Thursday, June 23, 2011

McCall's 6363: Muslin Thoughts

Before I talk about my muslin for M6363, I have to say "I told ME so!" As soon as I buy fabric for a suit, I get an interview (from a company who's been holding on to my resume for at least a month). The interview is next Wednesday and I don't think I will have time to fit and make up a complete untested suit pattern by then without stress and/or frustration but I'll keep it as Option #1 for now. Option #2 is to hem the skirt on the blue suit. Option #3 is to shop for and buy a RTW suit. I'll have to weigh those options and make a decision by Saturday. Don't be surprised if I go for all 3 options. But hey — at least I have an interview! (I even had my hair trimmed today before I found out, so I'm ready in that regard.)

OK, so on to the muslin …

I used a really crappy rayon knit with minimal stretch and no intention whatsoever for this to be wearable. I cut an 18 at the shoulders and straight 20 everywhere else, with no adjustments except for square shoulders at the shoulders only, not the armholes yet.

New setting on camera = less blurry

It's snug, but it basically fits. Except that I think I need to start cutting a 16 at the neckline and shoulders because this one feels a little loose up top, like the last dress. That's nice, but it also sucks since 16 and 18 are usually the split in pattern sizes. Thankfully, it's not too hard to grade down necklines and armholes.

The pattern itself is drafted like crap, with at least three glaring errors. Is that karma for paying the non-sale price for it?

First, since one of the views is maxi length, the front and back pieces are each horizontally split and you have to join the parts into a whole before cutting fabric. The front piece is below. Can you see that it doesn't match up? It's not me — if you match one side (which I did), there's no way the other side will line up. Easy fix, but something the proofers should have caught.

Next, do you see the notation to Gather? WTF? There's no shoulder gathering in the line drawing or instructions and it's only on this one side.

And worse, both shoulders and armholes are different sizes/shapes. No wonder BMV is looking for pattern drafters! ;-)

Still, I like the design even though it's the oddest thing I've ever seen — mistakes or not. Look at this! It's a big pouch of fabric that hangs like a saggy boob until you stretch it across and tie it off.

At first, I thought the instructions were wrong for attaching the ties because I was thinking it tied on the opposite side. But once I actually did exactly as the instructions instructed and looked at the line drawing again to check what side was what, all was well. I made it far more complicated than it is. What a dork.

I'm going to narrow the neckline and raise the armholes and then cut it from a nicer fabric with more stretch. Since I'm still unemployed and with the luxury of time, I've decided to again make the long drive to North Carolina, pick up Tyler and then head to my sister's in Virginia for the 4th of July weekend. One day over the weekend will be spent frying like eggs on my sister/BIL's boat, which is docked at my mom's an hour away so we'll see her too. I think this dress in a soft rayon knit will be perfect for the outing since I'm not yet at a point where I'll even go near a bathing suit. Hopefully, next summer.

Parting Shot:
The Marine is "deployed" this week. Not really deployed, just a week-long training exercise which has his squadron living in "tin can" barracks with no a/c, sleeping on cots, and doing their jobs as if they were deployed, including live ordnance — aaack! He's enjoying it, but he also seems to have a lot of down time for goofing off like in this photo (read his note on the tank and maybe you can guess what he wishes was really in his camelback/canteen).


  1. Congrats on the job interview!!!! Crap on M6363 drafting errors..I bought that pattern at one of Hancock's sales as I really like the look...not sure I want to deal with it now....

  2. Congrats on the interview. Looking forward to seeing the finished dress too.

  3. I have been obsessed with this pattern since you first mentioned it and now I'm really sold! It looks great on you, so flattering. I must pick it up the next time McCall is on sale. I have a silk jersey I've been holding onto long enough. Thanks for the heads up on the bad drafting.

  4. McCall is the only pattern company where I've consistently seen these kind of drafting errors. I once bought a skirt pattern where there was no way to get the yoke to match up with the bottom half of the skirt. I cut the pieces in two different sizes, which helped them fit together better, but in the end there were just too many inconsistencies.

    The fit of this dress seems pretty cute on you! I would definitely try it in a better material, even if you have to buy a different size and Frankenpattern (Joann has a McCall's sale coming up, July 1st thru 4th if you aren't already at your sister's). Also, as someone who hits the pattern size split as well, I feel your pain. I usually go for the bigger size in pants and the smaller one in skirts and dresses.

  5. That dress looks so nice on you. The saggy boob :) wrap looks very smooth and shapely once it is tied down.
    What a horribly drafted pattern though!
    Best wishes for your job interview.

  6. Marie-Christine4:33 AM, June 24, 2011

    Yeah! Good news :-).
    Review your options -while- you hem the skirt. Then you'll have something to fall back on no matter what you find/sew. You should also consider whipping out a little jacket for an existing dress, a perfectly acceptable suit alternative these days, and much zipper than making an entire suit. This is Florida in summer after all :-).

  7. The pattern itself may have some problems, but the style has definite possibilities on you! The draping in the front is really flattering.

    Good luck in the job interview!

  8. I'm sad that this pattern is not available in the Misses sizes. I love it. It looks great on you, Debbie. Thanks for pointing out the drafting errors. Enjoy your weekend and best of luck for your interview!

  9. The saggy boob pouch made me laugh.I would have never figured that one out.


  10. Yay on suit/interview karma! I wonder if that would work for me. Unemployed for two days...


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