Quick, easy, comfy, pretty

It’s McCall’s M7969. And I really love it.

A while ago, I scored $70+ worth of fabric for the princely sum of $15, a combination of gift card, sale, loyalty card and remnant bin-diving. Among the fabrics was a very pretty lawn. Aqua background, printed with bunches of roses in pink and coral, light and soft. Enough for a dress. I don’t own many dresses, being more a pretty top and cropped pants type of person, but sometimes, a dress is called for. What I needed next was a pattern. M7969 has featured quite a lot on blogs and IG recently, and I can see why. It’s loose, pulls over your head, drapes nicely (if you use the right kind of fabric) and has gorgeous sleeves. It’s also very forgiving of less than perfect figures, and doesn’t require the wearer to have a waist. Just as well, in my case.

Possibly the least flattering photo of me taken in recent years, but at least you can see the dress…

It’s also surprisingly easy to make, apart from all the gathering. You do need quite a lot of fabric, but not quite as much as they suggest. The pattern calls for 3.8m for the dress length I wanted (View D), but I also wanted the wider View A sleeve so even more was needed, probably nearer 4.2m than the 3.5m I did have.

I’m short, so I could shorten the skirt pattern a bit. I also cut the bias neck binding in several pieces instead of just one, saving a bunch of fabric there. I cut the sleeve bindings on the straight grain instead of bias, and I cut the sleeves on the cross grain (the design on the fabric’s forgiving enough that you don’t notice the roses are sideways!). And I still have some very nice large scraps!

I have only one issue with the instructions. The raglan sleeves need gathering at the sleeve head, but they don’t tell you what the gathered measurement should be. You have to actually measure between the seam marker dots on the binding pattern piece to work out that the sleeve head needs to gather down to 7 inches on the larger size pattern, but they don’t tell you that. It’s the same measurement on all sizes, so I can’t see a problem with telling you a finished size. It seems a strange omission, especially as you have to gather and then stay stitch the entire neckline opening before you apply the binding, so you can’t fix it afterwards if you haven’t gathered it quite the right amount. Oh, and there are no instructions about when to finish the seam edges. Sometimes it matters whether you overlock/serge first or afterwards.

I like this pattern on me. It’s not for everyone – the bodice has no shaping, for example – but I find it very comfortable, and while the neckline is fairly low it’s not too revealing. If I find after a few wears that it gapes too much, I shall just put a small button and loop to hold it closed. For taller people, the variants with sleeve or hemline flounces would also look lovely in something soft and drapey.

I think this may become a bit of a favourite, to be made again.

61 thoughts on “Quick, easy, comfy, pretty

  1. claire93 says:

    lovely dress ^^ Looks like you’ll be nice & cool for the temps you’re having at this time of year!

  2. Terri says:

    Very pretty dress. And it looks like it would be very comfortable to wear. I just love when I find great finds like your fabric score.

  3. Bravo! Looks lovely and so useful.
    Sounds like we have similar shapes (I am also top heavy – pure apple shape!) I have rarely found a dress that looks good on me. Being a teenager in the time of Twiggy was very disheartening! πŸ˜‰

  4. Looks lovely. I’m tempted to grab the same pattern but know raglan sleeves look awful on me. Perhaps I’ll find something similar…

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m lucky to have wide shoulders, so raglan sleeves work. I like them a lot; I have a much better chance of a sleeve that actually fits than with a traditional arm scye, which I almost always have to deepen and extend.

  5. Well, I think your picture shows a cute lady wearing a beautiful dress made with a great pattern, and gorgeous fabric! And you say it is comfortable too? What could be better?

  6. kymlucas says:

    Pretty pattern design, and it looks great in that fabric!

  7. cazinatutu says:

    Lovely. I’d be very tempted to actually use that pattern for a nightie.

    • katechiconi says:

      I definitely will, once I’ve worn it too thin to be decent! It’s quite a lot of fiddly gathering for just a nightie, but if you don’t mind the work, I can tell you that it’s very comfy.

  8. You make me want to sew, Kate. I think I might begin at some point. x

    • katechiconi says:

      This would be an easy place to start if the pattern appeals. But really, sewing isn’t hard, it’s the terminology and the mystique of patterns and instructions that puts people off.

  9. Emmely says:

    Looking good! I also really like this colour on you.

  10. kathyreeves says:

    Very nice on you Kate! Enjoy your new dress.

  11. This looks wonderful on you! The colors are perfect and fresh feeling. Corset?? Oh, my god, NO! Never! I haven’t worn a dress in???? 25-30 years. But I am wanting to make a summer sack (with big pockets) to wear when the heat makes it too hot to have fabric touch your skin. Those are the days I’m in and out of shower splash every few hours. I have a pattern but it’s too small. I think I’d like to make a Big shirt into a long dress. She how you have me thinking again here? I even have the fabric already. You did a good thing saving so much on that dress. I’m inspired.

