It feels like forever since I have posted about my sewing. I did make a few items over the past few months including a couple of knit shirts (Plantain, Nettie, and Lady Skater peplum) and my first Burda pattern (a so-so skirt). They were all in black and grey and not super exciting.
I have seen McCalls 6887 made by a handful of bloggers who have said this pattern has been fitting just out of the package. Sadly, this was not the case for me. It’s a versatile fully lined pattern with front and back princess seams, one option has a cute cut out in the back and there is a full and straight skirt option. And this pattern comes with separate bust cup sized pieces!! My intention was to make this dress in the sleeveless and full skirted options for a wedding that I am in this summer. Glad I made this dress twice before I made the bridesmaid dress – after 2 muslins and 2 dresses I still do not have the fit perfected.
Based on the finished measurements I started with the six 12 C cup, and it was HUGE everywhere. So I sized down to the size 10 and still had a lot to take out. The back was still billowing out so I took a wedge 1.5 inches wide and 12 inches long (!!) out of the centre back panels. I had originally made a wide waist adjustment that would allow for an extra inch total of ease in the waist (again based on the pattern’s finished measurements) and this was definitely not needed. I took this out in the finished dresses just in case the fabrics needed more room.
The first dress I made is out of a cotton with 3% spandex, self lined the bodice and used bemberg rayon for to line the skirt. I have to be honest I am not very happy with the fit of this dress. There is gaping at the neck, the back of the bodice is too long, the upper back of the skirt has some weird excess fabric lines, and the hips are a bit exaggerated. Also, it’s just too big overall and is not the most flattering dress. It’s in the dryer right now, hopefully shrinking a bit. The dress is just ok, and I will keep it to wear for work.
The second version is better but I didn’t do anything about the extra length in the back bodice. It was really out of laziness – I was so annoyed with all of the adjustments I had to make, and I would have to alter the two back pattern pieces. I regret it now because it’s now bothering me! I did take a wedge out of the neck for this version to take care of the gaping neck. I also took in 2 inches of ease from the side seams in the bodice. After taking the pictures it’s also apparent that the bodice is in general just too long, an inch off the overall length would likely make a difference.
The bodice is self lined in the front, and bemberg in the back and decided against lining the skirt. The fabric is my new favourite – rayon poplin. Rayon and tencel are so drapey and they sew and serge beautifully. Both dresses have lapped zippers instead of invisible zippers, with hand ticking which looks way better that any zipper I have sewn in. And as I hate the flimsiness of invisible zips this will likely be my go-to method. I learned the hard way it is near impossible to machine stitch the lapped part, but really hand ticking can be done in front of the TV.
I will not be using this pattern for my bridesmaid dress, so I better start testing other patterns!! Although I am not very happy with the fit of both dresses my finishing skills are improving which makes me happy. I am very proud of my new zipper skills. I think I also need to think harder about the patterns that I am purchasing. It’s very tempting to buy patterns from the big 4 since they have so many new ones every season. My body seams to have better lucky with Indie patterns, and I might have to stick with them even though they are more expensive. I do have another McCall’s dress in a knit on the list of sewing to do’s, so fingers crossed the fitting is better.