I found this lovely viscose print fabric from factory remains section of the local fabric Shop Eurokangas and didn’t even have to think whether to buy it. I absolutely love the orange and white triangles on the navy background. The fabric piece was big so there was no doubt that I could make a dress out of it.
McCall’s 7351 was listed as one of the best patterns of 2016 on patternreview.com website. I love shirtdresses so I ordered the pattern when I saw it was on sale a few months ago. The pattern has options for both a sleeveless dress and a dress with either short or long sleeves. I chose the long sleeves that have a nice tab that will keep the rolled sleeves up on warmer days.
Different skirt options include an A-line skirt dipping down at the center front and back and two different circle skirts. I chose the most traditional basic circle skirt. I went through some reviews of this pattern and many people warned that the skirt is pretty short. I can confirm this since I have short legs and the skirt hem is way above my knees. The next time I might cut the back skirt piece sideways to be able to make it slightly longer (if the fabric allows that, of course).
Furthermore the pattern also includes pockets at the side seams and an optional belt, which is a nice addition even if I did not feel like making the belt this time.
The sizing was way off which I don’t like about many of the patterns that come from the big companies. According to the sizing chart my size would have been somewhere between sizes 10 and 12. However the actual garment measurements showed that there was a huge amount of ease in the pattern and that my actual measurements were much closer to the size 6, which I chose. Perhaps with a stiffer fabric I might have made the size 8 but never any bigger!
The only thing that I didn’t really like about this pattern (besides the sizing) was the button band in the front. That might be due to my poor execution of it, since it feels a bit stiff with the seams and the interfacing when compared to the drapy viscose bodice and the skirt. Perhaps I should have used thinner interfacing but unfortunately the thinnest interfacing sold around here is quite a poor quality and I have a tendency of melting it as I am applying it. (Note to self: order better interfacing online!)
The thing that also needs fixing are my poor buttons that are sewn on badly. I usually sew the buttons on using the zigzag stitch of my sewing machine. If you have never done it, I recommend trying it. You don’t really need any special machine feet, just push the sewing machine feed dogs down (there should be a button for it) and place the button between the fabric and the sewing machine foot. Align the first stitches carefully not to break your needle and then stitch about 16 stitches and leave long thread ends when you remove your work. Knot the bobbing threads together and cut the extra threads. I usually pull the top threads under the button using a pin and then wind them around the button base a few times before knotting and cutting them away. Anyway, this time I sewed the buttons on by hand while watching TV and especially the lowest button pulls the whole buttonband a bit wonky since it is not aligned properly.
Thanks for S for the photographs! For a 7-year-old she can be a bossy photographer demanding all sorts of interesting poses!