Completed: The Pucci dress. McCalls 6713

When I was in need of a classy dress to wear to my sister’s birthday dinner. I wanted something that would still allow me to eat unhindered by waistbands, belts or stays. This dress has a waist seem with elastic inside, thereby, giving you a very comfortable forgiving fit. The front self lined bodice is cut on the bias, with gathered shoulders and a tucked left side, self-lined pleated drape, and stitched hems. (Although, for my bodice, I used a lightweight rayon knit as my lining throughout the entire dress.)

I found this gorgeous Pucci jersey at Elliot Berman fabrics during my New York trip in April 2013.

The sizes range from size 8-16 in one envelope, totally unusual, a plus for grading. I cut a 14 up top and a 16 down low graded to 14 at waist.

The version of the dress I made is exactly as pictured on the design. Of course if I wanted to ride my bike, I would have made the more flared version.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?You need to cut the bodice lining slightly smaller since this is a knit. I like the dress a lot, however I would suggest hanging if OVER the clothes hanger. Every since it sent it to the cleaners, and it hung from the shoulders it has grown a bit much. The weight of the side flounce panel creates a bunch of weight on such a narrow waist seam. I would recommend increasing the waist seam to 1 inch in order to allow for the elastic to run through all the multi layers of fabric at the side where the flounce hangers from.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Because this was a two sided border print I really had to take time to arrange the pieces.
1. I cut single layers. I held the flounce for last in case I ran out of border, which I did. So since the border is self lined, I ended up actually piecing it together. (Very inconspicuous).
2. I did a 1.5″ FBA
3. I raised the armhole by 1/2″ for coverage. Something I usually must do on MCalls patterns. The armhole cut should not be the same for sleeveless, and sleeved garments.
4. Lowed the back hem gradually from the sides by 1.5″ to allow for my rear curvature so the dress would hike up.
5. Sway back adjustment of 3/4″

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I would highly recommend with modifications to the neckline by adding support to limit stretching due to the skirt weight and to increase the waist seam to one inch.

Conclusion: this is a lovey sexy dress when cut straight. If you donot like tight dresses, then the flared version is a great everyday dress. The next time I make it will be the flared version and I will raise the neckline.

I would highly recommend this dress as a staple with modifications to the neckline by adding support to limit stretching due to the skirt weight and to increase the inner waist seam to one inch.

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Completed: Simplicity 1426: Vintage Top- Vacation sewing has commenced


 Last year I took a trip to Antigua, Barbuda during their “Carnival” season.  Was I ever surprised at how much fun I would have.  I am such a prude when loud music and dancing is involved.  So, needless to say, before leaving for vacation I was all over the internet researching what to expect on this trip.  I was looking for dressing ideas, and what the meaning of “carnival” was all about.

Of course it is all fun watching the pin boards of all those cute ladies wearing those cute knit crop top that look like a second skin on them.  I wanted that too, but I wanted the fabrics to match.

I made the pants to wear during my first trip. However, the picture I had in my mind for the top never came to fruition, so I ended up just wearing a simple white tank.  When Simplicity came out with the pattern this month, I moved at breakneck speed to find this pattern. I had attempted other crop tops, but this one was the ONE!!!!

As for the fitting of the basic pattern straight out of the packet, I made View b up in a muslin size 16 to check the fit, and make sure I got a clear map of where I needed to go with the pattern alterations. All-in-all, though, I really can’t complain much about this one here, as it seams to have been quite generous.  So I just went ahead and marked my changes as needed to get the fit I was working towards.

  • Initially, I had already known that I planned to widen the lower band considerably.  I knew I wanted it to hit “that level” just above my navel.  So this was my first order of business, I widened the band by 2 inches.  
  • Next, of course was to add additional “top” coverage, thus, I did the simple pivot-slide method of adjusting the pattern to give more coverage over the top of 3/4 inch and a little at the bottom.  However, next time I won’t put the whole 3/4 inch on the lower half, it was not needed.  
  • I increased the coverage of the back piece by the same amount at the upper edge.  I wanted the coverage more substantial under my arms and around my back, to give it more of a crop top feel and not a “bra” feeling.  There was a slight curve in the pattern coming from the back to the front that I trimmed off in order to give the top a more gradual transition under the arms, otherwise the fabric was collapsing on itself there.  
  • In the center front, I took out a dart wedge at the lower and upper center front seams in order to cause the cups to curve in at the center.  
  • The pattern requires the center front seams be gathered to 3inches before sewing them together, yet because I was aiming for fuller coverage, I only gathered to 4 inches, considering I had already added an additional 1.5inches to the cup at the top and bottom.  
  • As for the straps, I added the length to them initially, but removed that same length when finalizing the fit.  Better to have too much than not enough, right? 

This is a really cool top!!! I have so many ideas for this here pattern.  What took simplicity so darn long to bring this one back!!!