    • katechiconi says:

      A summer sack with big pockets sounds perfect. A Big shirt sounds a bit too fiddly, collars and buttons and so on. You need something that pulls on over your head and something soft like a cotton/linen mix, or lawn. If you have the fabric, all you need is the pattern. Do you have anything in mind?

      • I am one of these strange people who need a collar and my shoulders covered all the time. But I’ll have to work around that and make the pattern I have larger. It’s sooo old but with some patience, it can be done. Or, I’ll just make one up. I certainly have the time. πŸ˜‰

      • katechiconi says:

        I look forward to seeing the results πŸ™‚

  12. Sharon says:

    Looks lovely on you and I love the color and print πŸ™‚

    • katechiconi says:

      I do too, which is why I decided it’d be perfect for a dress. I have another piece of lawn which is a bit smaller, grey and white and pale pink. I feel another clothe coming on!

  13. Marty K says:

    Beautiful lady in a beautiful dress made from beautiful fabric! I love fabric prints that are forgiving as far as pattern placement goes. I haven’t made a dress in 20 years (I actually have a dress all cut out; just need to sew the pieces together, but it’s been a couple of decades, so I’m very sure that it wouldn’t fit now 😱).

    And as my mother used to say, “Wear it in good health!”

    • katechiconi says:

      Golly, you still have a dress cut out but not sewn from 20 years ago? I wouldn’t have been able to keep it in that state. Either it would have been recycled into something else or I’d have made it and then given it away. I’m glad you like the dress, I love it myself. I’m pretty sure I’ll never make anything that has a print so directional I can’t fiddle about with placement; it’s almost a compulsion with me to find a ‘better’ way to cut a pattern out!

  14. Not being a sewer, the term lawn fabric always amuses me… I know it’s made of cotton but… Your fabric resembles a pretty garden, and you wear the dress superbly β™‘

  15. Love the colours and the pattern 😍 Loose flowing garments are my thing in hot humid temperatures & when it swirls around you it feels very feminine & fragile and I love the feeling πŸ₯°

  16. It’s a stunning dress, and you look stunning in it. That’s all there is to it.
    It’s so stunning, in fact, that I just phoned the shop nearest me that still stocks dress patterns (there aren’t many left!). If they’d had it, I would have zipped out and bought it, that’s how inspired I am. However, they now only stock Burda, Simplicity and New Look. I guess I’ll have to go online.
    I used to make a lot of my own clothes, I started sewing when I was 21 and am self-taught (despite my grandmother working as a seamstress until she was 82). I still have the pattern I used for the very first dress I made, in navy with white spots. I wore it until it was nothing but a rag.

    • katechiconi says:

      Not everywhere here stocks McCall’s patterns either. I had to go to three different places to find it. If you can’t get it online, I can buy it here and mail it to you. Which size do you need? I think it comes in XS – M or L – XXL. It weighs nothing, so mailing won’t be a problem.

      • Just seen this now, that’s so kind of you. There are two other shops I can try, but there is a reason that I haven’t yet – which is….I already have 6 garments in my wardrobe that I haven’t even worn yet, one of which is a lovely dress. So I told myself No making anything new until the other stuff has at least been worn once!!!

      • katechiconi says:

        I think you’re probably very sensible! I’m amazed at your restraint, though. I couldn’t hold back from wearing new clothes so long!

      • um….they MAY have been impulse purchases……

      • katechiconi says:

        Oho! Can they be fixed to be less random and more useful?

      • They’re all perfectly wearable as is, some really nice stuff – it’s just that, with the lockdown and all, I haven’t needed to wear nice things – mainly I potter around at home in ancient t-shirts coming apart at the seams and jeans with paint spatters on them. Homeless people dress better than I do.

      • katechiconi says:

        Ah yes, the “no-one’s going to see me anyway” outfit. I challenge you to set yourself a once-a-week Dress Up Day, by which I mean clean and presentable rather than actually dressy, necessarily. Personally, if the outfit warrants a pair of earrings, I know I’ve made a bit of an effort!

      • Earrings?!!!! hahahahaha

  17. I really like those colours and they suit you well. A comfy dress is great – if you need to wear a dress you probably need to be comfy as you usually have to wear it all day!

  18. Love love that material and the dress looks tops on you. Mum made us beautiful pj pants from very similar looking lawn fabric. I admire all of you clever sewers.

  19. tialys says:

    It looks gorgeous on you 😍

  20. Chris S in Canada says:

    It looks beautiful and so do you.

    Happy New Year!

  21. What a simple, beautiful, and comfortable looking dress! And I love the color! πŸ™‚

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you, that’s so kind! The colour is one of my favourites, and I love the old-fashioned roses in the print. It’s a very comfortable dress, and I expect I’ll be making it again.

  22. magpiesue says:

    That looks like my kind of dress. πŸ™‚

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