But Hey…It’s A Process : : McCall Pattern M7314

McCall Pattern M7314, McCall's M7314, #sewtogetherforsummer, Vancouver Sewing Blog

Hi you.

I’d love to quickly breeze through this post…Pretty floral dress, pretty floral background…looky dat, not even an I to dot or a T to cross. Done. Finito. But I gotta tell ya. This dress isn’t really working for me and I feel the need to talk it out with you.

I’m wearing McCall Pattern M7314. It’s a pullover shirt dress that offers multiple cup sizes and optional underlining instructions. I did a rough bodice muslin before cutting into my good fabric {purchased this year so not a stash buster}. The envelope description notes the bodice as fitted with a raised, gathered front and elasticized waist. Somehow…despite reading the description, reading other reviews…and um hello…making a muslin…I ended up with a bodice woefully too short. How did I even do that? Apparently I’m so ingrained to the belief that I have to shorten everything…that I literally did not believe that I had to lengthen this bodice. {To clarify; I neither shortened nor lengthened the bodice.}  And yes….my muslin looked silly short….insert face palm here.

McCall Pattern M7314, McCall's M7314, #sewtogetherforsummer, Vancouver Sewing Blog

So, obvs the fit is off. If I stand really still…as if I ever do…it’s almost passable. But. The side view gives it all away. When I wore it, I found myself sort of pulling down the dress in an effort to get it to sit better. {Note the past tense; I’ve worn it only once.} And…of course…attempting to adjust the dress made zero difference.

The second less obvious goof I made was in the fabric choice. Okay, chronologically the fabric selection would be the first error I made. I waffled on this fabric, but the colourway won me over. I love the turquoise, the pink, and the lime green. Unfortunately the print feels too flowy, too soft, for my Type One energy movement. And huh….I’m also now seeing some Type Two in the downward curve of the waistline. I don’t often talk about Dressing Your Truth in my blog posts, but the program has taught me a lot. Ideally, I like to get it right before I buy the fabric, sew the garment,  and prance around in front of the camera…but hey…it’s a process.

Okay…enough gloom. The fit may have been a fail on my part, but there are positives that I want to share.

McCall Pattern M7314, McCall's M7314, #sewtogetherforsummer, Vancouver Sewing Blog

I love the method for elasticizing the back bodice.  The channel for the 1/4″ wide elastic is in the seam allowance…so easy and so brilliant. The top edge of the pockets are sewn into the waistline seam….eliminating pocket flop! I’ve also found my perfectly proportioned collar and collar stand. See, I didn’t get it all wrong.

McCall Pattern M7314, McCall's M7314, #sewtogetherforsummer, Vancouver Sewing Blog

Sewing-wise, it was a straightforward make with easy to follow instructions. Don’t be surprised if you see me wearing M7314 again….with the front bodice lengthened. I also think this pattern will be great as a jumping off point for a shirt!

Longtime readers may remember my Matchywear post, if only for it’s colourful backdrop. It was an underwater kaleidoscope masquerading as a bus shelter.  Sadly it’s gone now having been upgraded with glass and steel and faux wood.  Today’s blooming mural, also by Elizabeth Hollick, has long been on my radar….Must get photos before it meets the same fate, thought me every time I passed it. I may have bought my Kaffee Fassett Ferns in Turquoise fabric with just this spot in mind.

I’ll wrap up with a reminder that the #sewtogetherforsummer tag is in full effect still. I love the shirt dress trend and I’ve got a few more makes coming soon; my Vintage Shirt Dress is next in the blog queue! As ever, thanks for stopping by and saying Hi!

For some reason, I’ve lost some text options and I apologize for the light coloured print. I’m hoping to get that sorted out before my next post!






  • Reply Colette May 30, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Wonderful background and lovely print – love pockets that are sewn into the waist like that (I use the emery ones in most things!). I love the Sew over it vintage shirt dress – but I did lengthen my bodice by a half inch after my first one (I don’t usually lengthen) and it still seems a bit high. As far as shirt dresses go, it fits together well/easily and I was able to adjust in the back (for sway back) by making the release pleats in the bodice and skirt a bit bigger – enjoy!

    • Reply Sue May 30, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks Colette! Oh my gosh…I love Sew Over It’s dress too. I’ve actually finished it, minus sewing on the buttons. And I find it so interesting….for so many bloggers, the Vintage Shirt Dress waistline sits above their natural waist. I was super, super cautious with my muslin, given my challenges with this dress today, and found that I didn’t have to alter the length! I guess Lisa and I have very similar body lengths? I’ll chat about it more next post!

  • Reply coco May 30, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Such beautiful fabric! Your fitting woes got me curious, so I looked at the reviews on PR. ALL the pics were really short in the bodice. Weird! Nonetheless, it’s a very pretty pattern, with a longer bodice it should be a knockout. Maybe you can get more fabric for a new bodice and re-use the skirt?

