Monday, May 5, 2008

Yet Another McCall 5314 Wrap, With Bonus Origami Trim Tutorial

So I spent the weekend sewing my head off for Paris. I made the Milly knockoff, plus another dress, a blouse, and a skirt and finished a dress that still needed a hem band. I have another top cut out that I should be able to finish, and it would be great if I could also make a little shrug but not sure I'll get to that. So I *have* a mini wardrobe and will be entering the mini-wardrobe contest assuming I can find time to take and edit photos!

With the most recent sewing, my review backlog is up to about eight or nine projects! It's the photos that kill me. I did photos for my silk contest entry, Vogue 2859 (not that I am urging you to vote for me or anything) and for this project so I can at least post it.

Obviously, I love McCall 5314. So when I was looking for a pattern to show off this gorgeous silk-cotton from Paron, a PR Weekend 2007 purchase, this one immediately came to mind. I have to say I'm doing OK using this haul up--7 of the 13 cuts have been used at this point, plus a portion of the batiste so really it's 8. Over half! This project is part of the Two Weeks of Winter Work Tops endeavor (still short a woven blouse even with this one, and the maroon gather neck tee was vomitous and needs to be reviewed as a "Did not work for me").

OK, so pattern chosen, fabric chosen. But how to make this "me"? How to dress up this basic pattern? I loved the trim on the evening coat in BWOF November 2007 #101 and had tucked it away in my memory for reference. This seemed the perfect project to bust out their technique. I also added little puffs at the ends of the sleeves. I really love this top, though it--like so many before it--is Too Special to wear too often or for ordinary occasions. This is the story of my life, or at least of my wardrobe. I finally wore it to work several weeks ago and felt like a princess all day.

To make the trim, first cut strips of fabric. Mine were three inches wide, with a total finished width of the trim at 1 1/4" (1/2 inch seam allowance). Start by making the strips into tubes, turning, and pressing with the seam in the center (rather than on one side).

Mark your pleats on the strips. I allotted 1 3/4 inches for the pleats with 1 inch in between.

Pin up your pleats.

Sew down your pleats. It was useful here to be working with two strips because I could alternate them on the machine without having to pull it out of the machine and cut the thread every time. Trimming those tiny threads that were left was a pain. Clipping threads is definitely one of my least favorite sewing chores. Of course, a bad sewing chore is still better than a good housekeeping chore!

Press your pleats (doesn't matter which direction).

Here comes the time consuming part. At each pleat, fold the corners into arrows. Tack down each side of the arrow with an invisible hand stitch, coming up through the inside of the arrow and back down right outside it. Here's what it looks like on the underside. I took my project to the National Portrait Gallery and sat in the lovely courtyard to do this.

When you determine the length you need, finish the ends and then hand stitch in place on the garment. It creates a really luxe look, and adds panache to an otherwise basic garment (here's a closeup of it applied to a sleeve).

All photos of this and previous versions of the pattern are here.


david santos said...

Excellent post.
Thank you

Adrienne said...

Your top is GORGEOUS!!!

Lindsay T said...

Couldn't you wear the top with jeans, to get some more use out of it? It's really great; hate to see it just hanging in your closet. (I just realized what a mom I sound like: "You spent your babysitting money on that lovely dress that you never wear!"

AllisonC said...

Ok I'm going to stop whining that I will only have 2 weeks for the mini wardrobe contest now. You can sew like grease lightning! The top is fab, you've got great use out of that pattern.

Paula said...

You look fabulous in that top and I, too, think it would look great with jeans. Of course, I think everything looks great with jeans.

I want to see your Milly Lemon knockoff!

Lisette M said...

Your top is very pretty. I just love that origami trim!

Vicki said...

Love this top! But why can't you wear it once every 2 weeks to work? Sure you remember it but it is not on daily rotation. And it is gorgeous!!!

Isabelle said...

Fabulous top, Trena. There's nothing wrong with feeling like a princess at work, is there?
Can't wait to see what you've made for your Paris trip - on your blog, and in person!

(to think I have this McCalls pattern and have never made it... What is wrong with me?)