I recently completed a 4 week class on sewing patterns at Whipstitch in Atlanta. This is the second class I’ve taken there, and I’ve learned so much. Most of what I’ve learned in sewing has been a combination of reading books, blogs, watching you tube videos, and a LOT of trial and error. Going to an actual class has been so helpful, and it really boosted my skills and confidence.
The project for the class was McCall’s 6035, a button front blouse with princess seams and several sleeve and collar options. I chose view C, with 3/4 sleeves and a pointed collar.
Button front shirts and dresses are garments I avoid when I’m buying clothes off the rack. I’ve tried on enough tops with ill fitting sleeves and unfortunate peek a boo gaps, that I’ve written this off as a style that just doesn’t work for me. That idea has carried over into my sewing, and I hadn’t considered making anything with buttons down the front until now.
The great thing about this pattern is that it comes in several bust cup sizes. I learned the pattern cup size may or may not correspond to your actual bra cup size. Since I’m right on the border of 2 different sizes, I found myself debating on cutting the larger pattern size that I have typically used with a smaller cup, or the smaller pattern size with a larger cup. Since shoulder and back fit has been an issue in a few things I’ve made, I opted to go with the smaller size to have a better shot at fitting my shoulders correctly. I had to let it out a bit at the waist, but I am very happy with the shoulder fit, and there are no gaps down the front, so I think I made the right choice.
My sewing teacher suggested we work with cotton for this project. I have been trying to move beyond the quilting cottons, but they just keep luring me back in. I’m a sucker for a cute print. I really wanted to work the pattern and not have to struggle with learning to sew a more difficult material at the same time, so with very little hesitation, I headed to my favorite quilting shop and picked up an adorable deer print from their 1930’s/40’s “feedsack” inspired section. I love these fabrics so much, but I’ve never had an excuse to pick one up until now.
I made this shirt over the course of 4 once a week classes, so it’s a little tricky to say how much time was spent on it. I’m guessing it was probably around 10 hours.
Things I learned:
- How to slip stitch, which is a hand sewing technique. I really do not like hand sewing, in general, and everything I read on slip stitching was just not “clicking” for me. Having it shown to me in real life, then practicing in class made all the difference. It’s really not so bad, and it makes a nice finish to the inside of my collar.
A great way to apply interfacing is to not cut it to fit the pattern piece. Instead, press the interfacing directly to the fabric piece that needs it, and then trim away the excess.
- Pattern notches aren’t random! One notch means the pieces meet at the front of the garment, 2 notches means they meet at the back.
- Buttons and button holes- I got a lot of practice with these, and I learned how to use the button foot for my machine, so I won’t be hand sewing buttons anymore.
- I can totally rock a button down top, so I don’t have to avoid those patterns in the future! I’m already thinking about adding McCall’s 6696 to my stash.