McCalls 7726 Nineties Slip Dress and Double Gauze
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to ready my first official blog post! Most of you who are here ( I humbly presume) already follow me on Instagram where I have been sharing my sewing trials and tribulations over the last year. I finally decided it was time to dip my toes in the water ( or is it sand?) and give blogging a try. My goal is for you to be inspired or take something valuable to your sewing and making table. I thank you and have deep gratitude for your support and kindness.
Lets cut right to the chase! McCalls 7726 Slip Dress made with super soft double gauze fabric from Mood fabrics. Originally I had other ideas for this fabric, but sometimes we drift off course, or in my case don’t order enough fabric required to make what we intended! I had big plans to make a midi style dress with long bishop sleeves, but soon found out my fabric width was only 45” and not 60” I had to make a change of course. I was ready to make something NOW.. I muddled over making a blouse or pants, both would have been perfect ( who doesn’t want light airy gauze pants!) but once I found this vintage slip dress in my pattern stash ( sustainable sewing win!) it was love at first sight! Knowing I could squeeze the pattern pieces on my short width fabric, it worked like a charm. I even had enough fabric left to create the long tie belt, inspired my Mara Hoffman’s new Spring Collection dress.
After all the pieces were cut out ( size 14 for reference based of my measurements), I did find I was missing something! A back facing and strap pieces- They were not included in the pattern, This can happen when you purchase thrifted patterns, but it did come with a random poodle applique? Luckily that was a pretty easy fix. I went ahead and traced out the back pattern piece onto tracing paper using the back piece as my guide and used the front facing bottom piece as my guide to make the right curvature. It worked out perfectly. I cut the two strap pieces out on the bias ( I could at least see the pattern layout on the instructions) but didn’t know how long to cut them. I made them extra long because I knew I could cut off the excess if needed later on. I made two beautiful spaghetti straps and love how it looks.
Sewing the slip dress was pretty self explanatory, I found the instructions to be fairly direct, which usually never happens with vintage patterns! They even added finishing instructions, a miracle! It also including instructions for adding a liner which I may try for next time in a lighter fabric. I used my over lock to finish all raw edges on all the pattern pieces, used the recommended 5/8 seam allowance as instructed. I added 2 slits on each side, as the instructions call for one side only.! After interfacing the facings and sewing up the front and back pieces, everything lined up great. Once the straps were attached with a basting stitch I was ready to try it on. Expecting only to tweak the straps, I ran into some much bigger problems —- fitting issues! Huge arm hole gaps making me feel like I should have sized down. My first thought was to shorten up the straps, the more I pulled up the straps the less gaping was happening with the arm holes. I ended up shortening the straps quite bit, (barely any strapage at all! ) still too big, still the gaps and bagging. Only one thing to do…. seam rip out the side seams from the facings and sides and make adjustments!
Taking in the side seams after a few more fittings, was the answer to the problem. Arm hole bagging and gaping gone, a nice smooth finish. I had to take in the seams A LOT at least another 1.5 inches on each side. I definitely could have sized down in this pattern, A size 12 should be a much better fit around the bust and arms, maybe a bit of grading for next time. I do find with all Big 4 patterns and vintage I can usually size down. I do recommend using a muslin if you decide to use vintage patterns, the fit sometimes is just off!! Why did I not do that? Luckily this was a fairly easy fix, but did take more time than anticipated.
Back to those spaghetti straps. Now they are short, like too short. I don’t mind the modest high neck and a slight scoop for the back, but I would love to see more strapage! I may go back and add new straps a inch or so longer and possibly add pockets ( really missing those) but for now this will do! It would also be amazing to make adjustable spaghetti straps , but not sure how that would affect the rest of the fit, or if I would really use that feature?
In conclusion, this was a easy fun sew, with little fabric required. I love the soft gauze, the length, the color the style, and yes the fit!! No zips or button closures, making it a breeze to whip up. Its a perfect unseasonal garment that can be worn with layers and boots, or bare shoulder and sandals. Bringing all the nineties nostalgia with a modern feel. I will be loving this dress in the heat of the summer, and can not wait to pull out the mules and sandals! I personally love how the belt defines the waist, but can easily go without. Normally I feel lost in too much fabric, but at the same time the soft breezy flow feels satisfyingly free. I am no longer going to worry of fabric clings to my midsection , as long as its COMFORTABLE and fits correctly, I will skip the flattering aspect. Lets feel free in our bodies not prisoners.
How do you feel about the slip dress? What fabric would you use? How would you style it? Share your thoughts and comments below, I would love to know what you would do with the nineties slip dress!
Pattern : Vintage Mcalls 7726
Fabric : Orange Rust Double Gauze - Mood Fabrics
Pattern : Monroe Turtleneck - Tessuti
Fabric- modal wool jersey - Fancy Tiger Crafts