Sunday, July 10, 2011

Striped knit top with ruched sides - thoughts on McCall's 6356

A knit top is almost done - McCall's 6356 - view B sewn from a soft striped cotton/poly jersey knit.

A few thoughts on the pattern.

The sides of the top are insanely long before being ruched.  Just look at the length of this back pattern piece.

See? Before the elastic is sewn to the side seams the top is long enough to be worn as a dress - or tunic if you're not too sure about baring that much leg.

The pattern instructions tell you to sew the side seams in a double stitched seam. No problem, that's what I did.  Using a very narrow zig-zag stitch (0.5 mm width, 3.0 mm length) to give the seam some room to stretch.

Don't add the elastic per the instructions - which are to sew through the center of the elastic stretching as you sew.  Well, you can do this if you want to, but I tried it on this top, but discovered that a small casing produces a nicer look. And it's easier to do.

Now the elastic alone won't create those side gathers on its own. As you can see it's still more tunic length.

The top relies on a close fit through the hip allowing you to pull the side gathers up. 

Even though the pattern instructions don't include this, I stabilized the shoulder seams using stay tape. Clear elastic would work well also.

Another thing I did was stabilize the back neck edge using black French Fuse as the back neck edge is finished by turning under and stitching.  

The stabilizer gives the back edge a nice finish, especially since this knit it fairly lightweight.

The sleeve is two pieces - a sleeve and a sleeve stay - with elastic at the lower edge.  The sleeves are sewn together at the hem edge and a casing is created. The elastic is hidden when the sleeves are done so it's a nice clean finish.

Tip:  Measure the elastic you need for your arm rather than cut according to the elastic guide provided. My upper arms are not tiny by any stretch of the imagination - I like to think it's because I work out. The elastic was a bit tight on my upper arms the first time around.

I also added a 2" wide strip of black French Fuse to the hem before hemming. I added a 1" hem and sewed using a double needle.

It looks like this pattern is a winner.

All that's left to do is figure out how to use the self-timer on my new SLR camera and get a photo posted.

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  1. Very cute top, can't wait to see it on you.

  2. Thanks for your review of this pattern and your process of making it. I have this pattern, and I have about a 6-8yr. old piece of knit striped fabric that I've been wanting to use. This gives me another great option. Again, thanks!
    BTW, yours look really great!

  3. Love these drapey figure friendly tops.

  4. That's a lot of fabric to gather. Looks like that pattern would require a very lightweight knit. Yours turned out great.

  5. Thanks for the info in this post!
    The top is very nice.

  6. That is one cute top.... Please model it for us....Have a great week

  7. Thanks for your details on this has been in my drawer for a while & now with your ruching tips I will give it a try!

  8. Ooh I really like this shirt. After having kids I realized that ruching is my friend and hides all sorts of baby leftovers! It helps add something to shirts that would otherwise be plain. Good job!



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