• Dresses

    Starry night McCall’s 8090 hack

    Happy 2022 everyone! I’m kicking off the year by sharing a dress I actually finished last August. It’s a little ridiculous how long things wait before I photograph them properly. When I shared a sneak peek on Instagram it was very popular so hopefully you still like it now it’s finished. I’m pretty taken with it, except for one thing which I’ll cover in a moment.

    Almond rock makes McCall's 8090 black star print tiered dress in Rainbow Fabrics ecovera viscose crepe

    I used the Marina Dress from McCall’s aka M8090 which is available in sizes 4-22 (46″ hip). This dress came with Love Sewing 95 where is how I recommend you buying it as it’s £9.99 for three sewing patterns. As per my previous version I adapted the bodice and skirt panel lengths. Marina is drop waist so I took 9cm off the bodice and added it to the top skirt panels. Next I removed the square yoke by folding out the gathering at the centre front and taping the yoke piece directly on top of the bodice piece. Here’s what that looked like.

    Almond Rock shows a pattern hack to remove the yoke from McCall's M8090 sewing pattern

    On my previous version I also adapted the sleeve into a raglan but I decided to keep the standard rounded sleeve for this dress. As I made the dress in August, I went for a sleeveless finish but honestly regretted it. That’s the major thing I referred to at the start of this post. And there is a sleeveless view for the pattern but I think a smaller armhole would be more flattering on me if going sleeveless. I have enough fabric left over to cut some sleeves so will add a 3/4 sleeve with an elastic cuff. 

    Almond rock makes McCall's 8090 black star print tiered dress in Rainbow Fabrics ecovera viscose crepe

    Another thing that didn’t go quite to plan is the neckline where I decided to omit the collar stand. I wanted a nice flat open neckline which I got by drafting a neckline facing on the inside, instead. It’s not enough to support the placket opening even with an interfaced placket, so the fabric sags. Not unwearable but not as smart and neat as the original pattern. While I’m going to add sleeves, I’m not going to add a collar retrospectively. 

    Almond rock shows the back of her McCall's 8090 black star print tiered dress in Rainbow Fabrics ecovera viscose crepe

    Fit wise I didn’t change anything from my first version which was size S (8-10). The waistline droop I mentioned in my previous post turned out to be caused by my raglan sleeve alterations so I still need to curve the waist cutting line on those pattern pieces but not the regular sleeve version.

    Almond rock shows the skirt of her McCall's 8090 black star print tiered dress in Rainbow Fabrics ecovera viscose crepeLet’s talk about this stunning fabric! It’s an ecovera viscose crepe from Rainbow Fabrics. It’s definitely a bubbly crepe weave but has the shine of a crepe de chine. It’s gorgeous with the perfect drape and opacity! It’s a deadstock fabric from the brand Nobody’s Child and they seem to get fabric from them quite regularly so I always keep my eyes peeled for more of this type. 

    Almond Rock wants to make the Nobody's child lemon print dress using McCall's 7974

    For instance McCall’s 7974 would be perfect for this dress if I can get the Nobody’s Child lemon fabric!


  • Other stuff

    Three reasons to smile this week…..

    It’s been a looooong week. Feels like a month! I’ve been so busy at work that I’ve been getting home late and sleepy most days. And then being all run down lead to another cold! Very unfair if you ask me.

    There have been some highlights though….

    Easy as ett, två, tre…. (1, 2, 3…)

    High on the list is getting some awesome fabric from Ikea courtesy of my little bro (aka little fro due to his awesomely big hair).

    Leeds wasn’t stocking it but WAHEY Manchester was!!

    And I love how bargainous the cotton is. Very good prices for quirky prints and hard-wearing.

    Not sure what to make with it. I’m going to hold onto it until the perfect project comes along. I saw on one blog a girl planned to use her metre of this fabric to line a Minora jacket.

    “I thought she was the most gorgeous creature I ever met. . . . She was so entirely unaffected, completely without vanity.”

    Secondly, I’ve just finished reading High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly. I was watching the Monaco Grand-Prix with Jimi and realised I’d love to learn more about Grace Kelly’s life. I have a lot of old Hollywood movie star biographies on my shelves so picked this one up off eBay for a surprising £1.25.

