Let me just address the elephant in the room first, yes I shamelessly copied Ray Stitch for this project. A while ago, they posted this photo on Instagram and I knew I had to have that dress in the same fabric – because apparently my obsession with yellow/mustard/gold isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So, let’s talk about the M7948 (such beautiful name for this pattern, eh? Very memorable. LOL).
This pattern is one of their new releases for this year’s Autumn collection, or maybe Summer? I can’t even remember, but it doesn’t matter, because I freakin’ love it anyway! The pattern comes in 4 views, the variations being in the skirt (pleated or gathered and with ruffle), and the sleeves (regular sleeves, ruffle sleeves, and sleeveless). All views have pockets. Ahhh pockets! *heart eyes*
The bodice has no darts and plenty of ease. I made size 14, it’s for those with these measurements: B36, W28, H38. Mine are B37, W30, H39 but I figured because of the design ease, size 14 would be ok. The finished bust measurement is 40.5″ and the bodice fits me perfectly around there. I do have a bit of fitting issue elsewhere, I’ll go into the details later.
The pattern calls for dobby, swiss dot, linen, or crepe. You’ll need a bit of interfacing for the facing pieces, as well as one 1/2″ button for the back opening, and bias tape if you choose the sleeveless option.
As I mentioned, the bodice has no darts and so I think will be perfect if you don’t want to break the pattern on your fabric. My 8 wale corduroy is loving this bodice!
I used the exact same fabric Ray Stitch used for their sample, it is their 8 wale cotton stretch corduroy in yellow. The fabric is 97% cotton and 3% elastane. To be honest, the stretch doesn’t do anything for this pattern. I think this fabric, being on the heavier side of medium weight and with the added stretch bonus would be perfect for trousers. I’d love a pair in maybe navy or grey! *heart eyes* The orange one is also gorgeous, I think. This yellow is more gold or mustard in real life, and it has a bit of sheen to it. Sooo pretty and soft. My favourite ever cord. I bought 2m of it and it is just enough to make the dress.
If you’re thinking of getting this fabric, just be aware that the nature of cords is to shed… A LOT. I had to clean the inside of Lola mid-project, twice!
I made View A with the bodice cut following the grainline instead of across the grain – because cords, y’know? I didn’t do much alteration to the paper pattern other than shortening the skirt by 2.5″ and the bodice by 1/2″. Looking at the finished dress now, I should’ve altered the back neckline as I notice I have 2cm excess of fabric there that makes the back neckline gape a bit.
I also swapped the button and thread loop opening in the back with contrasting invisible zipper. I chose navy, because I love the combo of gold/mustard with navy. For pockets, I decided to use lighter fabric, my fashion fabric would be too bulky for pockets, I think.
The sewing process.
This pattern is rated as easy by McCall’s, and I couldn’t agree more. It took me two days to finish the dress leisurely. There’s no complicated techniques involved here. That being said, I think for true beginner sewists, this pattern itself is great but the instructions are maybe not the best.
If a beginner were to follow the instructions to the T, I think they’d end up with a garment that would maybe last one wear. The instructions don’t mention finishing the seams other than on the glossary of techniques and when working on the facing. And if you’re working with cords, like mine, that’d be the biggest no-no ever!
So if you’re a beginner dressmaker, just remember to press and finish each seam after stitching, staystitch the curves (necklines, armholes, anything on the bias) before working on the pieces and you’ll be golden. 😉 Or better yet, grab your copy of Tilly’s Love at First Stitch, all the techniques and hand-holding you need are there (not sponsored, I just love this book so much).
I love how comfy the dress is, I’m not really into fitted bodice with my dresses, so this loose-fit style is right up my alley – plus it’s Christmas 😉 . The pockets are roomy, and even though they’re in-seam, the top of the pockets are stitched to the top of the front skirt so they stay put. The length of the skirt on the pattern envelope is actually midi (below the knee), but being short, I’m not sure that’s the best idea for me.
As I said, there’s a bit of gaping on the back neckline – although it’s not too obvious, certainly not in the picture above. But believe me, it’s there. I could fix it by removing the zipper and take in from the top, but I don’t think I’m going to do that just yet. The gaping isn’t nice, but it’s not sooo terrible, I could live with that, for now. I need to remember next time I sew with this pattern again to alter the back pattern piece.
This fabric makes the dress a bit on the heavier side to be honest. Which made me rethink about lining the skirt. I was planning to line it as cords are notorious for sticking to your tights, but with the weight already substantial, I think gravity will help me a bit. Or I could just wear a slip underneath.
This is the first time I sewed McCall’s pattern, and I must say I love the drafted pattern. I know with Big Four (or is it Five?) patterns you get plenty of options but the instructions are almost always minimal. But if you’ve got Tilly’s book or other dressmaking books in your library, or you’re very familiar with garment constructions, and you’re interested in the style this pattern offers, I’d recommend giving it a go.
Cord isn’t on the list of suggested fabrics but I think it works. Next time though I’ll probably try lighter weight fabrics, maybe needlecord or chambray.
So, what do you think? Have you finished your Christmas dress yet? 😀
That’s all from me today, enjoy the rest of your day and have a great week ahead. See you again soon.
PS: I’m hoping to have another post up before Christmas/New Year, but just in case the holidays get the better of me, I’d like to wish you all a merry Christmas and happiest New Year. See you in 2020. ❤