First of all, happy National Sewing Month to all you creatives out there!
I’m closing out my “official” summer sewing with a dress from McCalls 7562 that I made in August for my youngest daughter, Rachelle. She now has it, but for this post, I’m modeling it. She bought the pattern a couple of years ago and it is now discontinued but still can be found in all the usual places (ETSY, eBay and Amazon).
McCall’s describes this pattern as loose-fitting pullover dresses that have sleeve and hem variations. I will add that it also has pockets. The version I made was view C. If you like easy to wear comfy summer dresses, this pattern, with all its variations is a good investment. My oldest daughter and I really like this pattern too so I would not be surprised if someday all three of us have some version of this dress.
The pattern calls for Chambry, Denim, Cotton blends and crepe. However, we chose the Ombre Ikat Print Rayon Challis from Stylemaker. It is an absolutely beautiful, soft and drapey fabric but it did pose some challenges for this design, which I will go into later.
Since this fabric was a horizontal stripe with a 24″ repeat, we did order a half extra yard of fabric to be on the safe side.
The front view showing the scooped neckline with a tab and pockets. I think this would also make a great swimsuit coverup.
Making the Dress
I first made a muslin for Rachelle to try on. She wanted to be able to wear this dress to work in her office so we made some changes. I raised the neckline about two inches, made the tab shorter and added some length to the hem.
Also, the pockets were too low and so I raised them a good three inches. Rachelle is not super tall (5’7″) and I was surprised that this pattern had the pockets so low. She felt that the sleeves were to long for her and I shortened them about 1 1/2 inches. It usually pays to make that muslin with a new pattern!
The Side View-this shows the split of the sleeve top (which is one of my favorite features) and a good view of the curved hem.
The hem is faced. The facing is weighted with a light weight iron-on interfacing.
Also, with a vertical pattern this large, care needs to be made in lining up the repeats because it would really show if you didn’t. I took extra time basting the side seams so the fabric would not slip as I was sewing it on my machine.
Neckline & Tab
The neckline is finished with a same fabric bias strip. which gives a nice neat edge.
There is a reason, I think, that the pattern did not call for Challis. The Challis could not support the tab and it kept wanting to flip open, which was not a pretty sight. I solved the problem with a small hand made bar tack to hold it in place. Rachelle now wants some type of bead on the bar tack to give it reason to be there (rather than just holding up the tab). That does make sense and will eventually be on my to do list. That is when we figure out which one of us has our stash of blue beads!
If I make this for myself and decide to use Challis again, I will just leave the tab out. If you pick a striking design, I think it gets visually lost anyway.
The Back View-Nothing special going on here. I just always like showing the back of the garment to get an idea what it looks like when you are walking away.
Seams & Pockets
I used French seams throughout the dress. This brings up the pockets. These are the second pockets I’ve used the French seam on. I did my first set last Fall and went through a lot of videos on YouTube to find the method that I though was the best. Global Fashion Workshop had, in my opinion, the best looking one. This is a Russian school uses a translator but the method is so clearly demonstrated that every step is crystal clear.
Global Fashion Workshop’s French seam pocket looks so good and lies perfectly. I made a sample from muslin the first time around and keep it on file just as a refresher as I’m watching the video.
My Final Thoughts
With the exception of the tab in front, this is a beginner level pattern. Truthfully, I don’t see the need for the tab because this dress would easily slip on and off without it (even if you raise the neckline as I did). As I mentioned earlier, I probably won’t even add one next time.
Also, if I make a version for me, I also might narrow the neckline by about 1″ because my bra straps are generally wider that what most have to wear. They don’t show here, but I’m thinking better safe than sorry.
I just left the sleeve ties dangling and like that look. They could be tied into a bow or even cut shorter for a more tamed look.
French seams aren’t necessary, that’s just what I chose.
I can see View B as a great fall transitional dress and a knitted sweater could be added under it for layering. This pattern has all kinds of possibilities.
That wraps this one up. It’s time to concentrate on some transitional pieces.
Take care everyone and stay safe.
Until next time, happy creating!