Review: A Romper Look-a-like, McCall’s 6965 and Simplicity 2281

Why do I even list my post as reviews? At times it’s not to tell you what I think about the pattern, actually it is more of an Internet “Show (Sew) and Tell.” The enjoyment of sharing what I sew is more fun than you would ever know. Well, unless you sew as well and blog about it, or go to local guild meetings or sewing meet-ups to talk about sewing.

For the most part, when I sew, I just want to shout it to the world, “I MADE THIS MYSELF!!!” Now, mind you, this sharing is by choice to inform you via the World Wide Web, of my experiences which abound in the privacy of my sewing studio. I used to get that sharing satisfaction by sewing professionally for others, but that wasn’t enough. Especially, because that type of sewing limited my audience for “teaching” sewing, as well as limiting my time to actually sew for myself.

I love to teach and share. Anytime I can tell the world about sewing, whether one person at a time, or in a group, I am in heaven on earth.

That being said, shall we continue….

Culottes- McCall’s 6965 Top- Simplicity 2281

I was trying to look serious on these pictures, since I’m always showing so much teeth in my pics, I thought it would be cool to look cool…..”it didn’t work!!”  LOL

simplicity 2281 top, mccalls 6965 shorts

I made this cute little outfit to take on the look of a dress/romper/jumpsuit.  Whatever you want to call it…it a short set to me.

On the pattern envelope, the photos look as though there are pleats in the front, but it’s actually the draping that gives the affect of pleats.

 McCalls 6965 shorts and simplicity 2281-top sewtofit.com

I made View B for myself, although the only difference in the views is the length.  The flare starts at the hip line, which makes for an almost circle skirt.

 McCalls 6965-shorts and simplicity 2281-top

They had so much ease in them, you could almost cut three sizes smaller and just make up the difference in the waist seams.  The pattern measures 53 1/2 at the hipline for the shorts, I am 43, and thus you can see how that would just be too much.  I took out 7 inches of ease from 8 seams!  (The pattern has princess seams in front and back.) The hem width on each leg was 44 1/2 inches!!!

 McCalls 6965 shorts

The bodice of Simplicity 2281 was used to create the top by lengthening it by 10″ and lowering the back opening by another 3 inches to compensate for not having a side zipper. There are no side darts, so to avoid the boxy look, I just curved the side seams slightly.

No changes were made to the neckline, sleeves and shoulders.  The drape of the sleeves are exaggerated due to the softness of the rayon fabric.

McCall’s 6965:
Pattern Description says:  Flared shorts and pants (very loos-fitting through hips) have contour waistband, princess seams, back zipper, and narrow hem.

  • NOTE:– the waistband did not seam contoured as much as it might appear on the pattern.

Fabric: Rayon challis from my stash–so old I don’t remember where I bought it.

Alterations Note:  The reason I cut a size 16 was to get the correct fit of the crotch and waist because it matched my pant sloper.  After satisfying that prerequisite, I then made the changes in the seams to get the fit and flare I wanted in the hips.  I found it easier to fold out width and skimmer off the seams, than to redraw or deal with the crotch curve, which was perfect for me.  I did lengthen the shorts about 2 inches.

I think these are the cutest culottes/shorts for any age.  Next, I’ll be making the palazzo pants.  Although, I know I will be removing so of that ridiculous ease.

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Mini-Me strikes again!!! Simplicity 1510 Review

Did I ever mention how much I enjoy teaching sewing to my grand-daughter?  Have I ever mentioned the amount of intense satisfaction I receive from watching her complete each step of the construction process?  I am not sure if I shared that with you all yet….so I will begin again.
I present to you my grand-daughter…better known as “Mini-Me.”

 To all the ladies who met my granddaughter at PR Weekend inAustin, TX….”Mini-Me” was elated to be around so many people that sew!!!! My goodness she was so excited and just booming with excitement meeting all of you. This little girl here could have hung and chatted with every level of seamstress there…!!! She would not have missed a beat understanding “every concept and detail of construction that was discussed.

Pattern Description: Simplicity 1510This dress is listed as special occasion in three lengths with a bolero. She chose to make dress C, w/o the bolero.
Fabric Used: She chose a cotton quilting fabric from our local Its-A-Stitch. I tried a “quilting” fabric from JoAnn’s when she was younger for a dress I made…and needless to say, “Never again.” With all the work I personally put into that dress to have it fade, I decided to buy the best quilting cotton, quilters use. From now on I want the dress last through multiple childhood washings.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? This is a really nice rendition of the picture on the pattern, yet, much more casual. I like our version better.. It seems if you use a dressy fabric for her age, then it would not be a “sundress” or play dress and just might be age appropriate.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Of course the reading of the instructions were done by me, she can read some, but these instructions are for Greek majors.. Thus, I circled the easy stuff for her, and she was able to complete “ALL” the straight stitches and even used my Bernina 640 to make the buttonholes on the straps. (One touch buttonholes—“a wonderful invention”) She also cut out the entire dress. I only went back and checked to make sure the cutting was “O.K.” to achieve success and not deter her with being too nit-picky.

She also sewed her hem, the straight sides of the zipper (after I setup the machine and placed the needle) She was able to help mark all the pleats and learned about the importance of marking and pressing.

She was so very proud of her work and so was I. Before we have only used the “Kids Can Sew” program which I used to teach some years ago. This is why she has her own garment labels to adhere to her creations.

Pattern Sizing on envelope: The sizes are listed for children up to a size 16 (34″chest) on the pattern…and are sold in plus sizes as well up to 16 1/2 (36″chest) That is a very generous size range for one pattern, considering the big four usually only give just a few sizes. We cut a size 14. Afterwards, I realized that they are fitted the same as for adults and thus I should have gone down a size and cut the size 12, because it was just too roomy, and showed too much for it to be a sundress… I guess if it was closed up on the shoulders and sleeves then a larger roomier size would work. I had to then remove the excess from the side seam.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: My granddaughter is quite the designer, however, since this was her first time out using a “big girl” pattern, we did not make any changes.

I did make sure to shorten the straps substantially for coverage.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The dress is really nice. I love it. I feel it is about time we get so many nice “girls” patterns for the in-between kids.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would recommend this wholeheartedly and without hesitation we will sew it again. Best way to learn for her is to do another one just the same.

Conclusion: I love teaching my Granddaughter to sew. I think every child should learn to sew, it helps with following instructions, math and reading a ruler…which she knows from sewing.

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

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 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!!!