A little while ago, I was contacted by an online store, modeS4U, based in Hong Kong, but who sell and ship their products world wide. modeS4U specialise in Kawaii products (the culture of cuteness in Japan), and sell a variety of products, including stationary, bags and accessories, and including – of course! – fabric. They offered me some fabric of my choice, and I selected this beautiful navy blue floral print Art Gallery rayon (called mystical land) to make a dress in. Thank you to modeS4U for their generosity. They provided me with the fabric for this post, but all opinions are my own. BTW, please do check out modeS4U full shipping and returns policy because they do offer free international shipping (with a minimum spend).
It was my first time working with Art Gallery rayon and it pre-washed, cut, sewed and pressed beautifully. It is very lightweight, silky smooth to wear and has beautiful movement and drape. This dress will be amazing to wear when we eventually have some hot weather! BTW, watch out, this print is directional, so if you are purchasing this print make sure you have enough for your project.
Now for the pattern details. This is McCalls 7902, which doesn’t seem to have been very popular to date. It is actually designed as a top with a peplum attached. I simply lengthened the peplum from the hem downwards to make a dress. What drew me to the pattern was the very on trend elasticated top sleeves, and I would have loved to have made one of the longer sleeved versions, but fabric constraints meant I ended up making the flutter sleeve version (view B). I used 3 metres of this directional print fabric to make this dress, including self lining the bodice.
So, I actually love the finished garment, and I plan on making this again with some minor refinements. However, if you plan on making this pattern (especially this view), note:
- The pattern didn’t seem to make it clear that this top has a raised waist. I went with it, but for my next version I will probably make sure the waist hits me at my true waist.
- Getting those flutter sleeves attached neatly is hard. And the instructions are not that clear on how to do it. I think all the other views will be fine to sew, but if you are making view B be warned that attaching them needs patience (and probably some sewing knowledge to figure out what to do).
- As designed, the front bodice is not intended to overlap at centre front. I added 5/8ths inch to the left front bodice/ skirt to act as an underlap of sorts, so there wouldn’t be too much skin on show. On the whole I think it’s worked. I added a couple of extra button loops in the bodice but for my next version I think I need to move the bust darts down a smidge for a better fit.
Overall, I actually love this dress. Definitely expect to see a second, more dramatic, version on this blog soon! Full review below.
Close-fitting tops have button-front closure with self loops and sleeve variations.
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
The pattern is designed as a top. I made a dress (based on View B).
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Nope. The instructions for the attaching of the sleeves is not clear. If you have some sewing experience you will probably be able to figure it out, but, especially for this view (view B) with the flutter sleeves, where the sleeves are supposed to hang free from the seam allowance, it is not easy to follow the instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Inspite of the difficulties I had with the instructions I love the finished dress and plan on making a second version with longer sleeves and some minor fit adjustments soon. I didn’t like the instructions but apart from that, I do love the final garment. This top is designed to have a raised waist, and I will probably alter that for next time, as I prefer to have waists hitting me at my true waist. Note that the bodice is self lined and the centre fronts of the skirt portion are finished with interfaced self fabric facings.
Art Gallery rayon. I used 3 metres of this (directional) print to cut this dress, including the self lined bodice.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
- I cut a size 18 through the bust, arms and shoulders and graded out at the waist/ over the hips.
- I extended the peplum down from the hem by 30 cm to make it dress length (FYI I am 5’3″)
- I added a centre back seam to the skirt for fitting purposes.
- I did a 1.25 inch full bust adjustment. I kept the extra width through the front and added that to the front peplum.
- I did a 0.5 inch full bum adjustment.
- I extended the centre front of the bodice and skirt by 5/8ths” to allow it to act as an underlap, and avoid too much skin showing. As designed, this pattern does not allow for that.
- I shortened the elastic at the shoulders by 1 inch from the suggested length.
- Although the pattern doesn’t make mention of it, I did understitch the back of the bodice and the armholes as far as I could.
- I added 2 additional button loops on the bodice but for next time I think the bust darts need to be moved down a smidge and I think that will improve the overall fit.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I think I am going to make this again. This version is cute but I think it can be made amazing with a few minor alterations. I do recommend if you can cope with lack of clear instructions and if you are happy to make the necessary fit changes (if you need them).
I love the sleeves and the neckline on this. Pass me the suncream 🙂