I got last months issue of Love Sewing magazine, and free with it was McCalls M7116, which I have been planning to make since, along with a few others:
The McCalls one is the dress, which I decided to make with some Ikea fabric I got the last time I was north in Warrington, in the Easter holidays:
This pattern asks for the top part to be cut out on the grain and the skirt part on the bias.
I decided to make the top out of the spotty fabric and the skirt out of the floral (not dis-similar from Cath Kidston fabric) fabric.
One of my worst jobs is transferring the pattern markings to the fabric. When I first started I was taught the ‘proper’ way of tacking (big, loose stitches) along the markings and then unpicking so a slight line of holes was left… yeah, I only did that once! haha. My current way is to draw the pattern markings on in air erasable fabric marker under the pattern piece. I say current because I’m always on the look out for easier ways to do things haha.
The back neck facing was cut on the bias, and this meant it was a lot easier to fit to the back of the bodice.
One of my favourite features of this garment was the sleeve detail. They have a pleat in them, and are gathered along the top, to both help ease them into the arm hole as they are set in sleeves and to give a bit more volume to them. The next is the buttons, and the pattern notions request ball buttons. I am guessing these are buttons that look like balls haha. These are well worth getting as they give the sleeves a real vintage look, and really complete them.
Before sewing the bodice to the skirt I would recommend trying it on, just to get an idea how far over the two front pieces need to overlap:
Also make sure you know which piece of the skirt is the front and which is the back – as the front waistband is higher than the back:
When sewing the skirt to the bodice, once again make sure you know where you need the two front pieces to cross. The pattern does call for gathers in the front bodice pieces, but you may need to may them a little longer.
The most tricky bit is, as in a lot of garments, the zip. The pattern calls for a 12 inch zip, but I found this a little short (I made a size 16). If I did it again in this size I would probably get a 14 inch zip. It is an exposed zipper and because it is at the side it is not too difficult to sew.
I must say I did enjoy making this pattern! It was just the right level for me and the end result I love and have had lots of compliments on it – I will be making it again.