McCalls 8034 #CoraMcCalls: DIY Red Jacquard Square Neck Fitted Dress

McCalls 8034 in jacquard.

Hi Everyone,

It was Kezia’s 13th birthday this week and after ordering a dress from Zara which just didn’t fit like she wanted it to, I offered to make her one. I made McCalls 8034 (#CoraMcCalls) in a beautiful red jacquard (ex. River Island) from Rainbow Fabrics. The colour is stunning and it washed, pressed and sewed beautifully.

McCalls 8034 in jacquard.
McCalls 8034 in jacquard.

Aside from grading between sizes, I made minimal alterations to the pattern (see notes below). There is boning sewn into the bust and side seams (I used some cotton covered featherlite stuff I had in stash) and the body of the dress is fully lined. All the seams means fitting is easy and small pieces means you can be economical when cutting out fabric. Both Kezia and I were thrilled with the finished garment.

McCalls 8034 in jacquard.

It turns out I could have got away with ordering just two metres of fabric, but I had ordered three metres. So I managed to also cut and sew a bonus pair of lounge wear bottoms from the remaining fabric. I used the free Peppermint Magazine lounge wear pattern which I have made for Kezia before (see here). I didn’t make any alterations from the first pair I made.

Peppermint magazine loungewear bottoms by Common Stitch
Peppermint magazine loungewear bottoms by Common Stitch

Fitting Notes

  • I made view B
  • I cut a size 6 through the bust and sleeves, grading to a size 12 at the waist and a size 14 at the hips
  • I added 0.25 inches to the seams over the bust and into the top of the front midriff
  • I did a 0.5 inch sway back adjustment, and added the removed length back at the hem
  • I shortened the dress by 3.25 inches
  • I added 0.25 inches to the side seams at the hips
  • I replaced the ties at the sleeve openings with elastic
  • I used my machines blind hem foot to hem – first time ever using it!
  • I did make my own (self fabric) bias binding to form the casing at the top of the sleeves. If I was going to make this again I would narrow that binding down slightly

Kezia had an indulgent birthday celebrating entering her teenage years 🙂 Next big birthday…sweet 16….lol.

Here’s a snap of me and my baby. I am out of order of sharing my makes but the weather just hasn’t let me photograph other makes I have made for myself. Hopefully back soon with those.

McCalls 8034 in jacquard. I’m wearing my Tilly and the Buttons Lyra dress.

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By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at

12 thoughts on “McCalls 8034 #CoraMcCalls: DIY Red Jacquard Square Neck Fitted Dress

  1. Fabulous choice! It’s so difficult to find a dress for that age group (pattern or RTW) that isn’t too ‘childish’ or too ‘going out clubbing’. This dress is perfectly balanced.

  2. SO grown-up! Has it been that many years that I’ve followed your blog?!? And here’s to many more years…. (Kezia will need a sharp suit when she takes her seat as an MP!)

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