rifle paper co // mccall’s 7246

m7246_1As is usually the case for me, I’ve been ruminating on a specific woven wrap dress pattern for at least a year – McCall’s 7246 by Melissa Watson – mostly because I wanted to make an iteration of this dress from Reformation. M7246 never seemed quite right, and it took me a while to parse out exactly what I loved about the inspiration dress and the changes I’d have to make to my pattern.

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I did make a muslin last weekend, using a ton of mismatched scraps from past projects, and I sort of wish I took a photo of the dress because it looked like a straight up clown costume. It definitely helped me figure out my game-plan though, and I learned that my usual McCall’s size (10) fit perfectly. The main changes I decided on were adding a ruffle, removing length, and adding some swoosh (technical term) to the skirt; narrowing and lengthening the waist ties; and adding some fullness to the sleeves.

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After making my muslin, I made adjustments to my pattern pieces and then cut into the Wonderland rayon by Rifle Paper Co! Holy hecccckkk, I love this dress.

These are the changes I made to the pattern:

  • scooped out about 1/2″ from each side of the V-neck (and copied this change to the facings)
  • removed 6″ of length from the skirt pieces and redrew the side seams, adding some extra fullness
  • cut two strips, 6″ x WOF, to be used for the ruffle at the bottom
  • sewed the strips together, pressed the ruffle in half (wrong sides together) and then gathered the long strip, fitting it to the same width as the skirt bottom
  • sleeve: removed 4 1/4″ in length, and slashed/spread to add 1/2″ to the bottom width
  • made the waist ties extra narrow

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Here I am being instructed to show off the ruffles:

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I’m really happy with how this dress fits and looks! I think the length is perfect, and all of the details are finished off super neatly. I might experiment with a different way to finish the center front neckline in the future – the facing worked fine, but I had to topstitch them down so they didn’t flip/peek out. Would just serging and turning the edge under 5/8″ be sufficient? I feel like it should be, I’ll probably give it a try next time.

You can kiiiind of tell, but the waist tie goes through a hole in the right side seam before wrapping around your bod. I’ve seen this detail in other patterns, but I’m glad it was included here too.

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And this is what happens when I’m embarrassed and tired of taking photos on the street outside my house!

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Whew! Okay I think that’s it. Let me know if you’ve tried this pattern, or if you have any other woven wrap dresses that you want to try! I gotta go cut out a pair of shorteralls now, bye!

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rifle paper co // butterick 6052

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I’m so happy that I finally used the last of the Rifle Paper Co yardage I bought last summer! (Nevermind that I recently got some more in the mail…dang.)

I was saving this blue rayon for a dress I wanted to wear to a wedding in Hawaii last month. It was hard to motivate myself to sew a strappy, summery dress in the dead of winter, so I ended up waiting until the week before we left for our trip to finally get going. DUH. Self-imposed deadlines right before a trip – story of my life.

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The pattern is one of my favorites – Butterick 6052. I used it for the first time last summer (you can check that out heeere) but I made a couple of adjustments to this version. I removed more length from the straps, an extra 1/2″ bringing it to 1″ total, and used an easy gathered skirt  + pockets on the bottom half.

I think at this point people must be sick of the cold shoulder trend, but I will never not love these sleeves.

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This fabric really is so lovely to sew. It’s a little bit more substantial than other rayon I’ve worked with, but that only makes it even more fluid and drapey. I used a light cotton lawn that I had in my stash for the lining, and it worked perfectly.

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Here are a few photos from the wedding in Hawaii! We were celebrating our friends Aaron and Emily – it was so beautiful and so much fun. There was a passing rain shower during the ceremony (which is why we’re all wet), but it was perfectly sweet and goofy.

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Some of my best friends and a handmade dress! Nothing better than that.

moss skirt + sleeveless button up

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I’ve made a lot of Moss Skirts in my day — the pattern takes about a yard of fabric and sews up really quick. After making my first one a few years ago, I saw how easily it fit into my wardrobe and I ended up making a bunch more. I still wear that first skirt almost weekly, and I have three others in regular rotation.

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When I received my Rifle Paper Co. fabric order last month, I was so excited that I cut into it right away. I had ordered the rayon in two colors, but I kept seeing the canvas pop up online… so I ended up placing another order for some of that. I am usually fairly restrained when it comes to buying fabric (I feel like Dan wouldn’t agree with me about this but he doesn’t KNOOOW the struggle) — I don’t really buy too much in one trip and I tend to give my purchases a lot of thought. That said, I couldn’t resist getting this canvas (I only got one yard!), and I knew the Moss Skirt was the perfect pattern. It would get a lot of wear and it would definitely fit.

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As far as construction details go, I usually sew a size 4 even though my measurements put me in a size 6 — the skirt is designed to sit on your hips, but I like my skirts to sit a bit higher on my waist. I do use smaller seam allowances on the side seams to give myself a lillll’ more room there. All of the seams were serged and topstitched with a pretty olive green thread, and I added belt loops (snagged from the Ginger Jeans pattern). I like to use up leftover scraps for my facings, so here I used some dark chambray that looks really nice next to the floral print.

