as I held up the shirt with the sleeves attached, I noticed the size of the neck and especially the drop in the back of the neck. The front and back of the shirt are almost at the same level. And the neckline is huge. The shoulder seams are so tiny. How is this going to fit? Will it always be falling off the shoulders? Not wanting to turn the neckline down any more than I had to, I serged and turned the neckline once and stitched it down with the double needle. This was not the cleanest look. I would have preferred to hide the serging with the another turn but I did not want to make the neckline any bigger and I wanted some shoulder seam left.

.

P1030750With the shirt finished, I decided that I could not make a judgement call on whether I liked the pattern or not until I gave the shirt to the little neighbor girl and I heard back from the mom on the wear test. Did it hang off her shoulders? Were the puffy sleeves too short and made it hard to move around in the shirt? I am going to have to ask her mom to be very honest about the fitting points, not just say oh its cute, and she likes it. I need to know how it wore so I know if I want to make another shirt from this exact pattern again. Or will I want to modify the neck line on it, or if I would even make the shirt at all again. So, after I find out the results of the wear test, I will decide if my great sale pattern was even worth its terrific price, or will it be removed from the pattern stash in the closet forever. I will report back on those decisions later.

.

Well until next time, happy sewing and crafty dreams!

Advertisements

PJ’s, jamas, jammies, jams, puh-jah-muhz

IMG_0001I wanted to make my Simplicity 2771 pattern, the pajamas with piping, one more time so that I didn’t forget all I had learned about sewing piping, but I wanted to change it up a little this time around. I wanted the second version to be made with short sleeves and shorts for the summer. I had just thought about cutting the sleeves and legs of the pants off on the pattern 2771 to accomplish this, that is until I saw my Simplicity 3987 pattern hiding in the closet. I decided I could just add piping to the edges of the shirt from the 3987 pattern thus practicing adding piping and I would be trying out a new pattern as well. I purchased Simplicity 3987 on the same sale as Simplicity 2771 but I had not made something from it yet. So, this was a good plan.

.

This project started with laundering the flannel, because I know how flannel LOVES to shrink, then I traced and cut out view B in a size 3 from the flannel. The flannel I used was just small scrap pieces so it was nice to use them up. It was at this point that I realized that piping was not going to work on this particular shirt top. Half of the piping would be hid under the buttons. Crap, why didn’t I think of that in the first place? Oh well. I was already too far in the process to abandon this project so I just continued on with it. At least I would still be trying out a new pattern that I hand’t made before and wanted to try out.

.

P1030274I started sewing by following the pattern guide and sewed the pocket on the front of the shirt, but that is as far as I followed the guide. The pattern guide called for the side seams and the sleeve seams to be sewn next and then the sleeve inserted into the shirt. I decided to sew the sleeve to the shirt and then sew the side seam and the sleeve seam as one seam instead. I don’t know which way is the proper way to sew the sleeve to the shirt, but I don’t see that it really made a difference in the wearing of the shirt once it was done. The pattern guide also called for easing stitches in the sleeve cap. I decided to use my 10 fingers and about 50 pins (well, maybe a few less) to ease the sleeve onto the shirt. Although I was able to get the sleeve eased on to the shirt without any puckers or tucks, it might have been easier to use the easing stitches instead. Most shirts I have sewn have a dropped sleeve, so the sleeve cap is not as tall, but not with this shirt. The sleeve looks to sit right at the end of the shoulder. This was actual good practice for me to insert a sleeve fitted at the shoulder and may be why the guide wanted you to sew the side and sleeve seams first and use the easing stitches to set the sleeve in. I will give it a try the way it recommends the next time I make this pattern.

.

P1030283The next learning experience with these pajamas came with the button holes. The pattern guide called for the button holes to be horizontal. I usually sew buttonholes vertically. On a shirt for me, vertical button holes keep me from having that gaping hole at the bust line that happens with horizontal button holes when you stretch in the shirt. I figured for a 3 year old’s pajamas it really would not make a difference and went ahead and followed the pattern guide. I shouldn’t have. I started at the bottom of the shirt and I didn’t think that where I started would make a difference, but it did. The bottom two buttonholes came out great. Then the trouble started. Because of the P1030286pocket, my automatic buttonholer had all kinds of issues. Because the surface was not even, it would not work over the thickness of the top of the pocket, so I turned the shirt around and did a lot of measuring but even with that the buttonholer hit the pocket at the top of the buttonhole and left me with misplaced half sewn buttonholes. If I had been making a girl’s shirt or made the buttonholes vertical or sewed the pocket on after making the buttonholes, none of this would have been an issue, instead I got uneven and poorly stitched buttonholes. I am not happy with the buttonholes on this project, but they are good enough and I doubt that the buttonholes with keep a little boy from wearing these pajama.

.

P1030287The shorts bottoms were super simple. They don’t even have a side seam. One thing I did not like on this pattern was the fact that neither the shorts hem or the sleeve hem had the small extended edge to help with the turning of the hem. Both of them are just cut straight. Due to this, a small hem was all I was willing to do on both the shorts and sleeves. Now, for me that’s not a bad thing. I like smaller hems on the items I sew. The problem that arises is that because I am sewing empirically, I may need to shorten or lengthen the shorts and the sleeves and not having a healthy hem width decreases how much I can alter them. I added a small piece of flannel to the back seam to indicate the back from the front of the shorts since they are so basic in design.

.

..

So, my final say on this pattern, Simplicity 3987, view B, is that although the final pajamas turned out fine and are very cute, this will not be my go to pajamas pattern for kids. My reason for this is the difficulty in putting the sleeves in and the missing hem edges. Because of these problems, I will go back to my Kwik-Sew book if I need to make more pajamas for kids. I will not part with the pattern just yet because of the night gown pattern in it and if I decided  I do want to try the set in sleeves again, I can. I may someday want to make this pattern again. We will see.

.P1030301