Tag Archives: McCalls 7640

A Tale of Two Dresses (Part 2)

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Literally the day after I finished Simplicity 7514, I cut out McCall’s 7640. And sewed it up right away, for the most part, until I realised I had made fifteen buttonholes. And I couldn’t even find my container of dark-coloured buttons, not that I’m likely to have fifteen of any one kind kicking around. So it had to wait until I could get to Fabricland, and then THAT had to wait until I could stand the thought of sewing on fifteen buttons, so it took a bit longer to finish.

DSC08530And, well, it ain’t Simplicity 7514. I did more fit-fiddling on this damn thing than I have in quite a while. At least that’s easy with all the different seams on this pattern.

DSC08527I’m not sure how entirely I can blame the pattern, however. I cut a size 12 knowing it would probably be large, but that was the largest size in my pattern envelope and I was too lazy impatient to trace, but willing to cut if it didn’t obliterate other sizes. And then I assumed my fairly stable fabric didn’t need added stabilization along the top, despite all the blithe trying-on-and-wriggling-princess-seams-into-place I was doing. Although the bust size was about right right off the bat, and I got the waist length down with my usual petite alteration, I had to take in the front above the bust, and the sides right at the top, too—maybe not ENTIRELY because of handling without stabilization, but that definitely didn’t help. Plus some weird let-it-out-here-then-take-it-in-there fiddling.

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Hem & front

It was still a pretty darn fun fabric to work with, sturdy and forgiving of seam-ripping.

DSC08535AND the pattern was meant to be lined, so doesn’t have facings or any other nice way to finish the top, and again I was too lazy impatient to draft a proper facing so I tried to wing it and that created a few more minor issues.

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Because I had lots of fabric to play with I even added 8 cm to the length, making it pleasantly floor-swishy, although that doesn’t show so much in these pictures as I am wearing some pretty epic blog shoes. Which my long grass almost completely hides, but oh well.

In the end, this is a fairly heavy linen and still a bit stiff (I imagine enough washing and wear will help with that, eventually…) so it just doesn’t drape and caress the body like the wool did. Not to mention the wrinkling. You have to just embrace the wrinkling, people.DSC08534

It’s still pretty fun, though, and will undoubtedly be the coolest a long black dress could possibly me. My eighteen-year-old goth self is drooling jealously.

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A tale of two dresses (Part 1)

13531870_1114422621970948_122813415_nSo a few years ago I got this nice, substantial, shiny black linen with the plan of making a shirt for my husband—but it’s a bit heavy for his taste in linen shirts, so it has languished. And it surfaced during some recent stash diving, and I realized that there’s way more than the two-ish metres I had thought I’d bought—more like four or five. Yowza! And I was suddenly seized by the need for a swishy long black linen sundress. I dug up some options and posted them on Instagram, and the chorus was in favour of McCall’s 7640. And it did seem like it would be a really great linen sundress.

DSC08511But I still REALLY liked the idea of a long black version of Simplicity 7514. So I dug around stash some more, and stumbled upon this piece of black bargain centre fabric ($4.00/m tag still attached) that I didn’t have earmarked for anything. (I didn’t recall right off the bat but as construction, especially ironing, went on, I remembered the reason I picked it up. 100% wool, in what I suspect they would call a tropical weight.

Some pattern tetris followed, and I determined I could, in fact, fit a long, but short sleeved, version on my 4m of fabric. This is pretty awesome since the envelope called for about 6m. Woohoo!

DSC08506It’s been a long time since I made a Simplicity pattern, what with them not really being available up here any more. It was really nice, especially since the ‘vintage’ pattern (© 1997) has much thicker tissue paper than the current patterns seem to.

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That is a LOT of skirt.

I made my usual petite alterations, half below bust and half above. This always scares me in raglan sleeve styles, but it seems to work. The bust and waist are pretty much exactly where I want them. I maybe took it in a smidgeon at the sides. No square shoulder adjustment (I try to skip them on raglan sleeves) and no swayback alteration.

DSC08508The skirt is very, very swishy, and the fabric has a great drape.

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Back view.

The back neck does gape a bit, which isn’t common for me. The zipper is just a regular zipper, since I didn’t have any black invisible ones, and I kind of hate it, so if I decide I hate it enough to replace I’ll take it in. Otherwise, meh.

 

DSC08502Can I tell you a secret? This dress reminds me of a mediaeval kirtle. Just needs something white and long-sleeved underneath. I’m very tempted to add a row of little buttons down the front…

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Except it’s a real, every day dress. I love it. Whether I get to wear it enough to justify the excitement, I suppose, is a different story, especially as cleaning it may be, um, an issue.

So yeah, instead of a linen sundress, I made a wool regular-dress. Hmm. Well, we’ll get to the sundress in time…

 

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