Tuesday, February 25, 2014

McCalls 6785 knit top with side ruching

The cowl neck tops from this pattern were such a hit with my daughter that I asked if she wanted another one. Instead, she chose the round neck dress with side ruching/gathering (view D), and made shirt length rather than dress length yet again.

The fabric used was a lightweight jersey - I think some type of rayon blend that is soft but has already started to pill a bit from her wearing it about every three days (like I said, this pattern is a hit!). I will definitely be making at least one more for her in this style I'm sure, but with better quality fabric.

The pattern pieces for the sleeves and front and back are the same ones used previously. But instead of cutting the front and back lengths at 3 1/2" past the lengthen/shorten line, I cut 5 1/2" past that line for more length to be gathered up at the sides. 3/4" was added again to the sleeve lengths.

Because I used a serger for all of the construction, I had to think through how to sew the side seams to be able to insert the ties. The directions advise to sew the front and back together at the sides, then clip the seam allowance 3/8" above the recommended spot. Then the lower part of the seams would be pressed open.  Side channels would be sewn by stitching for several inches 3/8"from the center seam on both sides of the center seam.

I didn't want to cut a serged seam of course.  Instead of serging the front to back at the side seams, I serged the edges of the cut pieces separately. Next, I used the chainstitch to sew the front and back pieces together at the seam allowance and I pressed open the seams allowances. After that, I used the chainstitch (could have used the regular sewing machine but wanted to try out my chainstitch feature and it supposedly has a little more stretch than regular straight stitching) to sew the 4 side channels (a 3/8" row to the left and right of both side seams) where the side ties would be inserted. Then, I sewed from the top (underarm area) down to the bottom of the shirt. *The pattern advised hemming the front and back pieces previously so that was already finished.

After making the ties (a few inches shorter than the pattern advised) very fast on the serger (another new technique I'm in love with, thank you Babylock Evolution workbook!), I inserted them through the side channels up several inches from the bottom hem (I think maybe 6" up - can't remember exactly) and sewed over the tops of them a few times to reinforce that area. *Next time I will actually make longer ties I think and insert them higher up into the shirt.

My daughter hasn't complained or even mentioned it but because I didn't have the ties gather very much of the shirt, it tends to create a baggy look around her bottom and I think the top would be cuter with higher up ruching.

I used the same material for a neckband and then sewed a narrow coverstitch line of stitching along the seamline to hold the neckline flat. 

Don't know how much I can say it, but I adore my Babylock Evolution! I had a Janome CoverPro 1000 before and liked it, but I LOVE the coverstitch capabilities on my Babylock. It breezes through any fabric I've used so far without a bit of trouble. No threads breaking, no tweaking of tensions, no trouble at all. I don't even mind that it's a combination machine that I have to switch between serging and coverstitching because it's fast and the quality makes it worth the extra couple of minutes. I read sewing blogs and like to hear about opinions and thoughts on machines and different models, brands, etc. so I hope no one minds too much if I ramble on sometimes about my machines. :)

And there it is! Another finished top. Made entirely on my serger! (with the small exception of hand sewing the ties closed at their ends). Comfy as a t-shirt but with side details that my daughter loves and makes her feel really cute in. That makes me one happy sewing mama!


Vanessa said...

This is so lovely Leslie!! I can see why your daughter is a fan of it! And I love how professional the neckline looks!

Dorothy DotDot said...

Very cute top and daughter. My granddaughter would love this top!

UrbanRecyclist Micki S said...

That's an adorable top on an adorable girl. I'm jealous that you have girls, and I'm super jealous about your Evolution!

Joy said...

Very pretty!



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