Hello there! My poor neglected blog. Thanks to the lovely readers who have emailed to check up on me – everything is fine, just lots happening! As many of you know, I changed jobs at the beginning of the year. I now do contract work, and it’s been busier than I had anticipated. On top of that I finally upgraded my 12 year old Mac to a PC, and I’m still in the process of moving photos, music and other documents from the old to the new. Cross platform transitions are not straightforward! I’ve still been sewing, but there’s no way I’ll be able to get my blog caught up, especially given that I don’t have the photos moved from the old to the new yet. However, I remembered a few older unblogged photos that were already uploaded to Flickr, so I’ll catch up with those!
This dress is McCalls 7742, sewn back in January. It’s perfect for really hot days. McCalls describe it as ‘very loose fitting dresses have front and back yokes with gathers and sleeve variations’. Well yes, they do. And yes, it is very loose fitting.
I sewed view B, with the ruffles around the armhole. I chose to sew size Small based on the finished measurements, and I’m glad that I sized down so much. The fabric is vintage, and I had barely enough of it to eke out the dress. I left out the side seam pockets, and the sleeve frills had to be pieced.
I used a lightweight white woven to line the bodice yoke in order to avoid show through of the print through the lightweight fabric. I like the little gathers at the centre back of the yoke too.
This is a really pretty print, with fabulous greens, and I quite like how this dress looks in these photos – but I nevere wore it. I took it straight off after the photos and gave it to a friend. I wasn’t sure if it was the sleeve frills, or the delicacy of the print, or it having too much white, but it just wasn’t me. Actually, I’ve removed the sleeve frills for my friend too – she found them too much for her frame.
But I wasn’t done with this pattern. I really liked the concept and the breeziness – especially in Melbourne summer heat when it feels absolutely baking. So I ferreted through my stash, pulled out some fabric that was more ‘me’, and sewed up another!
SO much better! It’s the same dress, same size, different sleeve treatment, different fabric. This double gauze comes from Thailand (via Notionally Better on Etsy)and it’s beautiful to sew and wear. Both this version and the previous one were sewn at pattern length – I’m 158cm tall (around 5’2″) so take that into consideration if you’re making this – it’s short!
Now I doubt that this style would be considered conventionally ‘flattering’ but I don’t care. This dress has survived a couple of wardrobe purges already, so it’s clearly striking a chord with me. It’s also very easy to sew, and doesn’t have many pattern pieces. Good for someone early in their sewing career too, as there aren’t as many areas to ‘fit’.
As with the previous version, I lined the yokes in a lightweight solid woven. Looking at the photo above reminds me that I did a fair bit of faffing around to get the checks lined up properly at the centre front and through the V-neckline. It’s not perfect though. Remember that if you choose to sew in stripes or checks that you HAVE to pay attention when you’re cutting out and sewing! Plenty of pins and dare I say it, even hand-basting, could be useful to get everything lined up. The sleeves are simple rectangles, folded up as cuffs. They had to be cut as mirror images to get the same stripe colour along the fold.
I had enough fabric to include side seam pockets in this version. I am not wedded to pockets in everything like some people – if I load them up they often pull the garment out of shape – but they do come in handy for a hanky (although let’s be real – more often it’s where a mobile phone gets put).
There are some other nice versions of this pattern out on the internet. Many have found the sleeve to be rather voluminous – I think it’s all about proportion, your height and frame, and the overall dress length too. I’d recommend this pattern though – make it work for you with the style and fabric combination that you feel your best in.