Monday, March 14, 2022

McCall's 7834 (2 of 2)

Warning - I love this dress SO much! This is a photo heavy post, but there's a lot of info too.

Had to play with the shoe options! :)

See this post for complete details on the fitting and muslin process: Fitting Details. To recap from that post, I cut a size 14 with the pattern adjustments indicated below.

Add 1/2" for neckline
Add 1/4" to front length
Remove 1/2" for narrow shoulder
Lower dart 1" 
Add 1" to waist circumference
Tuck at waistline 1" at side seam to match back, tapering to 1/2" at CF

I've never owned a button-front that actually buttoned around my (more than!) 15" neck!

there are no pulls, no gaping, no wrinkles, it's not snug or just feels GOOD on!
I'm wearing the necktie in the photo on the left.

Add 1/2" for high round back
Add 1/4" to the back neckline
Remove 1/2" for narrow shoulder
Add 1" to the waist circumference
Remove 1" from bodice length

My imbalanced posture was captured - my waist seam is even, my hem is level, LOOK AT THE BACK!!!

Adjusted collarstand and collar pieces to match new neckline
Added 2" to bicep and shaped the cap while removing some ease
Added 2" to back skirt by cutting 1" away from the fold
Shortened lower ruffle on view B skirt by 4"
Used smaller buttons 
Sewed the buttonholes before attaching the skirt (I saw no good reason to try to work buttonholes with the weight of the skirt in the way.)

I think the shoulder is still a tiny bit long

I sewed the cuff on and when I went to press it, I realized it would be too narrow. Then looked at the cuff piece; "Cut 4". WHYYYYY!? I went to rant on IG and as I was lying in bed that night, it dawned on me. One of the other views has a ruffle in the sleeve. Meh. LOL! 

I created a new pattern piece for the option of a foldover cuff. Also, I found it much easier to attach the cuff facing after the fact. On the second sleeve I constructed it according to pattern, sewing the two together and then attaching to the sleeve. It was a lot more fiddly.

Also, I HATE that they just have you leave an opening in the sleeve seam vs adding a continuous lap or placket. I'll change that too should I make it again. It's weird having the buttons basically under your arm.

3/8" / 10mm buttons (vs. 1/2")

The elastic for the back measured at 17" for the size 14. 
Since I would have cut a larger size AND I added to the waist circumference, I cut the elastic 19"

I took a lot of care with sewing this one. I basted a ton, working really hard to ensure everything was as good as it could be.

sewing the collar

This label is pretty perfect! :-D

I was held up for awhile on the skirt length.  Unless I think fabric quantity will be an issue, I tend to cut pieces out as I need them. When I went to cut out the lower skirt ruffle, I was surprised by the length. I checked the back of the envelope and the finished length of view B's skirt was 45", which is midi length on me. I am not totally opposed to that length, but it isn't my favorite. 

I hemmed and hawed for a bit and was going to cut the ruffle at 8" which was half the upper skirt length. Then, I started looking at past makes for lengths that I thought worked on me. Eureka! My Burda 4/2019 dress had an upper skirt and lower ruffle. I pulled that pattern out and the upper skirt was about the same length as this one and the ruffle was 10". That's how I settled on this length. 

For the upper skirt, I gathered it traditionally - with two rows of basting stitches. The fabric for the lower ruffle measured about 110" if I recall, and there was NO WAY. LOL! I went to my serger method and gathered it about 50%. With this method, you want to test out a few samples and be certain of your ratio as it's not as easy to adjust the gathers (which is why I elected not to use it for the skirt), but it was a great option for the ruffle. 

The fabric is a rayon challis with amazing weight and drape. 
I picked it up during my in-person trip to the store at Sew Camp 2018.

Love. Love. Love. Although I realize now why I don't own many woven McCall's garments. Their block is obviously not a great match to my body as-is. I'll be curious to see how the next pattern I choose from the brand works up.

Outtakes because, ME!


  1. Listen, this labour of love turned out beautifully 😍

  2. I'm so happy you love it! And love it too! It is such a great dress and the fit is impeccable. All of your fit adjustments were soooo worth it!

    1. Thank you so much! It’s a fun experiment even if it is a little crazy making at times!

  3. Your face says it all. The extra effort was definitely worth it! Just curious, which shoe option is your favorite?

    1. Thank you Pat! I think the teal boots for spring and early fall and the tall boots for cold weather. I love those cognac mules - they’re a true neutral for me, very close to my skin tone. So I think those will be nice when I really just want the fabric/garment to stand out.

  4. Words honestly can't describe how beautiful this dress is, absolutely worth all the work you put into the fit adjustments. And those blue ankle boots!

    1. Thank you so much Gracca! It has been such a wild ride LOL!! I cannot wait to see how some other pattern brands work up!

  5. so nice and great use of the dress form to capture the fit details

  6. Isn't it amazing what you find out about your body when you start actually "fitting"?

    1. Yes, yes, yes! I feel that I’ve done OK, but this is like, next level. I have so many patterns, so much sewing equipment, so many tools, and I really should be getting good use of them and I think this will get me there! I think I’ll be able to make those educated decisions about what patterns to sew, what patterns to skip…and when I need to put in a lot of fitting work vs when I can kind of fudge it.

  7. The fabric is phenomenal, and so is the fit -- bravo, bravo!!! You've inspired me to be more bold with my print choices! (And also yes, a dress form is happening this year. I MUST HAVE ONE.)

    1. Thank you! I love prince! So much! I hope you get your dress for this year!!!

  8. Love, love, love the teal boots with this beauty!

    1. Thank you! I’m in this fashion group and the owner does consulting and styling work. she said teal boots go with everything and I’m starting to dig it LOL!

  9. I love the boots. I love your label! Is there a particular pattern brand that fits you best do you find? I am assuming it might be Burda because I see that you sew with a lot of their patterns. This dress is perfect. Thank you.

    1. Hi Judy! Thank you! I think it’s going to be Burda also, I feel like they fit me really well just based on all the patterns I’ve sewn. But also that’s the whole point of this undertaking! To get a sense of which pattern brands fit my body and my particular fit issues best.

  10. Love love love that length on you, and I already own the pattern (Joann sale!) but didn't think I'd use it and was going to give it away. Now I'm planning to play with the pattern a bit. THanks for the inspiration!

  11. Beautiful! These colors are glorious on you. Isn't it fun to take your time and revel in the process? Your efforts really show. Damn, your legs look fabulous with those colors and that style of skirt and length. You nailed this one!!!

  12. That is one gorgeous dress and it fits you wonderfully. I love everything about it. You did a fantastic job.


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