There is no news that one of my favourite sewing magasines is Love Sewing, I’ve made many projects using patterns that came out with their issues over the years. This one is McCall’s M7381 that came with my issue 37 of Love Sewing. I just loved the pattern straight away (though fabric used for the cover version is not my cup of tea). Initially I was thinking of making the maxi dress version. But, I already have two maxi dresses I hardy wear, therefore I opted for the shorter version. Have you seen Amy Thomas’ bunny version? Here is the link to her blog post about it if you are curious. In the end I decided to make view C with the long sleeves from View B. After reading Amy’s post about this dress, I decided to size down and cut a small, rather than a medium (which is where my measurements put me).
To make this dress I used the feathers fabric I got during the #SewDownDewsbury meet up in February this year from Fabworks Mill Shop. The fabric is a viscose blend or is it crepe? Not sure (I really need to start writing fabric content on notes and attach them to my fabric). The fabric has nice drape and is so soft against the skin. For the bodice lining I used lining fabric I already ad in my stash from my local Abakhan store. As I said before I chose to cut the small size as the pattern already has a lot of ease. I shortened the sleeve by 6 cm. I left the skirt length as it was. Though I think I should have shortened that as well. I found it interesting that the front ties come from the bodice front. It’s quite hard to photograph this on this fabric. So you will have to believe me. As this was one of those patterns that’s a bit different than the others I have made before I decided to follow the instructions for making up the bodice front at least. I did find them pretty straightforward.
For my dress I did not stitch the pleats in place. I only pinned them and basted them into place; then once the seams were sewn together I took the basting out and pressed them into place. I think it gives a better look. I also gave myself extra work. The pattern instructions call for basting together the lining and the front shell before adding the sleeves. However, this means the seam around the sleeve is exposed, and I could not have that. For me having a lined bodice means the lining also covers the sleeve seam. So, I changed the order of the construction here. I added the sleeve first and then pined the turned in seam allowance of the lining and then handstitched it place. And voila! Pretty insides around the sleeve as well. I did make some mistakes (impossible to see in the pictures). When I sewed the bodice to the skirt front, I ended up with little holes where the tie comes out of the bodice. However, once handsewn they are practically invisible. I blame this on the fabric, as it was a bit more slippery than I first thought, and I was not as precise with my sewing because of it. For my sleeves and all other exposed seams I overlocked the edges with red thread. Just because I could do so. If the seam was not visible in the finished garment, I just left the seams unfinished. I finished the sleeve cuff by turning over and stitching in the ditch from the right side. This is also my favourite type of sleeve as well. Plenty of space for the arm (no fitting to think about) but it is brought together by the cuff so you can put on a jacket without the sleeve annoying rolling up. I love the little modesty trick offered in the instructions. Adding the little poppers stops the top revealing too much of the bust. As this does not have any fastenings, the back is made in such a way that one creates an elastic casting which will stretch as you get the dress on/off. I love the drape on the fabric and now the dress feels when worn. Though it does wrinkle a bit more than I’d like it to.
Now some pictures of me wearing my dress. I had to also wear my new favourite red shoes. I have the feeling you will see them a lot in my pictures. I also had to include the ‘Gosh these shoes are so pretty!’ pictures. Also because I love the way my legs look in this picture. Ha, ha! And my favourite picture of all has to be this last one. I love messing about when taking pictures. I manage to get a good one sometimes.I am really pleased with this dress. I will however shorten the skirt by about 5cm as it feels a bit too longs and I want it shorter. Also after seeing the pictures of the back (I know I only shared one with you – a have a few more) I will also shorten the back bodice as well by about 3cm as it seems it is a bit too long. What do you think?