Neoprene w/ McCall 7121

McCalls 7121 is my everything pattern.  I truly love this pattern, the simple silhouette, ease of construction and having done it up in a knit as well as a woven... win win.

This version was really an experiment, as I'd mention in my previous post, I was told that this fabric is neoprene.  Honestly, I was skeptical because I had the mind set that it was a thick rubber, hot, and sweltering fabric.  Then last year, I had the luck of purchasing a dress labelled scuba and got a better sense of what the fabric really was, but must admit it was a bit thick and too warm for the August weather last year. However, I was curious when I came across various sewing bloggers modeling their fabulous scuba/neoprene garments. 

Well, I just threw caution to the wind and worked up a quick dress in this thin black, soft butter smooth and spongy fabric.  I didn't bother to wash it, just wanted to see what the hell I was working with.  It serged up like a charm, but before I pressed on to the neckline and armholes, decided to throw it in the washing machine and see what I was still working with.  

It washed and line dried beautifully and thereafter proceeded with finishing the neckline.

 For the neckline I used heatn'bond to fuse the fold to the inside and with a microtex needle and stitch length at 2.8 final stitched.  For the armholes, I folded to the inside and final stitch with the same stitch length settings.

The hemline has a 3/8" fold and fused to the inside with heatn'bond and done.

Well after spending a good amount of time reading articles.  I came to understand that most fabrics labeled scuba/neoprene are more than likely not to have any neoprene in them. Unless they are bona fide wet suits. It is made of a combination of stretchy fabrics, polyester, elastine, spandex, lycra, and processed and produced in varying thicknesses in a non-foam form resulting in a soft smooth texture, spongy and elastic fabric. I believe it’s safe to say most of the fabrics labelled scuba/neoprene are glorified knits d/b/a neoprene. As the saying go I learn something everyday.

End result, I am loving the fabric… it's butter smooth, spongy and thin enough to be comfortable for today's temps.

Until then,

Have a Great Week.



Two weeks ago, I stopped in my favorite fabric shop, Fulton Fabrics, just to browse their fabrics.    The store was super crowded, but I was killing time and as I browsed, I lucked up on a few pieces of fabric and waited my turn for cutting.  Of course, decided to squeeze past the other customers to get to the back of the store and see what else they had.

One woman was guarding a black bolt of fabric for dear life and of course, my interest is on high alert.  She told the second cutter to give her 6 cuts in 2 yd increments and I cut in (pun intended) and asked if that was knit.  She said yes, but abruptly turned back to the cutter.  My response...   alllllrighty then, and as the first cutter was approaching me I asked him what kind of fabric is that, pointing to the back, we walk back together and he told me it was neoprene.

With Flash

Finally, the woman walked away with her cuts and I moved right on in, and felt the fabric and asked the other cutter, is this neoprene... his response was yes, yes, yes.... ummm that response was a bit too fast & passionate.  Anywho, I told him I want some of that...

Without Flash

As I schlepped the fabric to the cash register I was smitten with the butter smooth texture yet spongy feel and the recovery as I pinched & pulled the fabric between my fingers.  When I got to the cash register, I asked the owner if this was indeed neoprene and his response was yes, yes, yes... ummm here we go again with the triple yes.  With all that said, I just purchased the fabric, left and didn't think about it again til this weekend while in the process of tidying up.

Pulled the fabric out of the bag and was again smitten with the butter smooth yet spongy feel.  I did compare it to a rtw neoprene dress that I have, and there are some similarities, but the black fabric had more of a butter smooth feel than the rtw.

Well, I just threw caution to the wind and used McCalls 7121 to work up a quick dress.  I didn't bother to wash it just wanted to see what the hell I was working with.  It serged up like a charm, but before I pressed on to the neckline and armholes, decided to throw it in the washing machine and see what I was still working with.

This is what it looked like when I took it out of the machine, and  laid it over a towel onto the dry rack.   Literally,  like in no time flat it was dry.  So I worked on the neckline using heatn'bond fusing a fold with a pressing cloth.  It handled heat well too.   I still need to do the armholes, and press the seams flat, the hemline is perfectly unfinished and ... just wondering...

... is it Neoprene ??? mmmmm


Thru The Looking Glass Inspired McCalls 7121

After posting about my fabulous day at The Met, I was compelled to create a Thru The Looking Glass inspired dress.  As I'd mentioned in this post, the exhibit had me stunned and speechless.  The exhibit was a beautiful way to show culture through fashion.  I was so inspired by all that I read and observed, I thought, there must be something in my fabric stash that would somewhat represent thru the looking glass, yet simple enough to wear to work.

I didn't have to look far, this printed sheer polyester that I'd purchased from Fulton Fabrics was initially destined for a pullover blouse.

That was dashed when I decided to use McCalls 7121, which is a pullover dress with front v-neckline, back bodice variations, elasticized waist, length variations and the maxi has front slit option. To add opacity, I used a black cotton/polyester blend fabric for the underlayer.

At only 1-1/2" yds, my placement was precarious, being that the recommended yardage for this pattern is 1-3/4" yds.  

Unlike my first version, I went against the grain of the fabric suggested, which is Jersey, Interlock, or Cotton knit.

Of course, I had to make adjustments, added 1/2" to the side seams of the bodice as well as 1/4" to the armholes and merging into the upper part of the armhole.  Also raised the neckline 3/8",1/2" to the front/back skirt and lengthened skirt 1".

All the seams were serged on the fashion fabric and underlayer.  I must say the sheer fabric was a challenge, despite the numerous pins I had in place.  After trying on, I had to add front/back darts at the neckline to the fashion fabric, due to the gaping.

The underlayer was inserted with the rightside facing the wrongside of the fashion fabric to minimize any showing of the seam allowance of the fashion fabric. For the neckline and armholes, I machined basted the fabrics together and used foldover elastic to encase the raw edges. 

The hemlines for the fashion fabric and underlayer were serged.  For the fashion fabric I did a few repeats of serging by disengaging the knife, yielding a thick edge.   The pic above was just two passes of the serger thread, went back and serged twice more.

End result ... just what I wanted ... simple but artsy.  I wore the dress out with my guy yesterday and loved how the hot wind allowed the sheer fabric to do a lil dance of fluttering, while the underlayer kept guard...lol.

Until then,
Have a Great Week !!!


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