McCalls 5583

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Note – this is almost the same as my review over on Pattern Review, but with a few more details and lots of extra pics.

Pattern Description: MISSES’/MISS PETITE DRESSES AND SLIP: Loose fitting, slightly flared dress, above mid-knee has back zipper closure; dress A is sleeveless; dress B has long sleeves with wrist casings; dress C has three-quarter length sleeves; pullover, above mid-knee, A-line slip D (fitted through the bust) has shoulder straps and stitched hem.

McCalls 8853

McCalls 8853

I made dress A, the sleeveless view.

Pattern Sizing:4-12 and 14-20.  All have alternative pattern pieces for A/B cup, C cup, and D Cup.  I made a size 20 with C cup (yay, I’m not a D cup in these patterns any more!)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? YES!!  Except I think mine is even cuter. I would have loved to get hold of the exact same fabric as the pattern picture – looks a bit Marimekko, doesn’t it?

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy – but I cannot work out for the life of me why pattern companies insist on putting zippers in things you can pull over your head!  I did use an invisible zip this time, but won’t in the next iteration.

And without the zip, there’s no reason to have that centre back seam – so I’ll cut the back as well as the front on the fold next time. That will also avoid the awkward “oh, I should have pattern matched the back” problem on this fabric. (and I wasn’t entirely happy with the way I did the zip – never mind, I’m not re-doing it now!)

Next time, no back seam!

Next time, no back seam!

I used French seams on the shoulders and sides – the pattern called for “double stitched seams” so why not?!  The neck and armholes are bound – I think next time I’ll stitch the binding so it finishes on the outside instead, as a design feature in contrasting fabric.  With no seam in the whole dress could be made with no exposed seams – which means the stitching will probably outlast the fabric.

What did you particularly like  or dislike about the pattern? Likes: It’s fun, flirty, twirly- and quick!  I needed an outfit for a “Frock Up” event for a friend’s birthday party, but at only 7 weeks post major abdominal surgery, I can’t wear anything with a waist – because right now, I don’t have one. 🙁

Twirly dress!

Twirly dress!

Dislikes: This is a trapeze style dress (super cute!), and so has a LOT of hem. I hand stitched it this time  – all 200cm/78″ – the next version will definitely have a machine stitched hem.  Hand hemming took me almost as long as making the dress!

Fabric Used:
150 cm wide Cotton with 3% lycra, bought from local fabric heaven, Gardam’s.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

As shown on the pattern envelope – this is SHORT!! For a size 20 the finished pattern measurements from back of neck to hem are 92cm/36″.  I initially lengthened the pattern at the hem by 11cm; once I’d hemmed it to my satisfaction the finished length was 98 cm, which falls just mid knee for me (168 cm/5’6″), so I cut about 4 cms off that 11 cm.

I also used saddle/triple stitching with embroidery thread to finish the neck and arm bindings – not something most people will notice but it made me happy.

As already mentioned, I used an invisible zipper – in low stress seams such as this I think they look better than the “traditional” lapped zipper. You really don’t need a zipper at all.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I’m already planning the next version in a sheer chiffon with a jap silk slip.

I adore this dress!  Can’t wait to make it again, it’s so quick and easy to wear.  I can see me wearing these a
lot over our hot summer here in Queensland.  And in a less dressy fabric these will be perfect for popping over togs on the way to and from the pool

Next up: Simplicity 2981: in this fantastic cotton poplin sewing themed fabric! (The scissors are about half an inch long, to give you an idea of the scale)

Simplicity 2981, View B

Simplicity 2981, View B