Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Acid Green Summer Frock from McCalls

Today's project is a dress I'd cut out in July and finally finished a couple of weeks ago. Had to finally get around to taking some photos to share here -- not every project is a win, and this one just doesn't really do it for me. I love the pretty rayon fabric but overall I just find the fit fussy despite all my attempts to fix it up. 

I chose McCalls 7712, View B (the simplest one with no added frills). It's a loose summer dress, almost cocoony in a way. As drafted, there are pockets in the middle seam, so that the pockets hang right across your front belly. Not my favourite look! So the first change I made was to move the pockets to the side seams, where I prefer them. I was just careful to transfer the pocket placement lines to the outer edges at the same levels. 

I also raised the point of the neckline by an inch, and did the same to the facing, so I'd be a little more comfortable wearing it. That worked out fine, but I think I slightly stretched the right neckline while attaching the facing despite stay stitching, and it bothers me! If I decide that I like this after all, I may unpick the shoulder facing and shorten the right side by 1/2" at that shoulder seam to get it to lay flatter. I often shorten the right side by a fraction anyhow, as my right shoulder is lower than the left. 

I finished and tried it on, and despite the beautiful fabric and the intent to make a loose caftany dress, I just didn't like the fit. It looked too oversized and shapeless. I considered taking in the side seams in the bodice but then thought about putting a tie in the back. However, I'm not a fan of back ties in general, so then it occurred to me to copy one of my favourite RTW dresses and put some shirring in the centre back panel. I used that RTW dress to figure out the optimal placement for the gathering and then drew my stitching lines with a Frixion pen and got out the elastic thread for some quick shirring.

I followed the instructions by Closet Core Patterns, with the only difference being that I couldn't tuck the ends into the seams as my piece was already constructed. So I carefully pulled the threads to the bottom and tied them off together to secure them. It seems to have worked but I'm still not 100% in love with this one. 

I don't know if it is the fit, the colour on me, or just that this is a summer project that has been hanging over my head and now it's not really seasonal. I may leave in the magic closet for a while and see if I like it later on. If not, I have a couple of friends my size with the perfect colouring for this fabric and one of them might end up owning it! 

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