A McCall's Valentine's Day Dress Hack

Love is in the air and I'm loving this dress. In this post we explore a hacked m7948 from McCall's with oversized raglan sleeves and a waist tie, and made with a gorgeous gingham that screams love day every day!

Ah Valentine's Day. Whether you're for or against this particular holiday, hopefully this post will bring a smile to your dial. And don't worry I'll keep it short and sweet since we've all probably got stuff to do. For me, it's waiting at home with the kids till my hubby comes home from work (he has the car). Then from there we'll eat too much food and not be able to move come 10pm. Sounds like a regular day for us. Except today we give romantic cards, that are usually the crass ones cos we think they're funny, and the kids get to eat sweets like it's Halloween.


Ok, enough about me let's get to this dress. I've made this dress a few times now, but I recently had the idea to do a raglan sleeve on it. You see, I'm broad shouldered so raglan really suits my frame, and with this whole massive sleeve trend I wanted it to be a little bit oversized so I could add in elastic at the sleeve hem. It's all about comfort with this one, which then led me to adding in a waist tie and casing. Adjustable is what I wanted, so when that food baby makes an appearance I'll be ready. I also drew inspo from Bee from fashion_onthe_farm on instagram. If you don't follow her you should, she's darling. I also was inspired by this new dress from H&M; gorgeous but does not work for my shape or height!

Now, the whole pattern drafting rigamarole is not my thing. I'm really not, in any way, skilled in that department. So, I used a raglan sleeve dress pattern I traced from another dress a long time ago (that fit me really well), and used the pieces from m7948 and followed photos from a condensed tutorial on the web. You can find that here. I traced the pattern pieces out and adjusted them on my Pellon 830 against my body till it sat right and the seams matched up. That was it, and it was still bloody nerve racking. I am a rigid person with metrics and doing this by feel was all new territory to me. Hence, my neckline didn't turn out 100% and I'll probably need to work on making it smaller for my next make.

With the waist tie I just used my actual tape measure and wrapped it around my waist to determine how long I wanted it. I then measured out the thickness and added my seam allowance all the way around. The casing was very much the same concept, but I measured the inside of my bodice to get the sizing right. This part is always fiddly, so slow down when adding it in. And try not to sew the casing to the waist tie. I've done that a few times. It's a buzz kill, trust me.


If I make this dress again my main adjustment will be to probably skip the facing next time and just do bias tape. I get so nervous with the slash at the back that I want to spare myself that part, and it's big enough on the neckline right now that I can probably get it to be a pull over head top which only adds to the easiness of the dress. And, lastly, DO THE BUTTONHOLES FOR THE WAIST TIE FIRST! I made the mistake of waiting till the end to do it and my machine could not handle the weight of the dress and the finish seams on the feed dogs. So I had to manually do my buttonholes and it was rough. Don't be like me, do it first. Learn from my mistake.

Overall, I really love how this hack came out. I give it a 9/10 since it was pretty close to what I envisioned. This fabric it to die for. I picked it up from Harmony Provo and practically rang there when I saw them order this from LA. It partially took me so long to cut into it because I loved the fabric so much but I'm so glad I did for this one.


So have I already made another one? Yes. So safe to say this will be a new go to pattern. How do you think this turned out? Will you try this hack?

Sew Like Romy

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