I am desperately trying to get everything blogged before the end of the year and as I plan on wearing this dress tonight for my office Christmas party, it felt appropriate to blog this dress next. This was my birthday dress for this year, and it was made using McCalls 7998, which is a Laura Ashley design. Before anyone asks, this has come up before, Laura Ashley designs are not available to purchase in the UK, and you can’t even get them shipped here. 😦 A very kind Instagram follower obliged by gifting this pattern to me.
This is definitely a dress which is designed to get you noticed, whether you choose to make it in show stopping red or not 🙂 My fabric was an eBay find, and is a polyester red satin jacquard. I think the jacquard weave actually made sewing this fabric a little bit harder. I used a new Schmetz size 70 microtex needle and dropped the pressure on my machine to avoid puckered seams. I also chose to use the more matte side of the fabric as my outer right side, rather than the shinier side.
There is a lot going on with this dress, with the figure accentuating wrap, the flounce and of course the statement sleeves, but actually, once I had made the pattern adjustments it was a fairly simple sew. The main thing you need to know about this pattern is that the bodice front, the skirt front and the skirt back are all cut on the bias. This meant I had to make a muslin to check the fit. Also, you need to be fairly confident in handling and sewing bias cut pieces. I found this great Threads article which had a few good tips in it:
- I added a centre back seam to the skirt (that also made it easier to do a full bum adjustment)
- I pressed the fabric after cutting, re-pinned to the pattern piece, and trimmed down as necessary (it was for the skirt pieces), and this also cut down on growth whilst hanging
- I stretched vertical bias seams whilst sewing
Full review down below!
Wrap dress, fitted at bust, has long or elbow length sleeve, bias cut skirt and flounce variations.
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, although maybe my fabric has more body to it so the sleeves seem a little puffier than the pattern version?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the end result. It feels very secure (there is an internal belt with a button fastening so no risk of it coming undone) and it feels fun and feminine. Nothing to dislike although this pattern calls for working with bias cut pieces so you have to be able to handle that.
A satin jacquard.
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
- I cut the sleeves from view A and lengthened them by 4 inches
- I made a 0.5 inch FBA, closed the bust dart and rotated the fullness into the waist pleat
- I added a centre back seam and did a 0.5 inch full bum adjustment
- I shortened the skirt front and back by 1 inch
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I think one of these in my wardrobe is probably enough, although I could make the dress again but with different sleeves. Yes, I recommend.
Well designed and very on trend: the perfect party dress of the moment!
Well, I need to go get ready to party the night away 🙂 Until soon.