Years and years later, I always think in multiples. I love a pattern that I can make 4 or 5 garments from...an example of such is the multitude of dresses I made from McCalls 6559 or Vogue 1250. I know this is boring sewing to a lot of sewists but it's a huge wardrobe builder when you're starting from scratch again. Also it really let's me explore a pattern through fabric and changes to the pattern itself.
Here are my versions of McCalls 7348 all made during the mini-sewcation I had the 4th of July weekend. My first post on this pattern was about my wearable muslin where I determined how I wanted to alter the pattern. These next three dresses reflect those pattern changes and design opportunities.
Dress One ~ Blue & White Ltwt. Ponte
- This is my second wearable muslin because this one has the excess fabric removed from the dress giving it the slimmer yet loose fit that I was looking for. I've also lengthened the cap sleeve and made it a little longer for my bodacious biceps.
- I've realized that this dress needs a center back seam for future versions.
- And I will shorten the dress' hem because I serged off 1.5" before turning under 1" for the final hem.
The ponte fabric is a recent purchase from Fabric Mart and besides a little twill tape in the shoulder seams, there are no additional supplies used to complete it. While this is my first version of this dress using the altered pattern, it's not perfect but it's perfectly wearable!
Dress Two ~ Black 'n White Herringbone Ltwt. Ponte
Dress number two went together easily. I had a little practice! For this version I added a white neckband and sleeve bands to make it look more like a t-shirt which these dresses are based upon. However, as I was sewing it I decided I should share a few of the techniques I used. Even though it's a "Learn to Sew" pattern, better techniques will give you a more professional result.
I added a center back seam to the dress to give it a little more definition. Okay this is not a tight fitting or even a close fitting dress. This is a loose fitting dress but adding a back seam means there's not a lot of fabric hanging out in the back. Seam tape was added to the shoulder seams to stabilize them.
Lightweight herringbone ponte - a recent purchase from Fabric Mart
White ponte from the collection
The Neckband ~
I only used a 1/2" seam on the neckband to stitch it together. I determined the 4 quarters of the neckband and pinned it to the center back, center front and side seams. Then stretched and added alot of pins. When sewing it on, I stretched and sewed like the pattern instruction says. However, I think it's important that you pin it well. My first dress I just pinned it and the application was sloppy. I had to take the band off and put it back on.
Next good pressing with a lot of steam is involved. I even used a clapper to hold the press in. Then I added the stitching the pattern recommends. Even though this is an easy pattern, I took my time.
The Sleeve Band ~
I shortened the sleeve by 1" and serged finished the edge. Then I added a band by using the width of the neckband. It was folded in half and stitched to the sleeve. Serged finished the edge and pressed the seam up towards the sleeve. Next topstitching was added to the seam and it was pressed flat.
A few photos of the finished dress ~
These details make this dress different from my other versions and I love this dress because of them!
Dress Three ~ Black 'n White Floral Print
This version is all about the ponte print fabric. I chose this one from the collection because it had a little weight to it and I liked the print. But I knew the fabric would need something to make it sing so I added some black ponte to the neckline and for the sleeves. Both of these fabrics are from the collection and have been around for a minute waiting to be used.
That is the only thing that is different about this dress. All of the sewing techniques are the same as the first two dresses in this post. I think it has a little closer fit but that's due to the fabric and not to anything that I did differently.
A couple of pics ~
I know that these are loose unfitted dresses. It's the look I'm going for because it's become really hot around here. I want some throw on dresses that can be accessorized, dressed up or down for whatever. Mostly though I wanted some casual dresses that will fit into my work atmosphere, yet have the styling details that are me.
Originally I thought that I would make five of these but after these three and the wearable muslin, I'm done with this pattern for now. That's not to say I might not revisit it later. However, I now have more garments on my to-sew list that I'd like to get off my fabric shelves and into my closet.
I'm still sewing especially since I think I've finally found my groove. There are a couple of skirts and another dress or two coming up!
...as always more later!