I finished another McCalls 7969 over the weekend. This pattern is a very popular pattern mostly because of the sleeves. I completed two garments with the popular big, billowy sleeves but this time, I decided to make a different view from the pattern which is the ruffled sleeve midi dress. I like how it turned out.
I did have a few mishaps though. First, I had issues with my serger again. I learned even more about my serger because after lots of research, re-reading the handbook, threading, re-threading, checking the spools, checking the tension, etc., I think the issue was with all the lint inside the machine. I cleaned the lint out and it worked fine. So far, so good. I’ll make sure to keep my machine clean from now on.
The other mishap is that I accidentally sewed through part of the shoulder when I was using the serger to finish the seams. I had to unpick the serger seams and unfortunately, I ended up with a hole. A significantly big hole. I ended up putting a flower in it’s spot.
I’m not really loving the flower idea, but maybe another time, I will learn how to fix the hole.
I used a fabric that I purchased in Downtown L.A. It was a bit hard to work with because it was so slippery. It was worth it in the end because the dress is very flowy and has a very good drape. It feels so silky and comfy.
I must say that even with all these mishaps, I appreciate this dress. Especially since once I tried it on, I was happy with the end result.
McCalls 7969 is a very popular pattern. If you search it up on Instagram at #mccalls7969 or #m7969, you will find TONS of posts. It’s fun seeing everyone’s makes of this pattern. I like reading the reviews, what fabrics were used as well as how they hacked it.
McCalls 7969 is described as a very loose-fitting, pullover dress. It has 4 sleeve variations. The dress has a raised waistline. I would say that this is an easy pattern to sew together. It is good for the advanced beginner. You will be sewing a neck binding as well as a binding for the sleeves if you choose View A. You will also be gathering fabric for the top part of the skirt.
For this pattern, I chose View A, which is the most popular view. The sleeves are full and big and billowy. The hem of the front sleeve is slightly higher than the hem of the back sleeve. I really like that detail. The sleeves are my favorite part. It’s the main attraction of this dress. I also really like how the neck binding pulls the wrap bodice altogether. I think it makes it look clean and neat. I chose a diagonal plaid crepe fabric in a midnight navy, lavender and tan color that I bought from Fabric Mart. I didn’t bother to match the diagonals so it looks a little messy. In any case, I am still happy with the end result.
I read in a few reviews that the neckline is very low. So I made the cross over at the bodice a little tighter so that the neckline wouldn’t be too revealing. That was my first hack.
My second hack was that I added ties to the dress. I felt the looseness of the dress was not very flattering on me. In addition, the fabric I chose didn’t drape as well. The recommended fabrics for this pattern are lawn, crepe de chine, challis and georgette. I used a crepe fabric so it was a little heavier and textured than a crepe de chine. So I added ties on the sides of the dress at the waist. The ties can be tied to the front or to the back. I feel the ties, especially when tied to the back, looks a little better because it gives some shape to the dress.
This dress is described as a very loose fitting dress and that is 100% true. This dress runs big. In fact, I believe you can probably size down and I believe many people who made this dress actually did. I wasn’t able to size down since I bought a large. The envelope only contained sizes L, XL and XXL. The large was the smallest size of the pattern. If there was an option, I would have made the medium. But in the end, it worked out because I was able to cross over the bodice more in order to make a more modest neckline since the original neckline is very deep. The gathers of the skirt are very full. In addition, I crossed over the bodice more, so I cut about 6 inches off the fabric to make the gathers less full. I believe the gathers are very full to begin with and I read many reviews of sewists doing the same.
I made a second version except I hacked the dress into a blouse. I didn’t add ties to this one because I liked the looseness of the blouse. I chose a black lawn fabric.
This pattern is a must have. It’s a very popular pattern. I can see myself using it over and over again.