Thursday, May 22, 2008

So.... I made a Hillary Duff pattern!



Really, I don't know much about Hillary Duff. I know she's an actress and a singer, but I can't name a movie she's been in or sing one of her tunes. I also know that McCalls slapped her name and picture on some of their sewing patterns. And one of them appealed to me enough to make it.



I actually did finish this dress in time to wear last Saturday night, but it was one of those finished-at-the-last-second, Project Runway kind of moments where I sewed the last seam and barely had time to throw a few things in my clutch before bolting out the door. So my pics and review are coming a little late.

Fabric

Chain print silk jersey from Michael Levine in LA. It's apparently a popular print that several designers have been using (like Halé Bob and Fluet)

Notes on pattern construction/alterations

Can I take a moment to rant about McCalls/Big 4 sizing?

So here's the deal. My body measurements (34", 27", 37") put me between McCalls sizes 12 and 14.

I looked at the finished garment measurements that are printed on the back of the envelope. The size 12 finished bust is 37.5". That's 3.5" of ease in a knit dress that appears to be fitted in the model photo. Why? Wouldn't you even want negative ease in a fitted knit garment?

The finished measurements for size 6 are stated to be 34" at bust, 40" at hip, so I made the size 6 (after testing this with a muslin, mind you). I am so not a size 6 according to their body measurement chart. But the dress fits like I want it to, and the way it looks on the envelope model.

I must have been influenced by the hot weather last weekend because I decided to omit the sleeves. I made my muslin sans sleeves and I liked the way that it looked.

I applied a 1.5" strip of fusible tricot interfacing at the hem, turned it up 1.25", and hemmed the dress with a twin needle.



Conclusion

This is a fun dress that I'll get a lot of wear out of this summer. I don't know if I'll make it again, it's got the empire seam/babydoll look that is becoming (has become?) old. Fortunately it's not so noticeable with the print.

38 comments:

Erica B. said...

Adorable dress! Love the fabric!

Adrienne said...

Very cute!!! That fabric is gorgeous!

Reethi said...

Agreed - very cool. Thanks for the sizing tip, I own this pattern, and fully intended to sew it up in the next month or so. I would have been CRANKY if the thing drooped on me. That's absolutely my favorite thing about BWOF - I'm ALWAYS the same size. ALWAYS. Which is, of course, exactly as it should be.

Sigrid said...

Cute dress. I made a McCall's (Hilary Duff) pattern with my daughter last fall, exactly the same experience as you, she's a side 12 by bust measurement, and we ended up making a 6 too.

LauraLo said...

Very cute and sexy on you! About the sizing... I'm a 10 according to their measurements, but I always sew a 6. Why is there so much ease???

toy said...

see!
this is why I always do muslins, I really don't know what is up with mccalls and butterick, I can pretty much get a better fit with simplicity
your dress is so cute, I love that print and color on you.

Isabelle said...

This is super cute Christina, and you look great in it.

Geri said...

The dress is great! I never sewed a McCalls pattern so thanks for sharing the problem. I hate muslins but they are so useful...

cidell said...

This us adorable. And thanks to my reading of US Weekly, I also know that her ex boyfriend is the father of Nicole Richie's baby.

Oh, and for sizing. I've also found that it's not consistent throughout the product line even!

Lori said...

Very cute dress, thanks for the sizing tips. I know Hillary Duff, big on the Disney channel for awhile, had a movie from the Disney series, has been in "Cheaper by the Dozen" movies. I have tweens, now teenagers, that have watched plenty of Disney!!

Becky said...

I actually have just about the same exact sizing issue with the Big 4--almost down to the exact measurements! (I also fall right between 12 and 14.) So thank you so much for the fitting tip-- I never thought to look at the finished garment measurements, and I'm planning to make some knit stuff in the not-too-distant future. The dress looks great on you-- definitely better than "your" size would have!

kasizzle said...

This is adorable!
Did you adjust the neckline at all? On the envelope it looks quite low, but yours doesn't.
I assumed they were aiming this toward the teengers with Hillary Duff on the package, but I can't see making it for my teenager with a low neckline.

Melissa said...

Oh gosh don't get me started on Big 4 pattern sizing, I have no clue why they can't be consistent. Anyhoo, adorable dress! I'm so sad it's been rainy all week. Hopefully soon we'll be seeing blue skies again around our neck of the woods.

Jessica said...

So cute!

