Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sewing review - McCalls 5039



The back story - at the start of spring, I fell in love with the whole ethnic trend. Cidell made this green dress and this maxi dress. Then, Christina made this amazing Patrones dress.

So, when I saw this fabric at Value Village, for ~$2, I pounced. And then it sat in the stash as spring, then summer passed by.

Ok, so now its the start of fall, which we'll assume is the perfect time to be making summer dresses. Sigh.

The pattern - it actually doesn't get much easier. I read somewhere that this pattern runs large - I agree. I made a size 10, and I left out the zipper - didn't need it. For context, I generally make a size 10 top, with a size 12 skirt.

There are around 4? pattern pieces on this one. Easy! The bodice is gathered, for the top, the fabric is folded on itself to make a tube, and then elastic is inserted into it. Again, easy!

The fabric - apart from the incredible African vibe of this dress, what drew me to it were the two borders on either side of the fabric. The borders ran across the width, so I had to cut them out, and then stitch on where I needed them. (One border at the waist, and the other at the hem.)

This is some kind of synthetic, I think. For all I know, it might even be silk? (I didn't do a burn test.) It ironed well though, and had a relatively high heat tolerance for a synthetic.

It also frayed like the devil, and so I made French seams throughout. What a pain! Still, without them, the dress would have lasted 4 wears. (As it is, I doubt if I'll get many wears - the fabric looks like it might fall apart... it feels very fragile.)

And the verdict? I love this dress. Its fun and funky and interesting.


Miscellaneous ramblings

Most of my family hated the border at the hem - they would have preferred I left it out. I, on the other hand, really thought the border lent the dress extra interest, and sewed it on.

Other things - my brother thought it made me look thinner - always good.

This dress sat on my cutting mat, half cut out, for more than two weeks. I sewed it up in 2 evenings. Again, sigh.

Finally, all of my family expressed surprise that it was fairly well sewn. Sigh. With friends like these...

I still hate the timer option to take photos, by the way. I'm just saying...

10 comments:

Sew Shy said...

Another great dress, Reethi! Nice to see you back. For the record, I think the hem border fabric takes the dress up a notch too.

AllisonC said...

I love your dress, perfect pattern to show off your amazing bargain fabric. I agree that your use of the borders is great, so don't listen to your family! (except your brother!)

Christina said...

Ya gotta love Value Village! I have purchased a lot of fabric there.

Very cute dress. I'm into the border print.

cidell said...

I think the hem border really works and you do look slim and funky. I like it! I was an Anthropologie last week and they were still getting these dresses with ethnic print in. So, you're still in style :)

toni said...

love the border! i think you made a great choice.

spunkycutechic said...

I really like this, it's very nice. And... the border at the bottom is a MUST, It really works! Good job.

Summerset said...

I like the border. Again, just keep it until next year or find a cute jacket/cardigan and some dark tights to take you into fall.

anuradha said...

Contrary to what I thought,the border adds character to the dress!

narcissaqtpie said...

I love the mixed prints. cute dress!!

Anonymous said...

Reethi- I love this dress...My mom is also very impressed. Sitting here checking out the amazing stuff you have on