A Black Tie Evening Dress using McCalls 7119
Posted on Monday the 13th November 2017 by Sew Sarah Smith
Regular readers of my blog
and those who follow me on Instagram
may recall that I sewed McCalls Pattern
7119 back in the summer. It turned out to be my favourite make for my holiday suitcase and I knew instantly that I wanted to make it again as an evening dress. I even knew exactly what fabric I wanted to make it in!
My original summer dress was made using this fantastic Floral Viscose Challis Fabric
. Hands down this has got to be one of the best viscose fabrics I’ve used to date; whilst lovely and flowy, it didn’t distort whilst handling and was great to work with. And I can wax lyrical about the vivid colours of the gorgeous print. (If you missed it, you can read my original review here
I was really surprised just how much I loved the shape of the dress; maxi dresses can swamp me as I’m not very tall but the high-low hem of the McCalls Sewing Pattern
7119 negates much of that. Also, being part of McCalls ‘Easy’ range it’s also pretty quick to sew up! Both times I’ve sewn View B.
With the party season of Christmas fast approaching now was the time to finally get my hands on this self lined Prada Crepe Fabric
. Why had I been lusting after it for so long? Being self-lined, it is satin backed, meaning the crepe side is matt and the underside has the lustrous shine of the satin; meaning you can use either side as the ‘right’ side. Given that the high-low hem of M7119 reveals the underside of the back skirt, it’s important to use a fabric that is either colour rich on both sides or, like this crepe, is double sided. The fabric also a slight stretch across its width making it somewhat more forgiving fitting wise. It has a lovely handle, gorgeous drape and is a decent weight, feeling quality to the touch. It was pretty easy to cut too and doesn’t fray a great deal.
I decided to play with the different textures of the fabric to mimic a ‘black tie’ jacket; using the matt crepe side for the main body of the dress and the shiny satin side for the neck band/shoulder straps and long ties and I cut the pieces out with that in mind.
Before sewing it together I tested the fabric on both sides with my iron and I didn’t melt but I erred on the side of caution and used a low setting. It doesn’t really take much of a meaningful crease which made certain aspects of the construction a little trickier than sewing it up in the challis. Being double sided it’s also thicker; as a result my shoulder straps look a little pouffy to my eye. I really need to invest in a clapper – you can bet that’s on my Christmas list this year! The satin backing also means there’s a little bit of slip when it’s placed together but judicious pinning and using my walking foot dealt with that.
I sewed up this dress using the pattern pieces from my previous make. I think since then I’ve learnt a little more about my particular fit issues and if I was to sew this again – and I probably will – I’ll make a Petite Bodice Adjustment (I.e. taking a slice of length out of the upper body and through the armscye) to raise the armholes, as well as doing an FBA. It does reveal a little bit of cleavage as it is, which I think is perfectly appropriate for this evening dress but, on reflection, I’d like a little bit more coverage for another day wear version). Apart from that it sewed up exactly as expected (there’s more on the construction process on my original blog post
Thank you so much Minerva for letting me get my hands on this Designer Fabric
! I’m really happy to have added a Black Tie appropriate dress to my wardrobe. Now all I need is a Glitter Ball type invitation!
Until next time, happy sewing!