Battle of the Cotton Knits

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Hey Stashbusters!  Today we are talking about knit fabrics!  Inspired by Melissa at Mahlica Designs and her fantastic Versus series, I thought I would write up my own version of this.  I wanted to compare how the exact same pattern would sew up in two different knits.  Cotton Spandex Knit and Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit to be exact.

Let’s start with a little background on the pattern first.  The pattern I picked is M6559 in view D.  This is a pretty basic pattern as it only has two pieces.  It is a quick make, which is good for me.  These are the 3rd and 4th versions I have made using this pattern. Surprisingly, this is the first time I am really blogging about this pattern.  I kind of reviewed it here but not very much. For both versions I made a size 22 with no fitting alterations.  For both versions I did add a contrasting trim to the neckline and armholes and a simple rolled hem finish.  I love the contrasting trim I added as a different way to finish my openings.  I haven’t posted it yet, but I do have a pattern hack tutorial written for a different pattern that includes how to add this trim, so I am not going to post it here.  I really do love this pattern for its simplicity.  It makes a great summer dress for me that I am going to make over and over again.

Let’s get down to the main event though.  I compared each fabric in the following areas: sewing experience, all day wearability, first laundry cycle.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559
Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit


First up is a Kumquat Teal Navajo Modal Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit Fabric from Girl Charlee.  I used 1.75 yards of this fabric that I purchased back in 2014 during their Black Friday sale.  The total cost of this one is $4.38.  I also used scraps of an Orange Rayon Spandex.  It wasn’t enough to count for anything though.  This is a very soft drapey knit, that clings in all the right places. It is typically used for sleep wear, making this kinda like secret pajamas.

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559
Cotton Spandex Knit


The second fabric is Pink and Black Ethnic Cotton Spandex Knit.  This one also came from Girl Charlee and was in the August 2015 Knitfix I purchased last year. I used 2 yards which was a cost of $11.50.  For the contrast I used some scraps of Black Ponte De Roma that I had laying around. For this version I added 3″ to the bottom hem since I did not pre-wash the fabric because I wanted to do a laundry test.  This fabric is a little thicker than the other, but it feels more like a comfy t-shirt.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559  The Rayon Spandex print can go either direction, so I had no problems being able to match up the print at the side seams.  It is darn near perfect! Rayon Spandex does present it’s own set of sewing challenges though.  This fabric has a lot of stretch to it, so it was very important that I not stretch the fabric as I was sewing. Having a pattern to match at the side seams helped immensely with that. For all knits I make sure I use bulky nylon as my bobbin thread on my straight stitch machine and looper threads on serger.  I also make sure I use a jersey needle.


The cotton spandex, Musings of a Seamstress - M6559unfortunately, is a one way print.  With only having two yards the front and back panels go different directions, so there was no way I was able to match prints at the side seam.  This one has a good amount of stretch to it, but not as much as the rayon spandex,  making it a bit easier to sew with.  It would be a great knit to sew if you are new to knits.  The only downside to sewing this fabric was hemming.  The cotton spandex tends to curl up and my rolled hem is not visible now and I have a narrow band of the underside of the fabric showing.


Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Musings of a Seamstress - M6559I love wearing this rayon spandex dress.  I said earlier that it is like secret pajamas, making it a super comfortable fabric to wear.  The stretch and drape in this fabric makes it flattering in that it shows off my curves!  The fabric does tend to stretch out during the course of the day, but after letting it sit over night it recovered pretty darn well.






Since the cotton spandex doesn’t have the drape as the rayon spandex, it does show off my curves as well.  It is a little baggier looking in the waist creating more of a column look from the chest down. On the plus side, this one does stretch out a bit while wearing, but does not recover as well as the rayon spandex did. Since I didn’t wash it before wearing, the extra inches I added were slightly problematic.  Good thing that isn’t going to be permanent.






Musings of a Seamstress - M6559Part of the reason I wanted to wait to wash them until after wearing them was I knew how the rayon spandex would turn out and it performed as expected.  This is the biggest let down of rayon spandex for me.  In the picture the fabric on the left is unwashed and the one on the right is the finished garment.  You can see that the finished garment has white fuzzies all over it, causing it to have a faded look.  This is because of the rayon fibers.  I hate that this dress now looks super worn after only one wash.  Musings of a Seamstress - M6559The cotton spandex, by contrast, washed up wonderfully!  If you can see the dividing line down the center, the one on the left is the unwashed fabric and the one on the right is the washed garment.  They are identical in look!  No fading at all!  The fabric did become a bit softer though, which is a plus.  It did shrink up a bit in the hem, but not as much as I added to the hem, so I will re-hem this one.


