Completed: McCall’s 6952, Peru-Style!

14 Jul

I’m so happy that I finally got to use this fabric!

McCall's 6952

This piece of lovely came aaaall the way from Peru, when I was there for 2 weeks last year. Coming into the country with only a backpack meant I had to be really careful about what I bought and brought home (I did end up buying a small bag to carry some stuff back. And I wore my new alpaca blanket like a cape for the flight home. NO REGRETS), including fabric. Not that there were a lot of places to buy fabric in Peru, at least not what I came across. Gamarra is a big garment district that did come up in my searches, but everyone I spoke to said it would be really dangerous for me to go. Our host in Lima took me to a small strip of fabric stores during our last few days there – sorry, I’m not sure where it was exactly or what the stores were called! Anyway, I knew I could really only justify buying one piece, and this one definitely jumped out at me.

Even just buying the fabric was an adventure. The store we went into didn’t have any people working who spoke English, and my Spanish is mostly limited to being able to say hello and ask where the bathroom is πŸ™‚ (and our host didn’t speak English either! She was seriously a trooper and treated us to such a nice time, even with the language barrier) I eventually was able to ask for, find, and buy 1.5m of this fabric. It’s a double georgette, some sort of silk blend (definitely with some acrylic, based on my burn test). I thought the print was really pretty and certainly have never seen anything like it at the stores here in America! Plus, it reminds me of all the beautiful tiles I saw while walking around Iquitos. It’s a lovely piece of fabric and a perfect reminder of my time in Peru. With all that at stake, though, it did take me over a year to figure out what to sew it into πŸ™‚ Especially since I had such a small piece!

McCall's 6952

McCall's 6952

I have enjoyed wearing my green silk version of McCall’s 6952, so I decided to use that pattern again for this dress! This time, I made the version with the plain neckline and back cutout, to mimic the geometric pattern on the fabric. I used blue silk crepe from my stash to do the back contrast (the same fabric I used to make this dress, actually); it’s not a perfect match but it’s close enough!

McCall's 6952

Cutting the pattern pieces was a BEAST. After I’d already had my heart set on using *this* pattern with *this* fabric, and after I’d already cut a couple of pieces… I realized there was a very strong line in the print that would need to be matched. Since the pattern has Princess seams – both front and back – that meant a lot of pattern Tetris to get everything to line up. I ended up cutting everything on the single layer, which is a really good way to squeeze out every last drop of your yardage. Even with that, I still couldn’t get all the lines to match up across every seam – specifically, when it came to the side seams, decisions had to be made. I figured the princess seams were more important than the side seams, so I let those go a little haywire. Honestly, I doubt anyone would even notice that the print doesn’t match across the side seams – but I wanted to do it right, even if I’m the only person who sees it. That’s why I sew. I like the challenge, even if it makes my eyes cross and gives me a reason to drink at the end of the night πŸ™‚

McCall's 6952

McCall's 6952

Speaking of challenges, the construction of this dress had it’s fair share of those, too! Since I already went the extra mile with the cutting and print-matching, I continued that trend and gave the inside of the dress the respect it deserved. Lots of French seams all over the inside of this garment, which are both strong and beautiful. Since the fabric had a fairly high synthetic content, it was a little difficult to press – I just used high heat (my iron has a silicone shoe, which acts as a press cloth and prevents scorching on stuff liek this) and then held everything down with my clapper while it cooled, which gave me a nice sharp press. Instead of using the facing pieces to finish the arm holes and neckline, I used bias facing that I made with the silk crepe, which I just find to be a more refined finish (plus, I wasn’t sure how to finish that facing edge without there being a lump across my chest – the fabric frays too much to use pinking shears, and a serged or turned under edge would be too bulky for this lightweight fabric).

McCall's 6952

I wasn’t sure how the back cutout was gonna work – I didn’t do a muslin (unless you count that green silk version – but it had a plain back, so it was only a half-assed muslin ya know), so things were pretty up in the air as far as whether this would work out or if it would be a gaping mess in the back. (My tip is to always have a Plan B should things not work out – in my case, uhhh, this would make a fabulous skirt! haha!) It actually turned out pretty nice, though, so I’m happy about that! The back piece is interfaced to give it some strength and smoothness, and also faced so the inside is clean and pretty. I think random cutouts are starting to not be trendy anymore, but I don’t care. I think it’s fun. LOOK AT MY BACK U GUYS.

McCall's 6952

McCall's 6952

The other change I made was the elastic at the waist. The pattern calls for 1/4″ elastic, applied in a casing. I like the 1/4″ elastic ok, but it doesn’t allow for a belt to sit very well over it (and I am not a huge fan of how narrow elastic waists look, at least on me). I used a 3/4″ elastic on this dress instead, which meant I had to widen the casing that it goes in (not a problem; it’s just bias strips. Which, again, I made myself – out of that blue silk crepe), but that’s about it. I also topstitched right through the middle of the elastic, which keeps it from twisting around and also just looks cool. I am thinking the waistline could be a hair lower, but this is good enough. I ain’t ripping that shit out!

McCall's 6952

McCall's 6952

McCall's 6952

Anyway, that’s all for this little dress! It’s pretty casual, which I love, and the pattern is simple enough that all the focus is really on that awesome fabric (until you see the back cutout and then it’s extra awesome!). I try not to hoard my special fabrics any longer than it takes to decide on a project for them, simply because them sitting on the shelf doesn’t exactly give me a lot of joy. There is, however, joy in wearing said fabric. Every time I wear this dress, I think about those awesome 2 weeks I had in Peru.

McCall's 6952


36 Responses to “Completed: McCall’s 6952, Peru-Style!”

  1. carlalissa July 14, 2016 at 10:23 am #

    Love the dress and we need to plan a trip to Gamarra together πŸ˜‰ soon!!!

    • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2016 at 10:34 am #

      FOR REAL! You know I would love that! I want to go back soo bad β™₯

  2. vintagethrifter51 July 14, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Love the dress. That will be an amazing souvenir of your travels. The colour is beautiful and I love the solid accent on the back. Beautiful!! You always make such gorgeous things. Cheers, Michele

    • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2016 at 10:34 am #

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

      • vintagethrifter51 July 14, 2016 at 10:45 am #

        You are so welcome. Your creations deserve to be admired. Cheers, Michele

  3. shesewsswell July 14, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    People gonna stop you on the street and say “Sister, where’d you get that FABULOUS dress??” I hope you do a twirl and say, “I made it myself.” That dress is AWESOME! Great idea to make mementos of your travels. Have a beautiful day!

    • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2016 at 11:40 am #

      Haha it actually already happened once! You know it’s a winner when you get a compliment the first time you wear it out. And YES a twirl totally happened!

  4. Hélène Martin July 14, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    Gorgeous fabric and you really picked a great pattern to show it off. Random cutouts are awesome and I’m pretty sure they transcend trends. πŸ‘Œ

    • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2016 at 11:40 am #

      I don’t follow trends anyway (I mean, I will pick up on them if they interest me, but I don’t drop them once they go out of style) so I guess it really doesn’t matter! Yay for random cutouts πŸ˜€

  5. Staci July 14, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    Gurrrrlll…that print is amazing and I can’t imagine it being paired with any other pattern. Definitely a win, win! So very beautiful. And can we talk about your french seams? Holy Sh*t!! I had to look twice to figure out I was seeing the inside of the dress. You are THE QUEEN of french seaming. Such an incredible make πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2016 at 11:42 am #

      Haha yeah, French seams make everything beautiful! They are double the work, but 100% worth the effort as far as I’m concerned – especially on a nice floaty silk.

  6. vogueandunicorns July 14, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    Wow it’s so pretty! I’m having some serious fabric envy right now. When I scrolled past the shots of the inside, I had to stop and stare. So. Pretty. Ahhh!!! Great job, Lauren! Your pattern-matching was so worth it. I’m a young sewing blogger, and I’d love your feedback! πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD July 14, 2016 at 11:43 am #

      Thank you so much! And I know I owe you an email – I promise I will write you back! I’m not ignoring you, I’m just really bad at replying to emails promptly haha πŸ™‚ β™₯

  7. vogueandunicorns July 14, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

    You’re welcome! And haha, no worries! You’re the best sewing blogger out there. πŸ™‚

  8. girlintheflammableskirt July 14, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    Turned out amazing! And this story reminds me that I need to increase my basic Spanish vocabulary to include fabric buying before I travel this year ;-P

    • LLADYBIRD July 15, 2016 at 8:17 am #

      Yes, that is definitely a priority before you travel! πŸ™‚

  9. Beth July 14, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    Wow — this is absolutely one of the most beautiful fabrics I’ve ever seen, Lauren. What a treasure! And I laughed out loud when I got to the part about “Plan B.” That’s sorta like when knitting goes south (so to speak) — one can always use more dish cloths, yes? πŸ˜‰ This is a dress of true gorgeousness and I hope you have many happy times wearing it!

    • LLADYBIRD July 15, 2016 at 8:18 am #

      Basically! I think it’s always important to have a Plan B, makes things a little less painful when you realize you don goofed it up! πŸ™‚ and thank you!

  10. esewing July 14, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    Fab souvenir of your trip – so worth that twirl – big fan of French seams – this dress will last as long as your memoirs of Peru !

  11. esewing July 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    Or even memories !

  12. liz-o-matic July 14, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    Based on the second-to-last picture, I would say your dress is TOTALLY reversible!! πŸ˜€

    • LLADYBIRD July 15, 2016 at 8:19 am #

      It could be, if we pretended like the French seams were a design feature. Although I *have* seen darts sewn to the outside, so…. you’re probably right!

  13. Aless July 15, 2016 at 1:25 am #

    I’m patient, but you are definitely much more patient than ME!!!! This dress is totally gorgeous-well done!!

    • LLADYBIRD July 15, 2016 at 8:20 am #

      Thank you! Good fabric is worth the wait πŸ˜€

  14. Lynsey July 15, 2016 at 1:44 am #

    You definitely did your special fabric justice, the cut out looks cool and the elastic tip is perfect timing.

    • LLADYBIRD July 15, 2016 at 8:20 am #

      Thank you! I’m very happy with how it turned out πŸ™‚

  15. Carolyn July 15, 2016 at 8:44 am #

    What a great souvenir! It’s a lovely dress which has wonderful memories associated with it always!

  16. Akram Taghavi-Burris July 15, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    The dress looks fabulous on you! That color is lovely, very nice job.

  17. Aubrey July 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    Wonderful fabric!!! And it will always remind you of your journey to Peru.

  18. Naomi July 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

    So exciting, we are going to Peru in December and fabric is just the best souvenir! Love your choice of fabric, and cute dress.

  19. bimbleandpimblea July 18, 2016 at 5:32 am #

    This was worth the work – it looks great and a tops Peru souvenir. Husband and I did the trek into Gamarra and into the markets (by bus and walking – oops!) and it was intense. Ended up with four pieces of Pima cotton but we moved on pretty quickly!

  20. redflaminghair July 19, 2016 at 7:09 am #

    Wow, your print-matching is amazing! And I know exactly what you feel – like you are the only one who notices but still bugs you, I guess it’s just the eye of the creator πŸ™‚

  21. Joanne July 20, 2016 at 12:23 am #

    I love it! And who cares what’s trendy. If you look and feel good in it, that’s the most important.

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