Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Since I planned for several t-shirts (right now the plan stands at 6, with 5 completed) for my bike trip, I have been obsessed with finding interesting t-shirt patterns! McCall 5890 attracted me with the princess seams (great for fitting) and the little cap sleeve for shoulder sun protection.
This is one of those patterns that shows somewhat dowdy examples in the photos, while the line drawings reveal good bones. I was a bit concerned about the width of the neckline in the line drawing, but it is not as wide as drawn--my neckline is out of the envelope.
The envelope actually provides the finished bust measurement!!! I feel like I haven't seen that in a good five years. This is a Nancy Zieman pattern, so I don't know if it is her doing or the fact that there was no room on the envelope for the line drawings. The instructions give you hints for sewing in short bursts of 10, 15, or 20 minutes. I am not good at that sort of sewing but it was interesting to have the various steps clocked out.
I just love princess seams for getting a good fit. I shaved some bust curve off the side front piece as shown in this example (example is not the actual pattern here) and took in the back/side back seams for swayback fitting. I *think* the swayback is actually good, and the wrinkles here are just from the sash and the way I'm standing. It seemed good in the mirror holding another mirror, but it's impossible to see your own back without distorting the garment.
The top uses the same pieces as the the knee-length and calf-length dresses. This is fine for pattern-printing economy purposes but it meant that the top's hem was impossible! The pattern just has cut lines rather than extensions that provide for the hem to be the same width as the area you're sewing it to. This means that the lower edge of the top is much larger in circumference than the area you're trying to sew the lower edge to for a hem.
It really needs a hem facing but of course I was trying to hem this late at night because I just wanted to finish and I didn't feel up to messing with measuring and cutting a hem facing (which of course would have been easier!). So my hem is not great. Next time I will definitely use a hem facing, or shape the lower edge to be straighter.
I am not one to wear solid colors. I love a print. So sewing all these solid color tops was making me itchy. I decided to dress this one up with some black stretch lace, purchased a while back from Sew Sassy. First I serged off the seam allowances from the neckline and armscyes. Then I arranged the lace so that there was a "dip" at center front (though later when I put the top on with a pendant necklace I realized I did not quite get center front, lol--no pendant necklaces with this top!) and the armscyes were symmetrical. I stitched the lace on with two rows of twin-needle stitching, one right along the edge of the neckline/armscyes and one at the edge of the lace. I'm not totally convinced the scallops on the neckline aren't going to wilt and droop. I guess I could starch the lace, but that would be uncomfortable and quickly melt off as I sweat on the bike!
This is a nice t-shirt variation. I love hot pink, though the top may be *too* hot pink to wear as real clothes. It is almost as bright as 80s fluorescent pink, and definitely as bright as 90s neon pink. The shape is flattering and easy to adjust for different figure types, and I really like the shoulder coverage. I don't know that I would make the dress version of the pattern because I don't think it would be flattering to my figure, but if it suits you I think it would be a great travel dress.
The pattern also includes elastic waist pants and an unstructured jacket with a band-like/shawl collar. The pants hold no allure for me, but the jacket could be a nice layering piece.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.