Wednesday, August 28, 2013

McCalls 4769 ~ The Sew Weekly Reunion Challenge

I've been meaning to sew this dress since January 2013.  I don't know why I was so intimidated.  I guess I didn't want to ruin great fabric with the wrong fit.  

I came across The Sew Weekly Reunion while blog surfing and thought it was an amazing challenge; I jumped at the chance to participate.  It motivated me enough to make the dress so it is a win!  I don't take enough time to sew for myself, mostly sewing for the kids.  I'm happy this is pushing me to move toward making myself things too!

The Facts: 
I cut and sewed a straight size 12.  I wanted to do a 10 for the bodice but the pattern I had started at a 12.   I really stressed out that the bodice would be too big, but I trudged forward.  

 I followed the directions pretty much most the way through.  Step #34 I was wondering why the skirt back even had a center back seam.  This can be eliminated and cut on the fold.  After Step #35 I under-stitched all pocket seams where they join to the skirt and then after #36 I pinked all the pocket seams as shown below. 
Now when I got to the collar I thought I was prepared.  I've read many reviews on saying how the collar is a pain.  I followed the advice of a few and read through these instructions by Pleasant View Schoolhouse.  I also read through the pattern instructions a few times. You think I would get it and be good to go? No, I still messed up!  See picture below and continue reading...

Where the green arrows are you need to make sure those get sewn under the front facing.  This happens in Step #49 and is really awkward in how it lays with the dress and facing. This was the only part I messed up on after reading all the instructions and checking out that website.  

It was easy going after that.  I did sew the top button about 1.5 inches higher than the pattern called for. I had to add an extra button on the bottom to accommodate this shift upward. 
The bodice fits me but it is a bit big.  I ended up taking in 1/2 inch on each side of the bodice under the armpit and tapering out to the waist - this helped but it's still baggy.  The bust darts don't really line up correctly with my apexes but the patterned fabric helps mask that. I really needed to sew the bodice in a size 10.  

Also, the whole time I was sewing I was actually thinking it was going to be too small for me.  Then about halfway through it occurred to me that the button placket things attach to the facing - as in, the facing goes down the whole dress front on both sides.  I thought at first the button plackets folded in half.  The dress fit me better that way so when I added the facings it was too big. I hope that made sense!

Even though it is a tad big I will still wear it.  I put 10.5 hours into this dress and I don't care that the bust is big!  :-)

I also eliminated the armhole facings and used bias tape for those.  It didn't quite go smoothly but it worked in the end.  Next time I would stick with the facings. 

Fabric: M'Liss Kimono II Fan ~ quilting cotton from Hancocks. My mom gave me her Hancock Bonus Bucks at Christmas Time last year and I used one to pick up the materials for this dress.  3.5 yards for $24.66 (-$20 bonus buck coupon)= $4.66.  Dress calls for only 2.75 but I used almost all of the 3.5 yards?  I see Hancocks still has it in stock and on sale for $5.99/yard. They describe it as M'Liss Butterflies and Fans on Teal Cotton.  100% cotton, 44" wide

Notions: Thread - Dark Jade $0.42 on sale, Interfacing 1.5 yards- had in the stash est. $3.00, Buttons - Slimline Red $0.70 each x 3.  

Pantone Challenge colors: I guess I'm fashionable for once? My Pantone Fall 2013 colors used are Emerald, Samba - there may be a close resemblance to Linden Green as well.  This was all totally unintentional.  I really liked the fabric and my complexion makes me a jewel tone wearer so I went with it!

Pattern: McCall's 4769
Year: Now OOP - but they still offer it for sale on the website.  I picked it up Jan 2013. However, it is ©2005 on the actual pattern

Time to complete: I would say it took me 2 hours to trace, cut, and interface the dress.  Then it took me 6 hours the first day of sewing and 2.5 hours today to finish it up.  Total: 10.5 hours

First worn: I've only worn this for the photos today but I plan to wear it Friday when I take the kids fabric shopping with me all day and out of town. (wish me luck on that trip!)

Wear again? It fits well and looks good so I plan on wearing this lots!  I plan on wearing this with a black cardigan when the weather turns but I will probably make another one with long sleeves, too.  

Total Cost: $10.18 - Awesome!
A successful me-made item always puts a smile on my face. 

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~


  1. I love the fabric choice and collar, they really make the dress! Like you said, I don't think the fitting issues are too bad and sometimes it's nice to have some room!

    1. Thanks Zoe! and yes, a little room is a nice change for once :)

  2. It turned out lovely; the fabric is so pretty. I think the bodice fit looks good - maybe not as slim as you'd like, but definitely not saggy and ill-fitting.

    1. Thanks Joy! I think we are our own worst critics :) Seeing the pictures helps me realize the fit is good and I don't need the bodice tighter.

  3. I have this pattern and think yours is extremely pretty. Great fabric.

  4. Ooh, very pretty! The fabric is perfect fr this dress. Looks lovely on you :)

    1. Thanks Ellen :-) It was one of those "speak to me" moments. I had the pattern in hand and then the fabric just jumped out off the shelf at me!

  5. You shirtdress is very pretty and the fit looks perfect!

    1. Thanks! It was so much fun to do this challenge

  6. Hey, just stumbled upon this blog! I'm considering ordering this pattern but really want something with a lower neckline. Would it be relatively easy to alter this pattern to drop the neckline lower?

    1. hi Julia! I think it would be doable. less easy because of the lapel part, but not too difficult. thanks for visiting!


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