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McCall’s 9574


Side Tie

Here’s the dress basted together at the side seams:

close up2

Close up1

This McCalls pattern took more time to adjust than to sew up. I followed the Palmer Pletsch instructions, cut a size 14, the high bust measurement, to fit my shoulders and neckline, and fit the rest of the dress to my measurements. That took a Lot Of Fitting! My method of cutting the neckline and shoulders to fit and the rest of the pattern based upon my full bust, waist and hip measurements is much faster for me. I’ll stick with it, I think, but only because I know how the shape of the pattern pieces should be based upon years of sewing and fitting. That’s my Eye-Guess method, I guess.

OK, it was a pretty big mistake to make up the first version of this dress in a patterned print with horizontal and vertical lines: Big mistake in terms of the time it took me to match everything up. You can see in the tie-less versions that I HAD to unpick the under bodice band and resew the front bodice wrap to match up the patterning lines.

I also matched up the front lines, etc etc etc. In my book, that’s what dressmaking is about.

Dressmaking is also about flattering the figure with which you are presented. I moved the front pleats over away from my tummy front. In order to move these pleats I fused a strip of interfacing to the top of the skirt panel to make the pleating and adjusting easier. Slippery, edge curling knit poly is a frustration I don’t love. This is only necessary if you make the version without the ties.

The shoulder points, even with a size 14, hung way off my shoulders so .75″ was removed from the shoulder seam and tapered down to the easing notches where I returned to the pattern’s cutting lines. I had cut a taller sleeve cap as instructed by the pattern instructions but ended up not needing it for this knit. I’d say that maybe a size 12 or 10 would have fit my shoulder length, a 14 fit my neckline, and 16 the under ribcage, 20 the hips. Whew!

I learned from this pattern and that’s a very good thing. It is a well drafted pattern, the notches matched up, the instructions are great. However I used my serger and my cover stitch machines to make construction easier. I suggest you do the same even tho the instructions assume that you don’t own either of these machines.

Considering my considerable waistline I chose a darker coordinating fabric to cut the ties. I think that worked out pretty well. The dress before ties is quite different from the dress without the ties. I like the tie version much better than I expected I would.

The beauty of this dress lies in the smooth neckline and boobage display, enhancement, er, fit. DH really loves it. Well, you know why. It’s definitely a womanly dress.

I feel pretty! oh so pretty! la-la-la-la-la 🙂

McCalls 5974



About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

17 responses »

  1. Fabulous job! I found with this pattern that I had to go down a size, or else the shoulders were way too big. It’s not just me, I guess!

  2. J’adore ta robe Mary Beth. Wonderful look, the tie fabric is perfect and the final look is slim and sleek. Super !

  3. Oh Mary Beth, that’s so pretty and you’ve used the fabric to great effect. I love the matching of the lines. I was just talking to someone about this dress and I think you’re going to be the tie-breaker. Good job, sister!

  4. The dress is very flattering. I like it!

  5. I think I like the dress without the ties better….since it´s a fake wrap they could be loose and optional.
    I made a not the wrap version and since I´m broad at shoulders it fitted me well, had some problems with the sleeves that I redrafted.
    Looking forward finding mor knit fabric to make me a wrap dress too!
    Your fabric is so nice!

  6. It looks great! Glad it worked so beautifully for you. How nice that DH likes it too. 😉

  7. Just Gorgeous! Love the fabric, especially the coordinating tie. Grrrowwww! The work you put into matching the pattern is every evident. Kudos!

    I have that pattern sitting in the stacks. Maybe it’s time to break it out… Nah, still to warm for sleeves.

  8. Really is a flattering dress on you. Love the contrasting tie fabric, does give you a waistline. Lovely fabric. I think that most all McCall’s patterns run large in the upper chest/shoulder area; at least for me they do and you are describing similar fitting concerns. Very helpful review.

  9. Such a feminine pretty dress. It is on my list!

  10. I think you look awesome in this dress! Now that you’ve figured out that pattern, you can make another one if the mood strikes.

  11. That is a knock-out dress. And you absolutely should feel pretty, especially with your killer hair! And, you look like you’re losing weight. I am jealous.

  12. Your dress came out beautiful. You look wonderful in it. This dress seems like an updated version of the Diane Von Fustenberg (sorry if I butchered her name) dress from the 80’s. LOL Mine had those padded shoulder pads like Crystal used to wear on Dynasty.

  13. trepidtraveller

    Looks fabulous. You did a great job. Very flattering.

  14. The dress look great on you. I love the fabric and the pattern.


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