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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

McCall's Floral Dress Repeat!

M6886Line Art

Sometimes the simplest designs are simply the best, amirite?  Why do we fuss so much when we have a pretty fabric that just needs to have a simple design paired with it for great results?  No need to over think anything....just pull out a simple, well-designed pattern and have at it!  Don't you agree? 

If this dress looks familiar, well, it is.  I made it with longer sleeves in a slightly longer length in a floral that reminds my husband of his Aunt Della....while I don't want to rehash that weird correlation of my clothing to his dear, long departed great aunt, I knew when I saw this fun floral print it had to be a dress.  And, since I love this pattern and style so much, I knew it would be a match I'd be happy with.  

 I used a Marcy Tilton floral for this that I picked up on her summer clearance sale about a month ago.  Wow is this a quality fabric!  It washes and dries beautifully and the colors are so vibrant--yes, I know they are limited to black, white, and gray, but I still feel like they are vibrant.  Correct me if I am wrong!

I did my own thing with the neckline that I tried to take some pictures of.  I copied this from a RTW garment I have and I just love how flat the neckline lays!  And yes, I do stay-stitch my knit necklines just for extra insurance.  Maybe it is overkill, but it makes me feel better about my sewing and that is what matters.  :)  

I always cut my neckbands on the bias.  While this too may seem like overkill, it helps the binding to lie flat against my body.  I just hate it when I work hard on a knit garment and for some weird reason the top part of the neckband gaps away from my body--super annoying!  Cutting the band on the bias solves that problem for me!

So, here are the steps: 

1.  Sew just one side of the shoulder seam and stabilize the seam.  I use clear, 1/4" elastic to do this.

2.  Stay-stitch the neckline using a longer stitch and stitch just inside the seam line.  For this dress, the seam allowances are 5/8" so my stay-stitching is a few millimeters inside of that line.  

3.  I attach stay-tape to the neckline at this point on the garments right side and then trim away the excess from the seam that could potentially show.  It is much easier to cut it away now rather than after you have the neckband sewn on.  Also, you may wonder why I put it on the garments right side, the reason is that stuff is itchy on my skin!  This keeps it much more comfortable for me.  

4.  Next, stitch the right side of the neckband to the garments wrong side.  At this point you can either trim the seam to a scant 1/4" or serge, which ever you prefer.  As you can see in my photo, I serged.  

5.  Flip the neckband to the garments right side, press and stitch just a few millimeters from the edge of the neckband to keep it in place.  

6.  Stitch the other shoulder seam and I like to trim the seam on a diagional to keep any sort of glimpses of the seam showing as I wear it.  I just dab a little fray check at the point and let dry.

That's it! Construct the rest of the garment as you normally would which for me is sewing the sleeves in flat and then the side seams.  I put narrow bands on the sleeve hems as I didn't feel like doing anything else with them and didn't want to just turn and hem.  

I do like this dress that I wore to work today with leggings, sandals, and a black belt.  So very comfortable!  This is a great pattern!  Try it!  And, in case you are wondering I asked DH if I looked like Aunt Della and he replied no, but said it in a manner that he thought I was weird for asking....he must not remember the comment he made on my other dress from this same pattern!  

Thanks for reading!  Do you have any stories about your sewing?  I'd love to hear about it!  Sue  


  1. Beautiful dress! I agree: the print is vibrant! Thank you for your instructions on the neckline technique. Great job!

  2. Just the right sort of dress to wear with leggings - not the sort of look Aunt would have worn :)

    Interesting that knit bands are better cut on the bias. Makes sense.

    1. I like cutting my neckbands on the bias, it works so well for me!

  3. love your new dress..Looks great with the leggins.

  4. Lovely dress and Thanks for the review.

  5. Yes I agree about basic patterns. They can showcase fabulous fabrics or inspire creativity like your upcoming challenge.

  6. Really cute, Sue! I'm looking for a pattern for scuba knit and really love this.