Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Ghost With The Most.

What do we got 'ere tonight, kids?

I'm on a roll, my fiends, sewing like tomorrow the bells will toll. Better yet, all these projects are made using fabric from the stash, and not just any stash... the good stash. The stash I didn't think I would ever cut into. So bold, so ambitious... so freaking scary.

I would be remiss if I didn't say I have (had?) ulterior motives to getting back into sewing so voraciously. Contests; contests are very good motivators. McCall's Pattern Company has such a contest of interest, for the construction of M7542.

The prizes are $100 gift certificate to Vogue Fabrics plus a 1 year sub to their fabric catalog, and $100 worth of McCall's patterns. I was so excited for those prizes, but the ironic thing was this was a pattern I actually passed on during a pattern haul (doh!).

Luckily I have have a really awesome friend here in San Antone who didn't mind buying the pattern after telling him I've been having withdrawals and wished I didn't pass it up so I could participate; I haven't bought fabric in a few months, partly because we have been heavily cutting down on the outgoing cashflow, but mostly because I made a very substantial bet with my significant other that if I managed to make it to October without purchasing fabric, I would get a "within reason" fabric/hallowe'en shopping spree in return.

Anyway, so I found this rayon challis at Walmart, and in a black and white stripe print some odd years ago now when I lived in Arizona (?)-- such an odd almost out of place good quality too that I ended up buying the rest of the bolt at the time. When I find fabric this good, I tend to get very greedy and buy entire bolts; bad for the wallet, but hella satisfying.

There isn't much to say about the actual pattern itself. I cut out a 12 and extended the back opening about an 1 1/2" down from the original ending point-- partly because I couldn't get my head through in the mock up, and partly to have a subtle skin reveal as I moved. Other than that, it fit as it should-- not too tight, not too loosely. It's semi-loose fitting with bust and shoulder darts for the tiniest bit of form fit. There was an excess of ease on the upper sleeve pattern piece, but nothing you can't just chop off after you've set it in with a baste stitch; I know, I'm a filthy savage.

The hook and eye is meh, it catches my knotty hair every time I take it on and off.
I would've added a loop closure with a fancy button if I didn't mess up that plan by serging the facing on before sammiching a loop between that and the outer fabric.
The hemline sits a touch higher than what's typical, ending right at the high hip point-- I didn't know I would like this cut as much I as do, it's flirtatious!

Sample dress #1, WIP
I used an applique bib that initially I was going to use in a dress I was designing around a dual sided lace fabric that was purchased for me from the same friend. There's a little regret in doing so, the material and the bib went so well together but when I get to designing without a clue as to what I want... I didn't know if it would ever see a use... individually, they are quite pretty.

There is one good thing that came from my indecisiveness, I mean, other than using it in this top... I started drawing croquis again . So there's that. This hasn't been a usual practice for me for the past 4 to 5 years, mostly because I now sew and design as lark rather than as a meticulous planned endeavor. Keeps things fresh and satisfying, I lose steam as quickly as I gain it anymore these days... but it feels good to be going back to my roots.

Back to the blouse, the bib didn't seem like enough and I struggled with the idea of adding more embellishments to, well... an embellishment. I landed on the idea of spikes, however, this being a rayon challis and a mesh bib, it would not stand the weight of conventional metal spikes or studs; it would sag rather unflatteringly. I remembered Hobby Lobby had some acrylic sew-on spikes with a chrome finish that turned out to be perfect.

A little dab of well placed fabric glue on the bottom of each spike and placed in their appropriate spots ensured I would get the perfect sew-down every time.

A beetle pendant makes my 'Beetlejuice chic' work properly.
I alternated the way I cut the upper and lower sleeve portions, because it can't be Beetlejuice inspired if the stripes weren't horizontal on the sleeves... but the pleats I don't think would have had the impact they do if I continued the horizontal pattern.
I guess it is worth noting that the sleeves are the hardest part of this blouse. I don't like how they have you close up the upper portion and hopefully you've accurately transferred your markings that you may or may not have drawn on the wrong side of the material; if like me, you did the latter, you might run into a little hitch because those pieces are meant to fold up and close as a kind of self-lining feature, I guess.

Because I didn't want to mess with reopening the lower portion and potentially marring such a large piece of rayon in the process, I just picked out the small seams of the upper sleeve portion and marked out the seam allowance so I could pleat along the flat length and hope for the best haha! It took a couple tries, pinning and unpinning, but inevitably I persisted into a successful even fit.

With the temps getting warmer and warmer now, I feel great that I have a top to head on the incoming weather. My latest wardrobe purge left me without many good summery tops as I've come to realize; thankfully I sew and have no shortage of things to sew... as I haven't been much in the mood for clothing shopping in a while now.

I actually think I will attempt to sew another one of these, in a different style of sleeve offered-- I'm just in love with this pattern. I fail to understand why I nearly passed on this pattern; don't be like me in this regard, my spooky friends. Get the pattern, you'll love it too!

Spooky you later, fiends! 


  1. Wow, I am in awe in of that blouse it look like a beautiful shape. The rayon seem s suit that semi fitted style. For some reason I've seen a very simular pattern I've seen in Prima Magazine (UK MAG). I am debating whether purchase. That semi fitted style growing on me. You look amazing and finger cross you win.

    1. I too have seen the patterns offered by Prima! They are very similar, yes.
      You should purchase it, I don't know much about Prima but I can't imagine their blouse being more difficult than McCall's... even for a magazine.
      It's a great look; great for summer, great really all around. =D

    2. Cool, I wasn't sure if Americans got Prima or maybe there is an American version. I don't purchase it religiously, just when they have sewing pattern I like on offer.

  2. Great work! And may I say you're a lot prettier than Beetlejuice!

  3. Stripey shirt! Stripey shirt! Stripey shirt! ;)
    I love it!

  4. Wow, that top is stunning! ^^ You are so talented! I wish I had the patience to sew my own clothes, but every time I've tried it always ends with a half-finished project lying around in one of my drawers. =P


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