I have a confession. I’m a hoarder. A baby clothes hoarder. Because for 21 years I kept a bag of my daughter’s baby clothes. For twenty one years. I lugged that garbage bag full of clothes from residence to residence. I have been a faithful hoarder to that bag of clothes. Now, they weren’t all of my daughter’s baby clothes, just my favorite outfits and hats. I just couldn’t part with them. They reminded me of her special baby memories.
From the day I put those baby clothes in that garbage bag with every intention of hoarding them, my goal was to make a quilt out of them. I didn’t even know how to sew back then, let alone sew a quilt. But I figured that one day I would teach myself. I knew it would be a long time before I would teach myself how to sew. So I…
I have been putting this pattern on hold until I could find the perfect fabric. The only thing is that I promised myself that I would use all the fabric I already have before buying new fabric. Mostly because I am running out of space in my magic basket (also known as the “time out” basket, where I put all my new fabric as well as my sewing makes that didn’t turn out right and need a time out). In my magic basket, I had 2 yards of chambray fabric in dusty rose. I bought it in 2016 and have been holding onto it since. What a fabric hoarder. I finally found it’s perfect match, Simplicity 8878.
Simplicity 8878 is a pattern for a simple shift dress. It can also be used to make a blouse. There are 2 types of sleeves, long or short. There are 2 necklines offered, boatneck or with a tie. The dress comes with pockets. Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets? You will need interfacing for the neckline if you chose to sew view C or D. Fabrics that are recommended for this pattern are challis, chambray, crepe, and shirtings. Cotton, silk or linen types can also be used.
I chose view D, which is a long sleeve, boatneck blouse. I chose a dusty rose chambray fabric. It only required 1 3/8 yards of fabric for a size medium blouse. If I wanted to make the dress (view C), it would only require 1 3/4 yards of fabric. I like that you will need less than 2 yards!
What I like the most about this blouse is the neckline finishing. The neckline is finished with a bias strip which is folded in half lengthwise. It is stitched around the neckline and then folded inside and topstitched. It looks very neat and clean. It was a new technique for me and I think it would have been easy to do except for the fact that my dog literally ate one of the neckline pattern pieces. I had to re-construct a new pattern piece and I’m not sure that I did a good job with that reconstruction. My first try was not a success but was also fixable. I had to re-do it and it turned out well. I also like the sleeves. There is no facing for the sleeves, but they looked cuff if folded.
The instructions were very easy to follow. It was an easy and quick sewing project. I think that this pattern is great for an advanced beginner.
It’s a very comfortable blouse. I wore it with jeans and sneakers recently. This shift dress and blouse is perfect for the summer months. Since I live in California, it’s also perfect for the Fall.
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. 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. In fact, I believe you can probably size down and I believe many people who made this dress actually did.
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.