McCalls 8775: Chambray Tent Dress

mccalls8775_front2_062014

mccalls8775_front1_062014

+ + +

I’ve been reading Marianne Faithfull’s autobiography for the last few days, and I’ve resolutely decided that the 60s need to come back. I’d settle for the latter half of the 60s, 1967 onward.

I also decided that I’ve missed vintage sewing, but I wanted to sew more things that I’d wear everyday and would fit into my lifestyle. I don’t have the lifestyle (as of yet!) to swan about in 1950s dresses, so I turned to the late 60s.

I don’t usually wear dresses with high necklines, but since it’s short I needed something to balance it out. I lowered the neckline by an inch and a half (more adjustments documented below), and it was still high enough to look like a high neckline (to me) and to still be comfortable.

I’ve already worn this dress to work a few times, and it’s very comfortable. It’s also short (for what I’m used to!), so I I have to be careful when going to the subway, walking about, sitting down. It’s comfortable, practical, can be dressed up or down, and looks different from what’s out there in ready to wear. Many more dresses like this to come, for certain.

+ + +

Pattern:

mccalls8775_pattern_062014

McCalls 8755, from 1967.

(I originally planned to sew this dress in a green floral but that proved to be disastrous. It was just too much fabric for such a simple dress.)

+ + +

Project Details:

Pattern: McCalls 8755.

Pattern Sizing: Size 14.

Description: Sleeveless, front yoked dress has high neckline and center back zipper.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Chambray.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s comfortable, stylish, and looks somewhat unique.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Shortened skirt by eight inches, narrow back adjustment, used seam binding instead of facing, lowered the neckline by 1 1/2 inch, used an invisible zipper.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes.

Sewing Meetups + Actual Sewing

Esteemed Sewing Assistant, looking totally bewildered and sitting on some fabric.

+ + +

Alright. After an unexpected hiatus of almost of almost two months, I definitely think I’m back.

Over the weekend, I had a chance to meet Lauren, Oona, Cindy (Cindy, where is your blog?) and many more inspiring ladies who sew. We hit up the usual — Mood, Pacific Trimmings, Chic Fabrics — and a bar afterwards, but sadly I have no photographs to show for this.

+ + +

I worked on more of McCalls 5805, but with no additional photographs to show for it, since it looks the same on the dress form. I cleaned up and serged the side seams, bottom seam, and the shoulder seam. I also cut, underlined, and serged the gathered skirt together, but haven’t assembled anything yet.

+ + +

This is what the bottom skirt part will look like. There’s a huge border print of even larger roses. The cotton voile looked a little see-through so I had to underline it with black cotton broadcloth just to be safe.

More sewing to come, definitely soon.

Special Occasion Sewing: Bridesmaid Dress

One of my friends is getting married in the summer, and I need to make a dress. I’m trying to narrow down the styles/patterns for it. I have it narrowed down to three:

McCalls 7488. This is one of the most unusual dresses in my pattern collection. I plan to remove the gathers from the waist and convert them into darts.

+ + +

McCalls 6604. Another really interesting pattern, with double scallops.

+ + +

McCalls 5395. Basic sheath dress.

+ + +

My first pick so far is the double scallop dress. Any ideas?

The Live Through This Dress

+ + +

Fabric: black wool, $7/yd, approx 2 yd. white lace, approx $5/yd, 1 yd
Pattern: McCalls 7707
Year: 1960
Notions: black invisible zipper, $1
Time to complete: a couple of evenings
First worn: Haven’t been worn yet!
Wear again? Yes
Total cost: $20

Everyone needs an austere black dress with a white lace collar. I’ve been listening to a lot of Hole circa 1994 (especially Live Through This) when I made this dress, and it was inspired by a similar dress that Courtney Love wears.

I think the black wool I used was too stiff for this pattern. I used the scalloped collar and didn’t interface the collars out of laziness, and I think the collar turned out too wobbly.

I plan to make this again with modifications, using a wool with more drape and more simple collar.

It was incredibly cold the morning when I took these photos, so I’ll have to figure out what works for the rest of the winter.

+ + +

Pattern used:

McCalls 7707.

+ + +

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Lightly fitted and flared dress, with high waistline in front, may be sleeveless or have long set-in sleeves. Long sleeves are scalloped at wrists and closed with zippers. Two-piece contrasting collar on sleeveless dress, or matching scalloped dress on collar with sleeves. Collars are interfaced. Buttons are used as decorative trim on upper front. Either version has center back zipper, may be lined.

Pattern Sizing:
Size 12, 32 bust. I had to size it up but I think I made a math error since I had to remove about two inches from the back side seam.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
There weren’t a lot of pieces to this pattern, and I liked how you can customize the collar.

Fabric Used:
Black wool, white lace.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I shortened the skirt and the sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes.

Conclusion:
I really like it! Very comfortable to wear, and finally a dress with sleeves.