I will buy a pattern that only contains one view I plan to sew (like V9327) but I love it when I like all the views of a pattern. Even more so when each view is more than just a minor tweak. This is why I love McCalls 7774, it includes two different silhouettes and four different views, all of which I would (will) make. Views A and B are loose fitting, pull over, A-line dresses while Views C and D have a fitted bodice, gathered skirt and back zip. As an added bonus each view includes inseam pockets! I’ve already sewn up View B here, but this post is all about View C.
I knew I wanted a linear print fabric for View C to highlight the bias cut of the bodice, the grain cut of the skirt and the cross-grain cut of the hem band. Initially I considered gingham, but gingham is the same horizontal and vertical so you would miss the contrast from the skirt to the hem band. When I saw this geometric stripe cotton lawn in Topstitch Studio and Lounge (way back when I co-hosted the Swap n Sew on June 23rd) I thought “That could work”!
This dress has been a long time in the making. I can typically squeeze out 1-2 garments a week and I love instant gratification, but this dress has been pushed back time and time again for pattern testing deadlines and other sews. So finally three months after I purchased the fabric this dress is finally DONE and I love it!
I cut a size 18 at the bust (which allowed for 2″ of wearing ease) and graded to a 20 at the waist and below. Everything came together easily although slowly. I didn’t really use the instructions as I make dresses all the time and know the order of construction. I did not slip stitch around the zipper (I sandwiched it instead), but I did slip stitch the bodice lining at the waist. I just think it looks cleaner than stitching in the ditch. I believe the instructions say to slip stitch.
The trickiest part was lining up the bodice fronts and backs to ensure they come together correctly at the center seams. To do this I draw right on my pattern tissue. I trace the design in a few spots on the first piece I cut, so that when I cut the mirror image (don’t forget to flip your pattern piece) I can use those trace marks to line up the other side. Mine is not quite perfect as this pattern is quite busy, but I’m pleased with my front center seam. It gives the upside down V effect.
This cotton lawn is the perfect lightweight fabric for this dress. It has a little structure to really make the gathered skirt pop and it still light enough to get caught in the wind. Topstitch still has this fabric in stock here as well as an assortment of other lawns.
Pattern: McCalls 7774
Pattern Description: Loose-fitting pull over dresses have side pockets. C, D: Fitted dresses have gathers, side pockets, neckline and length variations, and back invisible zippers.
Sizing: 6-14, 14-22 I sewed a 18/20
Difficulty: 3/Advanced Begineer
Fabric Used: Geometric Cotton Lawn from Topstitch Studio and Lounge
Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t really follow them, but I think so.
Likes: I love how it plays with all the grains of the pattern.
Dislikes: The pockets are a little high, it was awkward to pose with my hands in them.
Pattern alterations or any design changes made: None, I just graded sizes to fit my measurements.
Would I sew it again? Yes, I still want to sew views A & D but it probably won’t be until next spring/summer.
Would I recommend it to others? Definitely, it’s a nice dress.
Conclusion: A great dress to show off an interesting print.