Wednesday, April 15, 2015

pattern review - mccall's 7117

I have a confession to make - I only made one Easter dress this year.  Gracie had an old dress that used to belong to Ruth, and I bought Mae's dress from H&M because it was adorable, cheap, and I was out of time :)  And the reason why I was out of time was this dress that I made for Ruth (and perhaps the stomach bug that went through our whole house in the two weeks before Easter, but I chose to block out that particular memory!) 

I started with McCall's 7117 view D with the shorter length from the other views as the base pattern.  I totally ignored the sizing on the envelope, pulled out the pattern pieces to find the finished garment measurements and determined Ruth's base size from these measurements.  And I'm glad I did, because if I had started with the size suggested on the envelope based on Ruth's measurements, the dress would have been way too big. I sewed the first muslin of the bodice as is, without any modifications at all.  Then, after making Ruth try it on (which was way more of a pain than it should have been!) I made two additional muslins to get the correct fit.  In the end, I made at least one change to every single pattern piece of the bodice.  I also chose to fully line the bodice and run the zipper all the way to the top of the dress instead of leaving the top part open and finishing it with a hook and eye. The skirt was sewn without any changes to the pattern.

The dress fits beautifully, but unfortunately you will just have to take my word for it, because Ruth doesn't have any interest in being on the blog.  Not that I blame her.  You won't see me too often on here either ;) 

The fabric I used for the dress was a very pleasant surprise.  I let Ruth pick any fabric she wanted from Joann's, and this was the only design and color scheme that appealed to her.  I was leery of anything from Joann's called Easy Wash & Care fabric, but it really is a lovely, soft fabric with beautiful drape once it's washed. I don't know exactly how to describe it other than to say it is not as stiff as a quilting cotton, but has a similar weight, and it is heavier than a rayon challis but has a similar drape.  Regardless, I would definitely use it again!

For this dress, a single picture of the inside isn't enough to show all the construction details, so instead you get three :)  Please ignore the fact the every picture looks crooked.  Either the dress form is not quite straight, which is possible since the kids love to dress it up.  Or, the more likely reason is just that I take crooked pictures!

As hard as I tried to get everything lined up with the zipper, you can see in this next picture that the lining is slightly off.  I probably could have fixed it, but I had already unpicked that zipper a few times due to not using the correct settings on my sewing machine, and I was just done!  That, and the fact that it was about 10 PM on the night before Easter and I still needed to fill about 200 plastic eggs before I went to bed ;)

The skirt is incredibly full.  It really didn't look that full on the pattern envelope, but it ended up having more volume than a complete circle skirt.  Gracie told me that she wants a dress like this too so she can twirl all the time!

Floral - Joann's Easy Wash & Care Pansies
Coats & Clark 20-22" Invisible Zipper


  1. Wow, it is beautiful! I love the yoke on the bodice and the pleats.

    1. Thanks! It's a really beautiful pattern. I would love to make it again in a solid so the lines of the pattern would be more visible :)

  2. That's a beautiful dress and I'm so glad you showed the inside so we can really see all the seaming. What an interesting design!

  3. Beautiful dress, lovely fabric choice! It looks beautiful inside too!

  4. Wow! This fabric really holds all of those pleats so beautifully. I'm sure this is lovely to wear!