I picked up this McCall’s 7153 on sale, i’m not sure why, it’s not the style I would normally pick for myself. Its still retro (1933s) but not the most flattering shape for my figure.
I found a springy strip on my recent summer cotton blow out sale so I thought I would give it a go. My new machine came with a walking foot, which the store attended told me was for quilting (not really my forte). After some research I found out that the walking foot was originally designed for matching plaids and strips (see where this is going?). And the quilters co-opted it. It works by moving the top fabric with a separate set of feed dogs at the same time as the bottom fabric. So when you meticulously pin the stripes to match, they stay matched along the whole seam. It looks like it may also help with some of the pulling I tend to get on neck seams and hems. This seemed like the perfect project to try it on.
It took me a whole day to cut out the fabric. I made it hard on my self by getting a stripe that had about an 8″ repeat that was not mirrored. What I found worked best was to lay the pattern piece and pin it, then with a pencil mark where all the dark stripes occurred. Then when I picked up the pattern and flipped it over I could line it back up for the other side. believe it or not they absolutely hardest piece was this tiny little triangle on the bodice sides. I had to re-cut it several times and still is not perfect. I decided to be OK with it since the belt covers up the actual seam anyway and it was close enough that your eyes will automatically think its continuous behind the belt.
Half way through I started thinking it looked like a hospital gown and was turned off from finishing but i’m glad I powered through it. I had a really hard time with the neck. I sewed it once, didn’t like it, ripped it apart sewed it again only with top stitching which looked OK but rounded out the point. That night I couldn’t sleep thinking about how to fix it and by morning I had the solution. I un-picked it again and made the changes. Now it at least forms a point that mimics the bias cut, not perfect, but way better then what I started with.
The dress is very different then ones I have done in the past since it doesn’t have any shaping in the bodice. No darts or anything, It lays completely flat. It makes it a little awkward fit wise in the top. If you look at the envelope even the model has some fit issues in the back. When I put it on I wasn’t really thrilled. I decided to take some pictures anyway and when I looked at them it completely changed my perspective. I think that the dress fits really well, yes the arms are generous but not awful. The color looks perfect for a Downton Abby tea with Lady Grandthom but still modern enough to not be a costume. I wanted to do this pattern to practice my pattern matching skills (which I did) and learn more about my machine attachment (check). As a bonus I ended up with a nice little dress in return.