Today I am sharing a dress which I think will split opinion. This is McCalls 7984, made in a snake print viscose. Before we go any further let me say that I know my waist is my narrowest point, and I do like to wear things which emphasize my waist, or draw attention to it. But from time to time I like to try different styles, and, although this dress is not my husbands favourite (“looks like maternity wear”), nor my daughters (“looks like a nightie”), I like it. Here you can see I have chosen to wear it layered over a merino wool polo neck and opaques and booties, but I think this dress will actually be amazing in summer with fresh white trainers or sandals.
The pattern itself is very good. I did do a FBA and as ever you can check out my full pattern review below. One thing to note, I haven’t seen too many of this pattern made up, but one that I did spot didn’t seem to have that much in the way of fullness through the tiered sections. I did add extra width into my tiers to account for the FBA that I did (see below for details). I don’t know if I was making this again if I might take a little of the fullness out, but I think it’s just that perfect combo of comfort and ease.
There is a lot of gathering in this dress, and I think fabric selection is really key here to get the look you want. I think in this viscose the dress just moves and falls beautifully, but making it in a cotton or something with more body would change the look completely. I have seen a version of this dress made in baby cord and also in a (wool?) plaid and both looked great.
Dresses have back opening with thread loop and eye, and sleeve variations. A, B: Side pockets and pleated skirt. C, D: Gathered skirt with ruffle. D: Flat lace trim.
I made view D but modified the sleeve length.
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the tiers (ruffles), ease of wear and comfort. I think this style of dress is actually very on trend at the moment. It’s a great dress to have on hand for summer but I think it works all year round.
A snake print viscose.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- I cut a size 18 through the bust, shoulders and arms and graded out over the waist and hips. The grading out was probably completely unnecessary.
- I did a 1 inch FBA and left the bust dart in place, but left the waist darts unsewn.
- As a result of the above FBA alteration, and leaving the waist darts unsewn, I added 2 inches to the front of skirt pieces (again, probably completely unnecessary), and this resulted in an additional 4 inches of width being added to the front upper skirt and an additional 8 inches of width being added to the lower ruffles (I just cut 2 of the 3 ruffles with the extra width). I have not seen that many versions of this dress made up, but I think as designed it maybe doesn’t have as much fullness as mine. If I made this dress again I might think about taking some of the extra fullness out, but it works fine in this viscose fabric.
- I did a 1 inch full arm adjustment.
- I lengthened the sleeves by 10 inches and finished the openings with a casing and narrow elastic.
- I omitted the pockets.
- I ended up shortening the length by 2 inches.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I might make again. Yes, I recommend.
Very easy to wear and definitely one of the most comfortable dresses I now own.