adult's clothing · sewing · WIP · work in progress

McCalls 8238 begins

My pre-Sewjourn cutting out frenzy has commenced.  I’ve started turning piles of metreage and patterns into piles of cut out pieces of garments and patterns.  Oh, what fun!  One of the items I’ve been planning on making myself is a bias cut dress for summer.  Enter McCalls 8238, which has been in my stash for many, many years and was originally used for making a plain black dress.  I wore that dress once – the fabric shredded everywhere that there was any strain put onto it! Not just at the seams – it must have been rotten.  I remember where I was working at the time, so it was back in 2000, and I possibly bought the pattern before then.  Just dashed upstairs to check the copyright date on the pattern – it was 1996.  Time to give it another whirl!

McCalls 8238 and McCalls 7587 (both well OOP)

Now it’s decision making time. I remember that this pattern had a very high round neck. I don’t find them comfortable or terribly flattering on me, so also pulled out McCalls 7587 (copyright 1995). I still have the dress that I made from this pattern – I wore it to the first family Christmas that I took my husband to, back in 1996. Isn’t that sweet? Although it’s also a simple round neck, I didn’t remember it as being quite as high. Here’s a comparison of the facing pieces, with McCalls 7587 on top.

Back facings - showing difference in neckline size

The facings for the second pattern are narrower. When I lined them up around the bottom edge, it seems that the neckline is scooped lower. The shoulder seam angles aren’t much different. Here’s the back facings:

front facings - showing difference in neckline size

I was tossing up whether to try to combine the two patterns through the shoulder and neckline, or just to cut the original neckline of the bias dress about 5/8″ deeper all around. I think that is what I will end up doing.

McCalls 8238 (bias cut dress) front pattern piece

Because it is a bias cut dress, the front pattern piece is whole rather than to be cut on the fold. Hooray! I’ve already made the same petite adjustments for the body length as last time, but think that I will add back on the length that I cut off when I made the shorter version of the dress last time so that I make the calf length dress this time. I’ll use the short sleeves as well. I’m making it from the fabric that you can see in the photos – it’s from June’s stash so is probably even older than the pattern, and I have no idea what the fabric composition is. It should work nicely in a bias cut. I’m looking forward to getting it all cut out and sewing it up!


2 thoughts on “McCalls 8238 begins

  1. Hello Lara. I made many dresses from McCalls 7587 in its day and I remember being very happy with it. My friend and I have recently revisted two patterns from circa 1996 and were delighted to find that they fitted nicely (perhaps a tad more closely than those days!) and are actually quite appropriate for today’s fashions of simple shifts. The mid-90’s seem to have a lot to offer to us today. Good luck with your efforts.

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