Sunday, April 14, 2013

McCalls 6520 Update;identifying flattering styles or NOT

I finished this dress too. I made it out of a jungle print gauze. I think that it will make a great bathing suit coverup.  The pattern described this as a close fitting top NOT. It is very loose. I did add length to the top front of each side above the waist. I felt that this would accommodate my full bust, and it did the trick. The built in waistline draw string is fairly close to my natural waist. I also shortened the whole dress length by about 2 inches and it came out fine. It has a shirttail hemline so I didn't worry if that came above my knee at the sides the hemline front is below the knee.
  This style on my body type is too wide in the
The view on the middle bottom picture is the one I made.
shoulder and arm-hole area. I think that the raglan sleeve softens the shoulder but there is too much width at the sleeve. 

I like to sew but have trouble selecting styles that will flatter my body shape. I get tired of always making the same style so I experiment. This is not a style that I will make again. I need less volume across the bustline/shoulder area. The next pattern I am looking at is
view B emphasis in the bottom half of the dress
I have a stable royal blue knit that will work well for this pattern and could use some black or brown or green or something else for the pockets. I hope color blocking will still be in for this coming fall. 

Another potential project is 
View A in a lightweight linen
This one has pin-tucking that you do with twin needle sewing something fun to do. This tunic has narrow sleeves and the pin- tucking will give it a vertical interest in the shoulder chest area.

Do my fellow sewist have these issues not being able to identify styles that will be flattering before they actually sew?


  1. hmmm, I hadn't thought about it before. I guess I try to choose things I know I would wear - like nothing with a waist or fitted. And then I tweak it to death if it doesn't look good. So I think I pretty much know what I would get to begin with. With refashioning, I play around until something happens that works. Or even with clothes I already have that aren't quite happening, I just layer in different things in different ways until I like it. But it can be difficult to choose when everything is pictured on stick thin young things! Thanks for visiting Project Minima.

    1. Yes the models that have perfect figures aren't likely representations of how the fashions will look on most people so true.

  2. Stupid me! I've finally figured out how to flip your frames around! Duh.
    Nice to meet you!
    We have similar figures, and I have never thought a raglan sleeve was particularly flattering for me... have you considered replacing the sleeve with another softer fabric, perhaps a dark matching solid in jersey-like fabric, and narrowing and lengthening the sleeve so it will fall from the shoulder?
    Just a thought ... but I sure like the fabric colors on you!
    Good luck on your next project. I like the idea of the color block on you!

    1. I think you have given me some food for thought. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my blog.

  3. Oooh, great post! I was just talking with a friend about the complexities of choosing a pattern to sew a garment. When you try a finished dress on, you can quickly say yay or nay. With sewing something, it's a whole different beast. I have some gingham on hand that I want to sew a dress with, but I really want to love it when it's done. I am very, very carefully looking at the design features of various patterns before making my decision. In the past, I was very much like you, reusing a pattern over and over because it worked. With different fabric, colours, etc., that works...but even that can get a little boring. Nice to meet you!

    1. This is so true.I can make a sewing project way more complicated than it needs to be but if I am successful in the planning stages I usually am way more happy with the outcome. Let's face it custom tailored clothing is always going to look better than off the rack. It is a challenge to make the best looking item I can and that ends up increasing the satisfaction factor with the end result if I succeed. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hello Adrienne! oh boy, this has always been one of the trickiest but most important parts of sewing IMHO!! I've found that you just need to learn, but there's lots of ways to do so. First, check out whatever you have that looks good on you, RTW or custom. Pay attention to the interaction of pattern and fabric - with our IT figures a drapey fabric will work much more easily with most styles, a stiffer fabric will need much more tailoring in order to be flattering.

    Check out women with similar figures and see what works on them. Shams has a great IT figure, 'uber-busty' as she calls it. She's sewn vast hordes of clothing so we can all drool over her wardrobe :) and learn from her choices. She also has a wonderful page full of sewing advice and techniques here:

    dang, i've been sewing for decades and i learned a lot from her! Vogue patterns has figure recommendations for every pattern - they have little triangles, rectangles, etc. on each pattern info page. i love this Sandra Betzina duster - you can see it's rec'd for all figure types:

    interestingly, on the 'figure flattery info' page Vogue says that choosing the best pattern for your figure can eliminate the need for many alterations. i don't know about that , but i have found that if i pick patterns i know will look good on me 90% of the time alterations aren't a big deal. Again, go with the rec'd fabrics - added bulk in weird areas is just going to look weird, unfortunately :)

    i'd also poke around in the pattern review site. As far as i can tell, i don't think they have a standard search by figure type - i have no idea why not. There's a huge amount of incredibly useful info there, but that site is h311 to navigate!

    well, the reason i originally came on over to your site today was because there's a great thread on Alabama Chanin style sewing over at the Stitcher's Guild forum here:

    of course i thought of you because of the interest you'd shown over at me blog, so i wanted to let you know - lots of resources and ladies sewing up a storm!!

    Happy Weekend Adrienne! steph

    1. Thanks Steph for stopping by. I love your helpful suggestions and I will definitely check them out. I feel the same way about sewing pattern review.. I will check in at artisan square as well love the stuff people post there.
      My next sewing project is a fabric hat for my dog and own for myself. That wont have any fitting issues and will be a fun project. Ill post pictures when I am done with that.