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Sometimes I head to the store with a specific make in mind. Other times, I come across a pattern that just speaks to me and I have to make it! Such was the case when I found McCall’s M7712 at JOANN. I loved the dress in view A. It looked comfortable, versatile, and not terribly hard to sew–no fancy notions on this one. Not only did I want to make view A, but I wanted to do it with a similar fabric. Just as soon as the pattern was in my cart, I headed to the linen section to see if I could find anything lightweight and striped like the fabric in the example. Lo and below, I found this fabric and it was perfect! I bought it, and ran home to get started.
Overall, I’d rate this as an easy pattern–especially if you are using a solid print and don’t have to worry about the orientation of your stripes. I did alter the pattern a little to get the exact fit and look I wanted. I originally thought it was going to be more oversized. It was more snug than I planned. If you want the looser fit shown on the envelope, I would recommend sizing up.
The Adjustments I made for McCall’s M7712
I raised the neckline about 2 inches. I did this on the pattern paper by drawing a higher V-neck, but following the same curve. If you want to do this, make sure you adjust both the interfacing piece, and the center dress piece. I like having higher necklines so I don’t have to worry about showing too much, and so I don’t have to layer anything underneath. You can see the original neckline is printed in blue below. I drew, then cut a higher V-neck onto the pattern. I made sure to blend the curve of the new neckline back into the original lines of the pattern.
After I cut the neck facing, I realized that it didn’t need to be so long, so I trimmed the bottom. The final result can be seen below.
Added 4 Inches of Length
I’m a tall 5’9. When I looked at the final measurements of the dress on the envelope*, I was a little thrown off. It seemed really short. It doesn’t look short on the model though. So I messaged my Instagram friend, Brittany, who also made this dress. She’s 5’4. The length looked great on her, so I went ahead and added 4 inches on my pattern just to play it safe.
It still ended up being a tad short, so I ended up adding a ruffle on the bottom. I recently read an article about different ways to use the selvage edge of your fabric and thought this was the perfect chance to try it out. Instead of hemming the ruffle, I used the selvage edge as the finish. I love the clean, but frayed look it gives the dress.
The Belt and Better Fit
I mentioned earlier that the dress was not as loose as I wanted. It ended up with a really unflattering fit after the first construction. It was snug on my hips, but not on my waist. It made me look like a rectangle. To remedy this, I shirred the back using elastic thread on my bobbin. There’s a really good tutorial on how to do that here. To shir, I drew lines with my fabric marker on the back where I wanted to add my shirred stitches. You can see these lines if you look carefully below. Shirring helped gather the waist to give the dress a more feminine silhouette.
For the belt, I cut a long strip of fabric, serged the edges, and tied it around my waist. Below I have the selfies I took before and after the belt and shirring.
You’ll notice the length is super weird on the sides in the first photo above. That’s because the diagonal pieces were cut on the bias. This made them more elastic and fluid than the straight pieces, and thus resulted in them being longer.
Tips for McCall’s M7712
- As always, use a new needle when you start the project.
- Baste to check the fit before you properly stitch and/or serge.
- It’s always best to go by the fabric suggestions on the envelope unless you really know what you’re doing.
- Don’t forget to finish your edges! Especially since this pattern calls for a woven. I used my serger to do this. On the sleeves, I followed the pattern and did a double-turn or narrow hem.
Overall, I’m super pleased with this dress! Even my husband loves it, and he is the toughest critic I know!
I even took it out for a round on the trampoline, and the dress was easy to move in!