It's always reassuring when you get invited back to something: someone's house, a party, and in this case a blog tour! McCall's is back once again for the renegade master raising awareness and funds for the Eve Appeal - an incredible charity striving for better detection and prevention of women’s cancers. This year the theme is Cocktail Hour and they've even come up with their own cocktail recipe to go with it! You can get involved by sewing up on of the Vogue patterns in the Cocktail Hour collection (profits of which are donated to the Eve Appeal) and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #sipandsew... hic! (Remember to also tag @McCallPatternUK) Confession: I haven't actually made the cocktail yet, but I am sipping on a sneaky glass of lunchtime wine as I write this, so that kinda counts, right?!
I, like a fair few others it seems, chose V1537 - that cute late 90s shift style just seemed to scream Rachel from Friends, and immediately I knew were to get the very best jacquard for the job - The Fabric Store. In fact, I could even go as far as to say that I had my eye on this one fabric for so long that I pretty much chose that pattern as an excuse to get that fabric!
So, V1537 is a two in one look - A-line shift dress with diagonal French darts and deep V backline with strategic strips that are both decorative and conveniently hide bra strap and prevent the shoulders from falling off. The pattern also comes with a cute little overcoat, which I would love to make one day, but I didn't make this time... In my defence, it was full-on heat wave weather here in London so the thought of sewing and trying on a coat was enough to make me faint. But if you haven't already, you must head over to Fiona's blog, Diary of a Chainstitcher as she made this same pattern, coat and all.
I don't sew patterns from the Big Four that often, so it always feels like a bit of a gamble when I choose my size. For last year's McCall's / Eve Appeal blog tour, The Big Vintage Sewalong, I cut the pattern according to my measurements, putting me at a size 12. The dress was certainly a little roomier than I would have liked, so based on that, and the finished measurements printed on the pattern pieces themselves, I decided to go one down and cut a size 10, and just reduced the seam allowance at the side and back seams as I got to the hips... This worked out pretty well, but annoyingly there are still a couple of adjustments I would have liked to have made in order to make this dress perfect. Namely, take out a little bit of gape at the neckline, possibly even shorten the torso a smidge and adjust for a swayback.
Construction wise however, this dress was an absolute joy to sew! I love the angled darts at the front and the fisheye darts in back, and that beautiful facing-to-lining makes this dress as fetching inside as it is out! I'd say that the trickiest part was sewing the lining to the facing. There's some serious curve easing going on there, not for the faint hearted. Immensely satisfying, nonetheless.
The fabric was a dream... Cotton jacquard in my new favourite colour combination (blue and green) with just the right amount of stretch. I lined the dress in the leftover blue cupro from my Dressmakers Ballgown which worked perfectly.
In conclusion, I feel like these pictures look better than my reflection in the mirror did, which tells me that 1. I'm too critical of myself, 2. it's ok to step out of your comfort zone and try something new - in this case, a shift dress - so not my usual jam, but I'm starting to love it! And, 3. heels are always a good plan. But I knew that already ;)
McCall's have very generously offered one lucky reader this pattern for free - simply leave us a comment below with your name and email address and we'll pick a winner at random on Wednesday 12th July. In the meantime, please do give anything you can to the Eve Appeal, and look out for the rest of the Cocktail hour Tour!
Comments on this post (13)
Dress looks fab and I love that fabric. and the insides look really impressive too.
I just read all of the above with a song in my head, so want to add:
D4 damager, power to the people
Back once again for the renegade master,
D4 damager, with the ill behavior…..
Anyway back to the dress, If you have the fabric left I think the matching jacket, or maybe a short matching jacket would look great
I’m totally with you on the Rachel from friends thing. The dress looks great.
You look great, we seamstresses are so hard on ourselves.
Thanks for having the giveaway.
Not a pattern I would normally choose but seeing it made up in that gorgeous fabric of yours, and the back details, makes me want to give it a go….including the coat (though I don’t think it would be anywhere near as perfect as your sewing)
— Gemma Homer
Nice dress!!!! Thanks for the giveaway!
This dress turned out so beautiful, I love the back detail that much.
You should wear more shift dresses, this one suites you so well!
What a cool blog tour! Thanks for the giveaway!
— Holly Sharp
i love your dress! and thank you for the giveaway :)
The dress looks great on you, I love the back detail on it such a cute little addition to a classy dress
— Samantha Sherratt
Wow, you could almost wear it inside out! Love the pattern…I’m a sucker for 90s style dresses. The fabric is beautiful too…nice work.
That dress is stunning! I am in awe of your skills. Would love to have a go although I highly doubt mine would turn out as beautiful as yours!
— Rosie Callaghan
Oh I love this pattern, looks like the perfect shift dress to me and really fab on you!!! ?
Super cute, I love the fabric and its the perfect season fir a fun little dress!
— Jessica Price