The sun’s out and I have nothing to wear - the dresses I made last year no longer fit me! I’ve started running again to get back in shape but in the meantime I’m making some loose fitting dresses that I’ll still be able to wear when I’m back to my usual size.
This is the McCall’s M7381 dress which features a lined bodice with a tie front and a pleated skirt. I got this pattern free with Love Sewing magazine which includes sizes XS-XXL (4-26) but if you're buying the pattern from elsewhere, the pattern comes in two sizes: XS-M (4-14) and L-XXL (16-26). If you're buying from the McCall’s website you can choose a size by clicking on the size range next to the quantity box (it’s not immediately obvious as they’ve removed the default select box styles for some reason).
I made this dress in a size XS last year in exactly the same fabric and the sleeves, waist and bust fit perfectly but the shoulders were a little too narrow (this is a common fitting issue for me and I’ve since learnt to check for this by measuring the pattern pieces and subtracting the seam allowance). Here's a picture of the one I made last year – my photography has definitely improved!
This time I made a size M with no adjustments. The shoulders fit perfectly but I‘ll try a small bust adjustment next time because there is far too much ease in the chest area and it bulges out when I sit down. Other than that, I’m happy with the fit and length (for reference, I’m 5’5” and it ends just above my knee).
When I made this dress last year, it was my first time using a Big Four pattern and I had trouble finding the finished garment measurements. For anyone else having the same problem, the finished measurements can be found on the individual pattern pieces (just under the bust apex marking in the image below). Make sure you check them before cutting out your size because these companies often add far more ease than the indie pattern companies.
I used the royal blue sweet pea viscose (rayon) fabric from Fabric Land which was only £3.99 per metre and view C required just over 2.5 metres of fabric so it only cost me around £20.00 to make in total, including the snaps, interfacing and thread (Gutermann Sew-all #232 if you're looking for matching thread for this fabric).
As I was taking the photos for this post, I noticed lots of tiny holes in the fabric where I’d removed the basting stitches from the pleats but I just ran my nail over them which moved the threads back into place.
I also noticed a little hole underneath the ties at the front waistline where I haven't quite caught the fabric between the lining and the skirt - I'll take it to work and do a bit of lunchtime hand sewing!
What are you sewing for spring? Do you have a favourite dress pattern? I'm looking for new patterns to try so let me know if you have any recommendations!
This blog post was updated on 14th October 2018 to show the correct size range for the Love Sewing version of this pattern. I originally said it was only available in sizes XS-M which was incorrect.