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Metal zippers are an easy way to make a garment look more professional and they’re not any harder to sew than plastic ones. My fly-front went in really easily — I love how it looks and it feels oddly satisfying to zip.

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I used one of my favorite prints by Rae Ritchie for Dear Stella for the pocket linings. Her collections are printed on a soft cotton shirting that really does work well for garments or quilting — I’ve sewn with it for both!

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I really like mixing pattern in my outfits, so up top I’m wearing my newest McCall’s 7351 sleeveless button up in a navy Japanese gingham. The Archer Button Up is typically my go-to pattern for this sort of thing (I’ve made maybe five for myself), but for a sleeveless version I appreciate the cup sizes in this McCall’s pattern as well as the bust darts. This is actually a dress pattern but it’s easy to modify into a sleeveless shirt. You can see another one I made in this post — all of the construction details are the same. Except I did remember to bump my square shoulder adjustment up to 1/2″ for this, wahoo!

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I must say, I’m pleased as punch with the plaid matching on this guy. These button bands are separate pattern pieces so I made extra-sure they not only matched across the shirt, but also that they maintained the gingham pattern.

Yup, another photo of the gingham-matching.

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I had some fun with the hidden details. I used a Robert Kaufman lawn, left over from a dress I made last year, for the inner yoke. I freakin’ love mustard/gold and navy together.

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And for the under collar I used some Liberty scraps left over from a dress I made earlier this summer. These details make me so happy.

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Okay that’s it! I’ve got some fancier sewing up next for ya.

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rifle paper co pants + sleeveless button up

Here we go – it’s BLOG time! It’s been a long time coming, but now that I’m no longer blogging as part of my job it feels like the right time to do this thing. I’m Jessie – I super recently moved to Philly from Brooklyn. I started sewing four years ago while I was working at a fabric company in Soho and it has since become a huge part of my life. I try to get a little bit (or a lot) of sewing in every day and I have about one million things on my ever-growing “to make” list. Also Hayden can’t do anything (for example, start a blog) without me copying eventually. Okay, cool!

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I diiiid preorder some of the new Rifle Paper Co fabric a couple months ago (though I’ve never done that before) and when it arrived I’m really happy to say that I cut right into it! Our new place has a washer/dryer – after living in tiny apartments in BK for 4 1/2 years I do consider this LIVING THE DREAM – so straight into the laundry it went. I think this helped propel my urge to get started on a project right away, rather than waiting on a visit to the laundromat (which was never quite frequent enough). But I DIGRESS.

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I bought this navy rayon (navy? not really sure that this is a true navy), the periwinkle rayon, and one of the canvas prints (which I’ve sewn up already, more on that soon!).

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I made a pair of woven Hudson Pants by True Bias. I’ve made two other pairs, both of which were also woven. I mostly followed her tutorial for converting the pattern to use with wovens (it’s made for knits), but I do love the look of the pants with a cuff so I kept them. I did the same as this blog post mentions – I made my own cuff piece that was the same width as the waistband and the length of the leg opening.

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The first time I made these pants I went up two sizes, which was too big, so for my next two pairs I only went up one size and sewed with slightly smaller seam allowances. I also removed 1/2″ from the bottom of the legs on these and the fit is now perfect. I topstitched the waistband and cuffs – I like the look and also it keeps the elastic in place. As far as fabric goes, this rayon is really, really nice. It’s drapey and it feels substantial.

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On top I’m wearing a recently-made McCall’s 7351 (modified into a shirt). This has become my ultimate sleeveless button up pattern – I love the bust darts and cup size options, as well as the separate button bands and collar size. I’ve also figured out the correct spacing for my buttons/buttonholes. Really cluuutch, I’m so pleased! Back when I made my first button up I used this tutorial for inserting the collar, and it’s still my favorite method.

I got this fabric years ago from my favorite now-defunct fabric shop in NYC, PS Fabrics. It’s an oxford shirting I found on the remnants rack. So sad that store is gone. I really love choosing a fun print for the inner yoke of button up shirts, it’s one of my favorite details for sure. For this one I used Constellations from Moon Garden, a new collection by Rae Ritchie for Dear Stella. If you haven’t checked out her fabric collections or artwork, you should – she’s amazing.

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I think I shaved off about 1/2″ off the shoulders and did a 3/8″ square shoulder adjustment, which I just recently realized I needed! I was noticing drag lines from my bust to my shoulders and I’m so glad I figured out what was going on there. If I’m picky, I could stand to bump it up to a 1/2″… but we’ll see if I remember to do this next time.

I definitely like the way these pants look with a more neutral top, but the day I finished sewing them I was wearing my favorite polka dot Scout Tee and I am also diggin’ that slightly-crazy pattern mixing look.

Hmm I think that’s it as far as sewing notes. I have been really into the woven ‘joggers’ look for a few months now so I’m happy I’m able to experiment and make a few pairs that feel like me. I’m not one for sewing up ~*trendy*~ garments, so I’m hoping this is something I’ll still be liking next year and on.

Thanks for reading my first blog post (!!) and I’ll be back soon with some more sewing.