Tuesday, August 09, 2016

McCalls 7385 - A Flowy Maxi Dress

I've had this pattern since it was first released because I love maxi dresses! However, I made so many versions of McCalls 6559 last year, that I have absolutely no desire to sew any more of that pattern this year. 

I've fallen hard for long, flowy maxi dresses because a maxi with a lot of fabric keeps you warm in the manufactured air...yet handles a nice breeze outside with a gently flowiness. So the desire for more flowy maxi dresses is why I ended up sewing this pattern.



Supplies ~
Floral linen purchased from Joann's with a birthday gift certificate
Blue rayon suiting from Fabric Mart via the fabric collection
22" lt. blue invisible zipper
blue bias binding

Pattern Alterations ~

Before I talk about the construction of this dress, I need to say that I HATE the main front pattern piece for this dress. I have NO idea why it was necessary to make the center front bodice and skirt the same pattern piece. It's a recipe for disaster. Cause matching, cutting and clipping that front insert is a beast and not easy to do. Making separate pieces would have made it soooooo much easier to construct!


Construction Info ~
This is a cup size pattern so between that the fact that there is soooooo much fabric in the skirt, I didn't need to make any alterations to the pattern pieces. Seriously, I made NO pattern alterations with this dress. I sewed a size 22 straight out of the envelope.

So here are the deets for making my version of this dress ~
  1. The neckline was a little to low so I raised it an inch and added seam tape to both sides of the seam to reinforce the seam then I went and lowered it after I added a front facing.
  2. All of that fabric had to be gathered. I used my new favorite gathering method, zig zagging over dental floss and all of that fabric that had to be wrestled through my sewing machine. That was an experience in itself!
  3. Originally I had the front slit in the dress skirt but after trying it on, I removed the topstitching and sewed the front seam up. I think it didn't work as well because I used the linen and not a drapier fabric like rayon.
Here is where I deviated from the pattern instructions ~
The pattern suggests that you line the sides of the dress front and back and then handstitch it to the center front and back pieces. You use those pieces to finish the armhole stitches.


However, I used the split neck version for my dress and I knew those pieces would flop open. I didn't want the reverse sides of the center front pieces showing. So I changed this. I cut another set of center front pieces and made a back facing piece.



I used those pieces to finish the neckline. Then I added some bias binding to the armholes to finish them off.

Also I always saw the top of the dress colorblocked.  So I used two separate fabrics to make the vision I saw in my head come to life. I'm very pleased with how the two fabrics worked together and how the finished dress looks.

Pictures of the dress ~




Worn with a white sweater...



Conclusion ~
Halfway through making this dress, I thought why am I branching out and using different styles? The dress was baggy and it seemed to make my hips look really wide!  And I thought I will never wear it alone, it will always need to have a cardigan over it.

Get to the end after making a few more fitting adjustments and I'm a little amazed at the dress. I guess it's okay to step out of your comfort zone every once in awhile especially since I got several compliments when wearing this dress.

I'm not the only one who's made this dress recently. Margo who authors the blog, Creating in the Gap made this gorgeous version. We chose different fabrics and Margo made the dress per the pattern instructions, however, I think we both ended up with great versions of the pattern. It also more than fulfilled my desire for a full, floaty maxi dress.

...as always more later!


32 comments:

  1. I just love being the first to comment. That dress is Gorgeous!,put away the cardigan and show that thing off!

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  2. I completely agree with Faye. You look fantastic in this dress. I prefer it without the cardi on

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  3. Your version gives the pattern a new look and I like it. I have this pattern in my stash and I ditto the top two comments loose the cardigan Sista!

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    Replies
    1. Y'all I carry a cardigan with me at all times. While walking to the bus or outside, I don't wear it. But on public transportation or in the office, I ALWAYS wear a cardigan or I'd freeze to death.

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  4. LOVE LOVE this maxi dress.....the color blocking is perfect, very flattering on you....think I need this pattern too! Good Make Indeed

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  5. What a phenomenal dress! Really beautiful. I love the pairing of the fabrics. You look amazing.

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  6. WOW!!! This dress is fab!!
    Thanks for always inspiring me--

    Sandy

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  7. It's really pretty and is screaming summer! I like the contrast a lot!

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  8. Gorgeous! I love the fabric pairing. Definitely a winner!

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  9. Oh my gosh, Carolyn, I love the dress. I want to make a Maxi for an October wedding and this would be perfect!

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  10. I agree, no cardi! This dress is so fantastic on you I had to comment. When I first saw it I thought you had a little blue shrug on. Love the blocking you did and that you made something that is so you and so dynamite on your shape. Way to go.

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  11. Really stunning dress. Love it.

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  12. Fantastic fabric choice for that great color blocking! I do wonder why that front piece is drafted as one, how unusual, haha.

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  13. The color blocking looks great and you look great in the dress!

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  14. Definitely a winner! Perfect color blocking, I love it!

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  15. Pretty lady. :) love you version!!

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  16. I've got this dress already cut out and ready to sew, so was glad to read this posting - esp about the facing. Mine is in rayon, which I'm not looking forward to working with, but I really liked your dress... So I'll continue with mine

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    1. Katherine - Margo of Creating in the Gap made hers from a rayon. Maybe she has some tips on her blog about what she did.

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  17. Carolyn, this is lovely! Great fabric combination!

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  18. This looks fabulous, great job!

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  19. Very pretty! I love the color blocking. I just wish I were tall enough for maxis.

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  20. Totally agree that it's definitely worth trying different things now and then! Those inset corners are always tricky and there was no room for error with your colour blocking, but the whole dress turned out great. Are you going to put a waist seam in your next version and make life easier?!

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    Replies
    1. Allison - I've already redrafted the pattern pieces to include a waist seam. I just have to find a fabric combo I like. I didn't have enough fabric for my original choice. Hopefully I will get to it before the summer ends.

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  21. It's a beautiful dress and looks lovely on you - I agree that you don't need the cardigan though I, too, carry one with me everywhere to help brave the air conditioning.

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  22. wow - You look amazing. The dress is beautiful - great fabric pairing.

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  23. I love that floral fabric!! You look really pretty in this dress <3

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