Should I even talk about how long it's been since I've posted?
(Except yeah, it's been a really long time. Is anyone still reading this? Do people still read blogs? What should I have for lunch? If you can answer any of these things, comment below.)
This dress is McCall's 7116 made out Cotton + Steel Fruit Dots rayon. It has an overlapped, self-faced, gathered bodice, side zip, and bias-cut skirt. These pictures were taken after wearing it two days in a row. Let it be known that this was only because I was doing a video at work and had to have the same wardrobe, and no, I don't want no scrub. But I love this dress enough to really not have minded that much.
So here are the details:
FABRIC: Cotton + Steel Fruit Dots Rayon (Melody Miller)
I've already spent time lauding the glorious qualities of C+S rayon. If you've never sewn rayon before and want to know a good place to start, start here. C+S rayon is a teensy bit heftier and *firmer?*beefier?* than any other rayon I've worked with. It just seems to know where to fold itself, and has such a nice, non-clingy drape. It's assertive fabric. It's decisive fabric. It's fabric that knows what it wants.
The cherries also come in a deep turquoise/mustard colorway, which is equally as lovely. Luckily, the place where I was in-person-shopping only had this colorway. Phew. Dilemma avoided.
I prewashed cold and line dried. My other handmade rayon garments have not stood up well to machine drying, which I know is a rayon no-no, so I'm finally trying to be a grownup about it and actually line drying some things that need it.
PATTERN: McCall's 7116
I bought this pattern impulsively after seeing it posted on the McCall's instagram. Suggestion to purchase, obeyed.
As with any Big 4 patterns, I erred mostly on the side of smaller than what it says. My measurements are 33-27-38 and I cut a 10-12-16. The 16 was actually a size up from what I should have cut, but I'm glad I did since I would not have wanted it any smaller.
After muslining just the bodice, the front neckline edges had some serious gaping action, so I took a wedge out there by slashing across the bodice to the armscye, overlapping, and redrawing the front edge to straighten it out.
I also thought I might need to take some kind of FBA action (I'm always on the edge of needing one), as the bottom edge of the pattern piece seemed too short just under by bust. I was feeling a little adventurous so I just kind of winged the adjustment, and I think it totally worked! I slashed horizontally though the bust point, then up to it and hinged, and just lowered the two hinges by the amount of length I wanted to add. This also added some extra fullness to the gathers.
Also, the sleeve was too tight. I was about to get all complicated with the slashing and the spreading, when I realized I could just make the pleat smaller and add circumference that way. So much easier! So I added 3/4" to the sleeve, which basically just meant redrawing each pleat line 3/8" in towards the center.
I squeezed this out of about 1 7/8 yards of 45" fabric, with not an inch of extra to spare. This was an amazing and stressful feat accomplished by intense pattern piece tetris-ing and much uncomfortable kneeling on floor. I had to cut everything in a single layer to get it to fit.
I added interfacing to the self faced edges of the front bodice neckline. I used fusible tricot interfacing and cut it exactly the width of the facing, so that the fabric wants to fold over right where it should.
I used to hate doing side zips for some reason, but this one went in really well (it's that fabric I tell ya), and I think it might have converted me! I wish I had a better shot of it. One little trick I always do with invisible zippers is to fuse a 1" strip of tricot interfacing to each side of the seam before putting in the zipper. This reinforces the fabric and makes everything a lot smoother and sturdier. I actually have a roll of 1" wide tricot interfacing from Wawak that is the most amazing shortcut ever, but I just searched their website and they don't seem to have it anymore. Sadness.
After finishing and trying on, I decided the skirt was just a leeeetle too tight across the hips, so I let out the non-zipper side seam as much as I could. I now feel a slight diagonal pull in the skirt when I wear the dress, but I don't think it's visible so I'm just dealing.
Last thing to note is that I omitted the sleeve buttons, which are only decorative anyway, because they just felt like too much with the pleat and the gathers and everything.
I really, REALLY like how this turned out, and I have Anna Maria Horner's Fibs & Fables Helios rayon on standby for the next one. Let's see how long it takes me to blog about THAT.