    I read it in only FOUR days! Gosh it was good. She was so lovely and had amazing patience and decorum. She always tried to bite her tongue and not let anger or frustration take over.

    Her life wasn’t the fairy tale everyone imagined it was and she struggled having to give up acting and move so far away when she became a princess.

    Spato is a little bit too eager to flaunt how Grace loved him and wanted him to tell her story. But I can sort of believe him as he treats her with lots of respect even when handling the more unseemly parts of her life. He’s reverent of her memory but still tells what seems to be the truth.

    CoLette not CoLLette silly.

    Also making me happy this week is finally getting The Colette Sewing Handbook.

    (I always have to fight the urge to put two Ls in Colette!)

    I know I’m like the last person to buy this book. I feel like I’ll be in a better position now as I can look at everyone’s blogs for help on the patterns and sizing.

    I’m super eager to try the scallops though I doubt my skirt will look like the one in the book.

    Reading the part about patience and inner calm in sewing struck a chord with me. I’m always desperate to finish and rush things.

    I’m going to try taking things slower, having a plan and hopefully ending up with finished garments I love and will last.

    That’s all for now. I need sleep and I’ve spent the past few hours finishing a muslin for a new dress and pinning and cutting the real fabric. I’m seeing stars!! No, really, it’s the green star print fabric I bought ho ho ho.

  • Other stuff

    MMM12: Days 4 and 5. WASABI!!!

    Long weekend woooo!

    I wore my polka dot top to work Friday made from Butterick 5644 with a self drafted peter pan collar. I had a very productive day. No one was really in the office so no one really noticed/cared I was wearing my top. I was pleased with myself at least. Straight after work I met up with old work friends for a drink. Always dangerous on an empty stomach but awesome fun to catch up with everyone.

    Yesterday I didn’t really do as much sewing as I’d have liked. I bought bucket loads of fabric though! I have FINALLY found nice lace. All of Yorkshire seemed to have a nice lace  shortage, apart from Sam Taylors who have gorgeous but COSTLY lace. Last week I bought some online from Hertfordshire and was rather impressed with it when it arrived. But then, wandering round the market yesterday I found gorgeous red and mint coloured lace at a bargainous price of £2.85 a metre! God bless you Jack’s Fabrics.

    And then I bought lots of lining fabric from Jack’s from their clearance shed. It’s not really a shed but a walk in cupboard area which is definitely hit and miss but when you find a hit, it’s usually amazing. The best thing about the shed is that everything is about £1 or £1.50 a metre. Jersey, cottons, georgette/chiffon, and occasionally some awesome printed polyester turns up in there! I usually have to tear myself away. It’s great for making a wearable muslin and real projects. And if you’ve read Tilly’s post on the cost of making clothing, Jack’s helps me keep costs down.

    So if that wasn’t enough I then opened my exciting new package. My baby overlocker!! Isn’t it sweet!? A Singer too. It was a little fiddly to thread but not half as bad as I thought it would be. I made my chain thread but have yet to practice on any fabric and set the tension. That’s my main plan for this afternoon.

    Finally I should mention my MMM item for yesterday. I wore this star print top made from New Look 6962. Jimi and I have been dating for 23 months and 3 weeks so we celebrated our almost anniversary by going out for Teppanyaki!

    Wasabi Teppanyaki at Granary Wharf is so much fun. I recommend it to everyone. They cook everything in front of you on a giant hot plate and the set menus give you a great variety of things to try. Japanese salad is delicious, hot miso soup, vegetable tempura, then I had aubergine, courgette, mange tout, tomatoes and onions in garlic and teriyaki sauce with egg fried rice. Yum. And there is obligatory shouting of “WASABI!!!”  throughout dinner.

    Now you may ask why not wait an  extra week to celebrate?! Well it is because Jimi is doing a half marathon next weekend. This means he can’t have a deliciously indulgent and giant dinner the night before the race and he may be too physically ruined to get off the sofa the day after. If it turns out he’s bouncing all over and fit as a fiddle  the day after I’ll drag him out again.