Don't tell me the empire/babydoll waist is old...I was just starting to really like it!

I never even bother looking very hard at the recommended body measurements on these patterns...I always start with the finished garment measurements, compare those to my measurements, and decide how much ease I want from those

Stephanie said...

Cute and fun dress! It looks great on you.

melissa said...

very cute! I'm so with you on the ease thing, though. I think I'm spoiled by BWOF - as soon as I switch back to a big 4 I end up drowning in ease. And then there was the KwikSew shirt I made for my boyfriend with had 9 inches(!!!) of ease in the chest. I'm not in a hurry to make another KS pattern again after that.

Lindsay T said...

Hey, a cute pattern is a cute pattern, even if it has Miley Ray Cyrus on it!

flanthrower said...

Great dress!

I've had similar issues with McCall patterns....I recently worked on a shirt where the bust is too big and the waist is too small. I suppose I should've made a muslin first but I measured the pattern and figured I'd be fine. Fortunately I decided to try the pattern out on some really cheap fabric first before I break out the Liberty Tana Lawn.

Alexandra said...

Very cute! You look great in it!

Leslie said...

You look so happy in it! Great dress on you, and thanks for the review. I didn't realize the empire line was so high, I'll have to cross this off my list. *love* the fabric too. :-)

Tany said...

Gorgeous dress and fabric! You look stunning to say the least!

I will remember the sizing issue. I always measure up my patterns too, just in case

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Love the dress...its so fresh!

Dawn said...

Super cute dress! I have those same issues with the Big 4. I ignore the outside of the envelope and go straight for the finished garment measurements.

How is silk jersey to sew? It is very different from poly/lycra. Does your have lycra in it? How does it wear and wash? I've never owned any garments made out out silk jersey. It sounds great.

Sheila said...

Fantastic dress and the print is lovely. Thanks for the sizing info on pattern.

Nancy W. said...

This dress looks darling on you, and it's just as cute as you are!

The J said...

I wasn't that enamoured with the pattern pic, but I love your version!

I hear you on the ease thing - had the exact same thing happen with a formal princess-seamed dress (how the heck are you not supposed to flash anyone, when you put 3" of ease into the bustline??). Problem was, the range of "multi-sized" didn't go down low enough to get the proper size - I had to buy another pattern!! (Now methinks I should have complained to McCalls and got them to fit the bill - next time, if there is one!)

The J said...
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marty said...

Cute dress and I love the fabric. The style wouldn't work for the 50+ year old body but it looks good on you. Hillary Duff is a TV actress and does sew. I remember a feature story on her one time that showed her sewing room.

Vicki said...

Hillary Duff is popular with the tweenies I think. My youngest DD watched a show she was in called Lizzie McGuire when she was in her early teens I think. Anyway, back to the dress - it looks fab on you.

paco peralta said...

Christina.- cute dress and fabric. grettins...Paco

laura said...

My measurements are a 12 too, so that's what I cut out and sew. Then I have to take several inches in on the finished product. I can't believe that the Big 4 really test their patterns on people. Hearing this from you (Laura Lo also told me this on one of my posts) makes me feel better!

Colette said...

Very cute Christina.

I really think that the pattern companies should do without putting the measurements on the backs of the envelopes. They are useless as they don't correspond with the patterns!!! Not to mention confuse and frustrate sewers....so definitely wise to measure the patterns and do a muslin as you did! Wow I got that off my chest...phew!

Adriana B. said...

I have had similar experience with a McCall pattern, had to downsize a lot! It never hurts to flat measure the pattern.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Duffgirl do the theme tune to Laguna Beach? I can half-hum that. I have to size down BWOF patterns, so will probably not ever buy a McCall's pattern! I wish I could sew as well as you - you look great in your handiwork! Back to the practicing...
Weeza

Anonymous said...

nice work, im starting a project and its my first time using a McCall's pattern, and i was just noticing the HUGE difference in the sizing chart verses the finished garment size o_O

so you just went with the finished garment size and it worked?

Christina said...

anonymous Yup, for this pattern I just went by the finished bust measurement to choose the size to make.

Anonymous said...

ok thanks for the tip! its a good thing i found this page because i was about to go with the body measurement size! at the last minute i noticed the huge difference in size and did a quick google to see if i could find anyone else who had run into this.

according to the size chart i was a 10 but i went with the 4 and it fit perfectly...thats quite a drastic difference!

ed said...
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