pattern: mccall 7286. sort of. the version of the pattern i have actually is drafted to include more of a cuff than a cap sleeve, but i’ve discovered i don’t like a dramatic shoulder cuff (expect more on that in a later post). also, my version has actual waist pleats instead of gathers. i don’t have the actual pattern number in front of me, because i obtained this pattern in a really sweet way. the delightful fiona of glassoffashion on etsy sent it to me, for free, as part of an order because she felt that she hadn’t been able to package it to her usual standards (which are excellent, let me tell you) due to lack of materials. how’s that for service?
excuses: first off, i didn’t have enough fabric for the pattern, which required some creative drafting. i re-did the neckline with…interesting results, and then ended up cutting off the hated cuffs anyway. also, because of my neckline creativity, i did not have enough fabric to make a tie neck, which is what i originally wanted. that was its first sojourn to the desert. eventually, i decided to just draft a collar, similar to version 1, and add some facings. i drafted facings. i drafted and cut an undercollar in the main fashion fabric (liberty of london purple chris from purl) and then–nothing. back to the desert. the partially-constructed bodice had zero hanger appeal, so that didn’t help. i finished the skirt, a gorgeously drapey bias-cut version, in one sitting, and then ran out of the bias tape i was using to finish the edges. back to the desert. i used a weird color grosgrain ribbon one night to finish the waistline, but didn’t have the right color zipper. back to the desert. one night in a fit of productivity, i cut and constructed the collar/facing combo, attached it to the dress, and still didn’t have a zipper or bias tape. back to the desert (this was about 4 weeks ago). marked the hem, but didn’t feel like finishing it.
how i finished it: friday night sew-in, plain and simple. i sucked it up and took the measly 30 minutes to do the hem and finish the neckline and cap sleeve seams with bias tape in a navy color, now that i had incorporated navy into the collar and facings. i finally had a zipper, which i inserted by hand while watching some nero wolfe before bed. (many other things got done as well, which i hope to share with you this week and next)
worth the wait: no. (i expected to finish it that first weekend i cut it! it’s 4 pieces, for crying out loud!!) but it’s a comfortable and wearable dress that i expect i will return to often when i want some contrast. also, it’s great to have it finally in my closet instead of in the pile of things to do.
what’s going on here? i decided for the end of the year to focus on finishing up the little bits and bobs of pieces left to be done instead of trying to start something new. also, i do not celebrate christmas–we’re a chanukah family–so i will have plenty of relaxing, family-free downtime during this coming long weekend to get things done! i hope, between now and 31 december, to post a former flying saucer every day or so, so that i can spend the long new year’s weekend relaxing and starting plenty of new projects!
Dress with cap sleeves and shoulder pads. Sewn or purchased belt. View A with collar and v-neckline. View B with bow closure.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
when i got this pattern, i was ready to try for one of the iconic (to me) bias-cut chevron bodices, so the timing was right. also, i love the flare of the bias-cut skirt. there’s nothing else that flows like it.
liberty of london tana lawn “purple chris” from purl soho, NYC
mystery fabric “microfiber suiting” in navy from paron annex, NYC
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
this is not my exact pattern. my exact pattern had cuffs on the cap sleeve for more drama (which i decided i didn’t like) and a higher neckline (which i didn’t have enough fabric to accommodate). also, i shortened the skirt because i’m more comfortable with the shorter length. my version also has wasitline pleats instead of gathers, which i think are a fun change.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
although this project spent more than 6 months in “area 51” until i got all the bits and pieces taken care of, the pattern is great and this design is a great way to play with 40s fashion.
great pattern, fun (not perfect) dress. it’s a good day.