So, which fabric does it come down to as being the winner…

Musings of a Seamstress - M6559

The cotton spandex knit!  I think the washability of the fabric was the deal breaker for the cotton rayon spandex knit.  I want my garments to be of great quality and how they wash and wear is a huge part of that.  The downsides of this cotton spandex can be looked passed because this fabric still looks great after washing and I expect it will hold up for quite a some time.  I do have another cotton rayon spandex knit that is mostly white and navy that I am curious to sew up and see if it washes the same as this mostly black version.

Cotton Rayon Spandex Knit VS Cotton Spandex Knit

Have you sewn up either of these fabrics before?  What are your thoughts on them?

Retro McCall’s 8991 Review

It has been awhile.  Work has been so hair on fire busy that I have not had time to do much of anything.  I have been working 50-60 hours a week for the last month and am working almost 70 hours this week.  In all of that craziness I have managed to make quite a few things that I need to blog about.  First up is my second version of this domain sleeve top from McCall’s 8991.

This is not my picture it. It cam from here.

So very clearly 80’s!  Look at that hair! If I saw this outfit in a current pattern book I would keep on flipping.  That is a whole lotta look happening.  But I was gifted this pattern from my friends mom and I am glad I was.

A couple of years ago I fell in love with this top Selma Blair wore in an episode of Anger Management.  I searched high and low for the right pattern and the right fabric.  That was when I was gifted the pattern.  Perfect!!!  Then I found a navy burnout stripe knit from Fabric Mart.  It was meant to be!  I made it back in 2012 and never got around to blogging about it.  Well that version super shrunk after the first wash, because I am too stubborn to take the time to pre wash.  I have been wanting to make another version because I love this style.

Musings of a Seamstress

 Then I found this pink and gray striped knit at Jo-Ann’s for $5 a yard. I picked up 3 yards and only used 1.5 yds for this top.  I made this version about a month ago and have worn it a few times since then.  I love this top and there was no shrinkage after washing it.

Musings of a Seamstress

I made a size 16 that has a 38″ bust.  However, there is so much ease in this pattern that I didn’t have to add any extra to accommodate my 45″ bust.  Just look at the back where my hands are.  There is so much extra fabric just scrunched up there.  I do not think I will be making any of the other views of this pattern, but I will be making more of this view.  It is such an easy style to wear.  On second thought I may make a dress version of this top, but I would have to take out a lot of the ease.

I still have some Halloween costumes and an unexpected garment for the hubs to blog about as soon as possible.  Plus I want to write a couple of posts about the new coat I am making.

Day 109: Raincoat Review

Yesterday we had flood watches and tornado watches and today we have snow and a freeze warning.   Granted it was very very very minimal snow that was not even sticking, but it is still snow in April.  Welcome to Indiana weather! Where one day I could be wearing shorts and the next bundled back up in my winter coat.  I think it is time to discuss moving somewhere that has much warmer weather year round, like San Francisco.  Too bad that will not be happening, like ever.


At any rate here is my review for the McCall’s 6517 raincoat.


Pattern Description: 
Misses Jackets, belt and boot liners Loose fitting, unlined jackets. A,B,C,D have self-lined hood or collar and narrow hem. B: Purchased bias tape finishes garment. C:flaps. A, B, C: mock front bands. D: Wrap, self belt. Boot liners E have pleated heel and cuffs. I made view B.
Pattern Sizing:
B5(8-16) F5(16-24) I made a 24 for the added ease.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, other than my minor changes.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were very easy. I only changed two things from the way the instructions said. First, because of the vinyl that I was using I opted to sew my sleeve flat into the armhole and then close up the sleeve and side seam as one. It was just easier to maneuver the fabric this way as opposed to closing the side seam and sewing in the round to set the sleeve. The only other thing I change in the instructions was how I added the bias tape. The instructions said to fold in the fullness at the corners. Instead I sewed the bias tape to the hem first and cut it off at each front seam. Then I sewed it from the bottom of one front piece all around the collar to the bottom of the other front panel, folding in the raw edges. I did the same for the pockets but sewing it to the top of the pocket first and then around the curved edges.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I really like this pattern. It was very easy to put together and looks completely unique to me.
Fabric Used:
I used 3 yards of lace printed vinyl that I got from Jo-Ann’s for $4/yd. Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Other than the instruction changes I eliminated the buttons. While sewing this I realized that this was not going to be a long lasting garment because the vinyl crinkles really easily when folded wrong. I decided I didn’t want to put the effort or money into awesome buttons for it to not last more than a handful of wears.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would sew this again. I have my eye on some laminated rainwear fabric in super fantastic prints at Hobby Lobby that would better stand up to regular wear.
While I know this jacket is only going to last me maybe one season it is still something that I love! It is very unique to me and that is what I look for when sewing for myself.