McCalls M7244

Hello everyone!

A bit late with this post but here is my main make using the fabulous black and white textured scuba from Fabworks. It took some time for this fabric to be paired with this pattern. I was planning on making a Coco dress version a la Love, Lucie (which is where I first saw this fabric) but it just didn’t happen. Somehow I landed on this Plenty by Trace Reese McCalls M7244 – a semi-fitted, partially lined dress (close-fitting through bust) has flounce and invisible back zipper. The fabric’s fate was sealed.

McCalls M7244

The dress is designed for medium-weight moderate stretch knits so this fabric fit the bill. Plus the rich texture of this fabric brings up the dress a notch IMHO.I cut out the size small but as soon as I compared the pattern to my knit bodice sloper I knew a swayback adjustment would be needed. I did a tricky  1.75″ swayback and that did the trick. That CB seam follows the curves of my back perfectly now. Skims rather than tight IYSWIM.

McCalls M7244 Side view
M7244
M7244

After cutting out the fabric I basted the bodice together to try it on and unfortunately it was way too big. In 1/2″ increments I got the right size for me when I had taken in the side 1.5″. I also remembered to take that off the sleeve head as well. This distorted the bust dart and I think next time I make it I will have to redraft the dart by grading the pattern down.

2.5mm Twin Needle hem
Isn’t that a lovely neckline?

I didn’t bother with the zip. It easily goes on and off. There are a few things I did that were not in the instructions:

  •  stabilising the shoulder seam. The instructions do say to double stitch but I find its more effective to use clear elastic.
  • stabilised the dropped waist seam. The dropped waist falls where there will be movement so I think it could do with reinforcement to stop it from stretching out. Plus the fabric has a bit of weight to it and the flounce does pull on the upper bodice so the extra support helps.
  • stabilised the hem for top stitching by using double sided tape and my clapper (while the material is wrinkle free it resists pressing!). It did the trick and I have minimal tunneling here.
  • that lovely neckline needs to stabilised before sewing up, otherwise it will stretch out. Staystitching is not enough. Either use clear elastic or twill tape or stay tape or fusible stay tape. I am not too happy with the bulk at the neckline and I could have topsticthed it down but that would stretched it out. Next time I will use a thinner jersey fabric for the facings to reduce bulk. I will also make the facing about 10% smaller to reduce the slight gaping at the neckline.
M7244
The rich texture really makes this dress pop.

The faced finish on the neckline is nice and clean. I was tempted to skip it (in my impatience) but I am glad I followed through. I do like that neck line – its wide and deep without being too….expansive :-).

McCalls M7244
McCalls M7244

One new thing I absolutely loved about making this is that I learnt a new skill – working with power mesh! Its fantastic stuff and in future I will use it on knit projects. I feel like it just makes the dress hang better and feels nice against my skin. It cost me £6/meter for the mesh and this used less than one meter. The instructions on how to attach the lining are frankly speaking ….. terrible. Its easy enough to see that you are supposed to sew up the lining mesh. Attach it to the neckline facing then sew the outer bit to the inner bit at the neckline. That’s what I did.2016-03-07 12.37.00 2016-03-07 12.37.09

The sleeves are set in.I am not sure if thats just me but I felt that the sleeve cap was just too high. For my next iteration I am reducing this a little bit and see how it goes.

Despite the changes I made I feel I managed to maintain the original proportions intended by the designer. This dress turned out so much better than how I pictured it my head and I love it! SO much so I have already cut another one. Its also quick to make up. I think it might also look nice sleeveless for a summer make  although this would require a bit of redrafting on the armhole.

It swishes when I stride.
…and it twirls well too!
Loving my new M7244

I like this dress. Its not often I show off my little cleavage 🙂

Thanks for stopping by until then…..

Happy Sewing!

Hila

X0X

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55 thoughts on “McCalls M7244

  1. I am so impressed! Knits are tricky to work with. Your twin needle stitching looks professional. You combined different kinds of knits in this one project. You’re sure to advance your skills again with the next dress you ake.

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    1. Thanks! Yes it might do. Keep us posted on how you get on. I want to make a summer one in a lighter weight jersey which might mean using a smaller size for the lining..

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  2. What a fantastic use for that lovely fabric you bought. It looks fab on you. I might have to invest in that pattern as, once you said you didn’t bother with putting the zip in, you sold me on it completely 😉

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  3. Aw, I love that on you! It really suits you, very girly and twirly! thanks for showing the insides too – I bet that really helps with how it hangs. I’ve seen in in Samuel Taylors but only thought it would be used in swimming costumes – hence I’ve never bought any!! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Ali! I want to make it in black so I can have a little black dress. You a re right about girly – I do feel like a proper girl in it. Not a mum of 5 but a girl IYSWIM:-) Its a nice feeling….

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    1. Thanks Kate. I was very pleased with how it turned because I had never considered dropped waists until I started sewing and experimenting with different silhouettes. I am trying more stuff with the power mesh – its quite a revelation to me how useful it is.

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  4. You look so FAB in this dress! And that neckline is devine! Can I just ask how you made a knit bodice sloper? I know I need either a swayback adjustment or just shorten the bodice but I haven’t been successful at either. As well, I was wondering if you think it would be good to line the whole dress? Does the dress ride up at all? I just bought this pattern and can’t wait to make my version! Thanks for the stabilizing advice and the great inspiration!

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    1. Hi lillug! Thanks for your lovely comment. I bought a Craftsy Bodice pattern drafting class which walked me through drafting a sloper. Its one by Suzy Furrer – I reccommend it. You dont need to line the whole dress – I dont think the flouce need lining nut it may add interest to have a contrast lining? The dres does not ride up because it skims my body rather than neing pulled tight. Hope this helps and good luck!

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  5. Fab pattern/ fabric combination. I love this on you, pretty but elegant and fun too. I bet you could wear this on so many occasions. I’ve banned myself from buying patterns for a while, but this may have to go on my waiting list 🙂

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    1. Thanks! Its great little dress. And so warm actually. I envy your willpower Teresa – I cant keep to a pattern buying freeze. I have tried so many times that I have given up. I am not allowed to buy full price patterns though only on sale or Ebay bargains under £3 (incl P&P).

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  6. Love the dress, love the “flooze” and swirl! What made you decide to try power mesh? I’ve never thought of using it, but I wear a slip with just about all my knit dresses. It would be nice to get that worked into the dress itself. Did you find a good tutorial? I also saw your recomendation for the Craftsy bodice sloper. I think it time I invest in something like that. Thanks!

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