I have been a busy, buzzing bee the last few days! Yesterday I made my crazy Japanese elastic band skirt as well as my unveiled-today McCall’s 5974. Today I made a shirt version of the McCall’s dress and a turtleneck from Kwik Sew 3003. We’ll get to the shirts tomorrow. Today I’m all about the McCalls dress – the January edition of my year of the dress plot.  I chose this dress after seeing it on Andrea’s blog, The New Vintage Wardrobe.  And THEN, while getting myself together to write this post, I saw that Stitchywitch recently did a lovely wrap version that she just blogged about! Now I must immediately re-do the dress in the wrap version… but first, let’s look at some photos.

Yay! I really love this dress, especially in a cozy knit for winter wear. I had some trouble with the fit – I initially cut a size 18, veering out to a 22 or 24 at the waist and hips. Then I did an FBA of 1”. I was actually concerned that it wouldn’t be enough, as my NORMAL FBA for a big 4 size 18 pattern would be more like 5”! Here’s a lovely shot of the first version of the dress. With and without my helpful stretching…


Foxy, no? I pinned along the side seams to give me a rough idea of how much to take off, then I wiggled out of it, laid it on the cutting table and drew a girl-shaped curve in the side – shown in green below. I took off about 1.5” (3” total for each side, 6” total for the whole dress) on each side at the midriff, curving out the the original cutting line in the underarm and about 12” down the skirt side seam.

The fabric I used was a very slippery stretchy man-made something or other. It’s a bit jungle-cat, don’t you think? I interfaced the midriff band AND facing with fusible tricot. The instructions call for a 5/8” narrow hem on the neckline, but it seemed that the neckline was already too wide, and that a narrow hem would have great waviness potential. I ended up cutting a 2” strip of fabric on the cross-grain and sewing right sides together to the neckline, then folding over and slipstitching to the inside. I’m glad I did it that way, although it was more work! I hemmed the bottom of the skirt and the sleeves by serging with bright green thread. It was feeling a little too $117 dollar stretchy dress from the Macy’s women’s section. Action was required.

Here’s two more shots – on the left we have me, pretending it’s summer and I’m on my way to a grown up kegger-slash-bonfire in my orthopedic sling back wedges and denim jacket. On the right we have the dress in its intended habitat. Another cardigan, tights and boots. My winter uniform. The inquisitive look in the sweater picture is not me practicing my modeling skills. It’s me craning my head over the tripod to see what the naughty basset hound was up to. I can model and monitor at the same time!


Clearly, the sweater is a better look! I am going to have to find some time to make a denim jacket with a little shape (McCalls 5936? With a different neckline??)

And with that, I sign off. Tomorrow I will show off my crazy-knit-print shirt-version of this dress and perhaps I will post a photo of the turtleneck I made. That may be more of a Facebook page thing. I mean, it’s a turtleneck. How boring can I get?

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