Dancing into Spring with McCalls 7116
Posted on Monday the 25th March 2019 by Milly Noel
Sigh. Can you believe that spring has finally decided to grace us with her presence?? I can’t. I am ridiculously excited to enjoy some warmer weather. Spring/Summer are definitely my favorite seasons to sew for. As the weather gets nicer, I find the sewing bug is getting stronger too! For the first time in nearly six months I am actually excited to whip up a few dresses.
McCalls 7116 is a simple, empire waist dress with a bias cut skirt and elastic gathered neckline. When this pattern was originally released I loved it but didn’t think I would ever attempt it. I was quite convinced that the empire style didn’t work on me. And I used to be so intimidated by fitted skirts. But look at me now! I made New Look 6000 last month and now McCalls 7116.
I must say, this Fabric is absolutely PERFECT for this pattern. It is drapey, soft, and has such a cute print. It also may look familiar because I stitched up a hacked Sew Over It Doris dress a few months out of the red colorway. There is also a green colorway which I must admit to being very tempted to getting. I love this viscose challis. I haven’t used this type of fabric much but, after two such successful makes, I am definitely interested in using it more.
I sewed a size 14 everywhere except in the skirt. I graded from size 14 at the waist to size 16 from the hips down. I also did a FBA on the bodice. I didn’t exactly know how to do a proper FBA since the front bodice is not only raglan but also has that higher empire waist. I did a basic FBA (google FBA tutorial and a bazillion different ones will pop up) and then added an additional 1 ½ inches of length to the center front by slashing from the CF to the side seam but leaving a hinge.
It worked far better than I expected it to. I think I could do with about half an inch more length in the bodice in any future versions. I knew that I would need that extra room over the fullest part of the bust especially with the high waistline. Nobody wants a seam line cutting right across the bust!
I definitely recommend trying on the bodice after you get the elastic threaded into the channel around the neckline. I used the included elastic guide to know how much to cut and then once it was in the channel I just pulled the excess out before stitching everything closed. It made sure that I wouldn’t end up with any awkward gaping. Now the neckline stays in place but isn’t too tight or bunchy.
Also, I didn’t end up needing a side zipper! This dress slips on like a dream so I didn’t even have to fiddle about with closures. Believe me, I was beyond thrilled when I realized this. It makes this dress about a million times better than it already was.
This dress feels amazing to wear. The bias skirt skims over my hips perfectly. The neckline reminds me of peasant style blouses/dresses. That yellow is bright and cheery and just makes me want to smile. I definitely count this as a sewing success!!