Tuesday, March 3, 2015

McCalls 6993 and Venice

Good Evening dears!  Sorry it's been so long, but I got to spend a lovely six days in Venice, Italy, only coming home on Saturday.  I spent Sunday sewing and today have a skirt to show for it.  I made McCalls 6993, which is from their limited Archive collection.  I used purple wool that I got on our trip to Toronto.  It was in the remnant bin, so about 1.2 meters.  I didn't make any changes to the pattern, made a straight size 14 view A.
Boy!  I should really take new pictures after I iron it.  I tend to take pictures the moment I step in the door from work, so that I can change into my sweats and a tank- so I'll blame working all day for the wrinkly-ness.  Although I didn't alter the pattern, I did make changes to the construction. 
The main feature of this skirt is the interesting piecing at the top- the yoke.  Notice the two sharp corners.  How the pattern has you do it looked really hard and was going to give me a headache, so I did it the easy way.  (Sewing it, clipping, then top-stitching).  How I did it- well, it was easier than the explanation is turning out to be.  Basically I skipped to the top-stitching step.  To do this you have to fold under the seam allowances and then match the edges.

The other thing I changed was instead of interfacing and using lining to finish the yoke, I used some coutil as both the lining and the interfacing.  This has become my favorite way to finish waistbands, as it makes a completely not stretchy waistband.  Anyway, lets finish up with the skirt, so we can move on to more fun topics.  Venice. :)
I didn't want any extra bulkiness at the hem because of the pleats, so I ironed satin bias tape in turquoise to finish the hem.  Well that and about an hours worth of hand sewing.
See- completely invisible stitches at the hem.  The zipper is a run of the mill invisible one, and the seams are finished with the serger, which was being a pain in the butt.  I used it the night before we left to make a completely boring, but oh so useful, Renfrew out of wool sweater knit.  The serger absolutely hated it, so it was still striking.  It ended up being rethreaded during this project, and worked fine after that.  Now I just have to keep on dark projects as it's threaded with black.
Well enough about the skirt, let's talk Italy!  As part of my resewlution this year, I pledged not to buy patterns or fabric- but was allowed $100 of fabric each trip we took.  Well- that went by the wayside in Venice but not how you think.

We were in Venice for 6 nights 7 days.  One of the days we went to Florence as a daytrip.  According to googlemaps there are no fabric stores within the confines of Venice.  Well this is wrong, there are several fabric stores- mainly for home decoration fabrics- thick velvety brocades, Missoni has a home dec store, etc.  So on day two, I went to one of the home dec stores and it was all small pieces of the velvet brocade.  I didn't even look at the price because I just wasn't interested.  We were going to Florence the next day, so I figured it could wait.  Well- we got to Florence and saw David in all of his marble glory.

We also spend a long time staring up at the dome in the Duomo.
Amazing right? and we had an excellent lunch.  Per googlemaps, there was a fabric store right off the main square.  (That in of itself should have told me something.)  It was right next to the MaxMara, I was ok- well it might be $50/meter- as some of the nicer designer fabrics are at Mood.  Ummmmm, no.  The cheapest piece of fabric I saw in there was 70 euro a meter, and it was shirting fabric.  Most of the fabrics were in the 100-250 euro range.  But oh did I find a beautiful piece of taffeta that was cadet blue shot with apricot.  I didn't buy it, of course.  So we continued to walk around Florence and look for other fabric stores.  No luck, and with Venice being no luck, I broke my restraint and bought a Marfy catalog for 20 euro- which came with ten patterns.  Oops! I blame duress!
So we left Florence and went back to Venice.  The next morning, Closet Case Patterns must have sensed my weakened will.  She had decided to do a presale of the Ginger jeans kits.  Five yards of Cone Mill denim and the Ginger jeans pattern.  I caved.  I bought it on my I-phone, over the craptastic cellular service.  It took 30 minutes, but in a month I will be able to make some new jeans (good too, as my favorite pair just fell apart).
So carrying on- we went to the Divine Marchesa exhibit at the Palazzo Fortuny.  You can find more about this here.  It was amazing, but I didn't have a chance to take many pictures.  Alex wasn't behaving.  But goooooorgeous!
Just one of the many gowns, sorry about the focus.  Well, I found out that Fortuny still had a 'factory' showroom on one of the islands.  I was like ok- lets do it!  Well, let me tell you, we did and looked, it was beautiful, but per meter it was 350 euros! You can see more here.  I couldn't even afford at half meter.  So I did what any sensible girl would, and bought a new pair of glasses.  It was about the same price as a meter, but way more practical.  They'll show up sometime in the nearish future, as I have a weird prescription, so it takes a while to make the glass.  Anyway, that's how I went on a fabulous Italian trip, but ended up buying American fabric.  I'll leave off here with some more pictures of Venice.  Happy Sewing!


  1. Lovely skirt! I really like the yokes. Smart thinking with the top stitching.
    The photos from Venice are beautiful. What a wonderful place!

    1. Thank you! It really did save loads of frustration.

  2. Great photos, I have always wanted to visit. The skirt is lovely, the shaping at the waist is great.