McCall's 7160 - DIY Scuba Knit Dress with Circle Skirt ( And a Confession)

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So, one of my resolutions for 2019 was to be a better blogger. Yes, posting on Instagram does document my makes, but I have fewer opportunities to talk about my experience sewing. Anyway, it’s still 2019 so I guess I can still try. :-)

My confession is that this dress is my first full make of 2019. Yes. August 2019 was the month in which I completed my first garment of the year. This was for a few reasons. First, I moved at the end of last year and did not have a good sewing space until June. Second, I did not have access to my fabrics . Third, I’ve been wanting to focus more on actually improving my sewing skills. Weirdly enough, that third one put me at a standstill.

Then, I was invited to join the Minerva Maker Team and I was re inspired. For some reason, making this dress really broke the seal. While making this dress I got the remainder of my sewing tools from my brother’s house. Then, I opened my boxes of fabric. Finally, I cleared up my sewing space and set-up the peg board.

So that’s the confession and update. Here are photos of the dress! A quick review of the pattern is at the end. A longer post will be up on the Minerva site in the coming weeks!

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Pattern: McCalls 7160

Fabric: Peach Scuba Knit from Minerva

Pros: Great silhouette, easy to put together, not too many pattern pieces

Cons: No finished sizes (because it’s made for a knit) so I had to alter it a bit. I found that it ran a bit large.

Would sew again?: Yes! It’s super cute

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Some of My Favorite Sewing Resources from 2018

2018 isn’t over, but I wanted to go over some of my favorite online sewing resources that I’ve accessed over the past year to build my skills. Next month, I’ll be talking about sewing and wardrobe planning resources.

Pattern Review

I’m not super active on Pattern Review, but I do find it useful for - wait for it - pattern reviews. For some, having to be a member to read full reviews may be a bother, but trust me, it’s worth it. Once you put a pattern name or number into the search, more likely than not you’ll find several knowledgeable reviews on the pattern you’re looking for. I like the consistency of the format and people are good about giving tips and tricks.

Threads Magazine

Okay, so this is a magazine, but it’s website is super helpful too! Threads is great for getting tips on more advanced techniques. I don’t have a membership so that’s prevented me from accessing some of their resources, but I bet they're totally worth it.

For example, over the past year, I’ve been trying to learn more about couture techniques. I’ve gotten more interested in how to use boning and this article in Threads on how to use boning in different types of garments has been incredibly useful.

Bluprint

Bluprint, which is part of Craftsy and used to be called Crafty Unlimited, is a streaming subscription service that gives you access to hundreds classes. While I’ve only watched fashion and sewing related courses, there are also videos on quilting, knitting, cooking, dance, yoga, music, art, photography, and more. Originally, I subscribed so that I could watch a video on sewing with guipuire lace, but because of an offer from Ebates, I signed up for a full year subscription and began to explore other courses. (Full disclaimer: this is a referral link. But in my honest opinion I highly recommend Ebates if you shop online. You’d be surprised at how many websites you can get cash back from. I’ve gotten cashback from Fabric.com, Etsy, and Hello Fresh.)

I keep returning to Couture Dressmaking Techniques and Couture Finishing Techniques classes by Alison Smith. They’re so good! And such great resources for sewing beautiful garments. I used several of her lessons to help me make my strapless peplum top and skirt outfit. Alison Smith has had me hand sewing and putting boning into all types of things. They also have a nifty app so you can set your phone or tablet up right next to your sewing area. If you want to see what I’m talking about, take a look here.

Fashionable Tops From McCall's 2018 Spring/Summer Collection

A few months ago, while browsing Neiman Marcus Last Call's website, I saw some interesting clothing items by a brand called StyleKeepers. I'd never heard about it before, but apparently, it's an Australian fast fashion brand. I was interested, but since I'm not buying any more clothes this year I just looked at the clothing longingly. 

I'm all for pattern companies using what's currently in style to inspire their collections because I'm so over seeing tired looking patterns in tired looking fabric. See e.g. below

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However, I was sort of surprised at how on trend some of these patterns are.  

Let's take a look....

McCall's 7783

McCall's 7783

StyleKeepers Can't Be Tamed Off-The-Shoulder Striped Blouse

StyleKeepers Can't Be Tamed Off-The-Shoulder Striped Blouse

I do know of that Melania Trump inauguration dress dupe by Vogue (Vogue 9266), but I didn't know that it was a thing to have so much of a collection so heavily inspired by a brand.

It's not just that one pattern; there's also this:

McCall's 7752  (I have this pattern and I'm going to make it)

McCall's 7752

(I have this pattern and I'm going to make it)

StyleKeepers Luminous Off-The-Shoulder Blouse

StyleKeepers Luminous Off-The-Shoulder Blouse

And because I mentioned Vogue (which is under McCall's) I'll just throw this in:

Vogue 9316  - Not a dupe, but the inspiration seems obvious to me with the gingham.

Vogue 9316  - Not a dupe, but the inspiration seems obvious to me with the gingham.

StyleKeepers Site

StyleKeepers Site

Moving on from StyleKeepers, but within the trend, we have McCall's 7724 which looks very very much like this top by Monse, which retails for over $1000 (!!!)

McCall's 7724

McCall's 7724

Monse One Shoulder Top

Monse One Shoulder Top

I'm kind of into this deconstructed top thing. And I like that the big pattern companies are aggressively channeling of fashionable clothing.

Unfortunately, a lot of these patterns are for garments that I either can't wear to work, which is where I spend most of my time, or, put a jacket over (which is so necessary in the over air-conditioned south) because of the voluminous sleeves.

Even though I may not want to re-create a lot of looks that I see, I may keep documenting some of the more fashinable patterns out there. 

 

Yes, You Need to Make the Keilo Wrap Dress in a Woven

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I've seen numerous Kielo Wrap dresses and I've wanted to make one for a while. 

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However, since I don't have too many stretch fabrics on hand, I'd avoided it.

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After doing some research I realized that other people had made it in woven fabrics and so I jumped on board!

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I had an extra few yards of a black and white African print fabric, that I stock in my Etsy shop. I didn't realize it at first, but the print would have an awesome effect when the dress came together. 

One thing I did a little differently is use some twill tape to make the ties. I cut the original belt on the grainline and not on the bias and I didn't feel like using more fabric. However, it didn't look as good as using self fabric, so I made a belt that's on top. 

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African print fabrics tend to be best for structured garments, and while this type of fabric does not give the Kielo wrap dress that beautiful delicate feel that many of these dresses have, what it does do is give the dress a sort of edgy feel.

And because of the slit in the back, you won't feel like your legs are bound.

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Looking for where to buy African print fabric by the yard? Check out my Etsy shop HERE or the link in the menu.