Getting it right

McCalls 6028 has taken me a while to make this fit me. There’s a satin/lace dress I’m planning on making so I’ve tested this pattern three times because I want to ‘get it right’.

Version 1: Check cotton fabric

This version is a size 14 based on my current measurements and I used a green/white check cotton to test out my initial adjustments.
Forward shoulder adjustment and sway back adjustment were the two changes I made on the tissue. I did drop the bust apex by 2.5cm.
Once I made up the dress, it was too big from the waist up.

Currently unpicked and ready to be resized.

This print was a piece I bought in Portland 4 years ago so I was eager to see if this fabric was still a goer. I also practiced sewing in an invisible zipper on this finer cotton fabric.

Conclusion: Go down a size and raise the hemline.

Version 2: Heavy slub cotton fabric

This version is a size 12 using a heavier cotton fabric with the new adjustments from #1. 
The bodice back bodice needed taking in below the shoulders and the front bodice also needed taking in above the waist. 

You can just see the piping added along the front seam lines.
Once I tweaked the seams, I overlocked them. There wasn’t enough fabric for the facings so I used bias binding to finish the neckline and hem.

The back was very simple to construct – even the invisible zipper.
This is already a handy work dress.

This cotton fabric was a Spotlight find from a few years ago. I added a strange trim that I bought online to practice piping. This isn’t my best work so I’ll have to practice some more…

I’ve used the piping feature on the sleeve hem – again this is hard to see.

The invisible zipper sits really neatly on this fabric. I unpicked a RTW skirt and found the invisible zipper had two sets of stitching – one close to the zipper teeth and the other mid way along the zipper tape.

Conclusion: Try it again with the facing this time.

Version 3: Printed ponte knit

Size 12 using the facing pieces on ponte and making the sleeve ‘winter’ length.

The facing pieces added a bit of bulk and after wearing the dress, I’ve added a fine knit from the facing to skirt length to avoid the fabric clinging to me.

This pic shows the grey knit lining I’ve used inside the dress. This stops it from clinging.

I bought this printed ponte knit from Minerva Crafts UK when I visited their store last year.  Sam used the same printed ponte for her separates last year.

Everything lined up along the back.

The invisible zipper sat nicely on this version. I used a dark green thread so that I could see the thread when I had to unpick the seams.

Here’s a close up of the trim I added along the front seaming.

The sleeve pattern doesn’t extend to the wrist so I lengthened the pattern and rechecked the width of the sleeve. It took me a couple of goes at slimming the sleeves in. Otherwise I would have drowned in the print and I do like this print.

There are a lot of ways this dress can be made up and I think by trialling the pattern for fit, I’ve discovered a few ways this dress can become a favourite.

Here’s how this works together with my Quart coat for Winter.I’m hoping my chances of the satin/lace version works. I still need to adjust the neckline for the style that I want.
More soon.
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  1. I love these two dresses and they both look fabulous on you. I am a pink/red person so the first one draws me in but I have to say the fabric in the black one is fabulous. Great job, you look great.


  2. I particularly like the floral version. A shift dress like this one is on my wish list this winter.


  3. I really like the final dress. Just a classic that can be worn for years to come. It's great seeing your process too. It's easy to forget that to get great results takes some work, a few garments and some pattern adjustments. 🙂


  4. I was only thinking of you the other day when I craved some blogging time. I wondered if you were doing Me Made May and then up you pop in my comments!! Good to hear from you. I think that shift dress style suits you so well. It is my favourite shape too.No reason why it shouldn't work in lace. I am quite smitten with that hoodie too. Jo x


  5. That muslining was so worthwhile – both of your later dresses look to fit your beautifully, and the shape and proportions are terrific. The final dress looks very smart, and I love the red / pink colour of the second dress on you!


  6. I've been training so there's a backlog of posts in my head that I have to write now. I'm loving the dresses you've been making Jo.


  7. Wow Maria you have been doing a lot of sewing!! Your dresses look GREAT. I especially like that pink/red one.

    I use the SunnyGal method for invisible zippers which sounds a lot like what you found in your RTW skirt–baste it in first midway-ish down the tape and then stitch it in.


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