    • Reply Sue May 30, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks for your input Coco! I took another look at PR….the short bodice seems a little more noticeable for those with larger than a B bust which makes sense in a way. I could possibly try and source more fabric…I can’t get it from the original store I went to…but…and you might know the feeling…sometimes it seems like too much energy to tackle a reno, LOL.

  • Reply Gillian May 30, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Oh goodness, that is STUNNING! I love the fabric and background together, and you look so fabulous surrounded by all those colours! I see your point about the front bodice… is there no way you could fix it?

    • Reply Sue May 30, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      Aw…thanks Gillian! And thanks for ‘seeing’ the issue! I think I could get away with wearing this with a cute cardigan over the top…just not sure if I’d ever feel completely comfortable. At this moment, I think the only fix would be to add a waistband, which technically may not be super difficult to do. I would need to source more fabric…a contrasting fabric might just emphasis the wrong, LOL. I’m going to give it a break, and see if my heart’s up to the task.

  • Reply jodie filogomo May 31, 2017 at 7:12 am

    I can see why you were enthralled with this fabric!! And I’ve done the same mistakes with my knitting–using the wrong yarn can make all the difference!!
    But I feel like I learn more from my mistakes, than by my successes at times.
    So are you going to salvage the skirt by cutting off the top??? I just did that with a dress I had bought!

    • Reply Sue May 31, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      LOL…oh you are so right. We do learn so much from our mistakes! And honestly…I’m happy to blog about the mistakes as much as the wins. It may help others, and it always helps me to have a closer look at what didn’t work and how I might correct it!

      I’m so uncertain of what to do. I tend to feel less friendly towards makes that don’t make my heart sing, at least for a little while, haha. If only I had more fabric to work with…

  • Reply Louisa May 31, 2017 at 7:58 am

    It’s actually very cute but maybe a bit too babydoll for you. You’re already so tiny! Too bad you don’t have more fabric to add a crescent piece just at the front bodice. That might be enough to make it more wearable.

    • Reply Sue May 31, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Okay Louisa! I always listen to you carefully. I have approx 12 square inches of fabric. Maybe. Maybe if I cut a piece on the bias, it will work. Also…Fabricana carries a lot of Kaffee Fassett prints. They might just have this one available.

  • Reply Delores May 31, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I love the happy floral fabric. And I even like the high waist, but only viewed from the front. Side view, I think the full bust seems to pull the waistline up, visually. If you could get more fabric and lengthen the front bodice it would work. Are you up for all that ripping and rebuilding? Once I finish something I don’t want to revisit the sewing machine with it. And as your type…. bubbly type 1 shouts at me. Right?

    • Reply Sue May 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      That’s the big question. Am I up for the ripping and rebuilding? Ripping out the serged seam allowance feels the ugliest of the challenge…and I can surely do that, so maybe I’ll give it a go! That being said, I’m with ya on feeling kind of done with make that doesn’t make me happy. Funny though…I can buy a thrift store garment and happily hack away at it.

      I’m doing my little happy dance that you recognize me as a bubbly type one!!! Woo Hoo and thank you!

  • Reply Vix May 31, 2017 at 10:00 am

    What a gorgeous dress, Sue! I love the fabric, it looks almost West African in its vibrancy and the mural behind is the perfect accompaniment. xxx

    • Reply Sue May 31, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks Vix! You know…I can see that now that you’ve pointed it out. Although an American designed fabric, it does have a lot of the happy vibe and vibrancy of an African print!

  • Reply fran May 31, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Glad you posted this!! I love the dress and the model. I am sure that you can rescue this after thinking about it for awhile.

    • Reply Sue May 31, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Aw…thanks Mom! Yes…leave it alone and think on it before tossing it into the donate pile!

      • Reply fran May 31, 2017 at 7:03 pm

        I will bet an idea does come to you, really do.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion May 31, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Oh …. I felt so relieved when I read your text. I saw the dress on IG and I didn’t know what to do or say as I thought the front wasn’t doing you any favours. But if you had liked it why would I rain on your parade?? On the other hand.. you know my honesty. I was really torn. Then I read the text and couldn’t agree more. On everything. The collar, the elastic waist at the back, the beautiful background painting (idiots to remove that in favour of glass). Anyway, I wish you good luck with sewing another dress. Can you make a skirt out of this dress?

    • Reply Sue May 31, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Hahaha! Whew….I feel your relief Greetje! When I initially tried it on, I wasn’t sure about it, but I thought it was maybe okay. When I saw photographs I was….hmmmm…..shocked! It really was really bad, lOL. Yep, all kinds of wrong and I’m not sure if I’m going to attempt to fix it.

  • Reply Priscilla May 31, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I’m glad you showed us the dress even if you didn’t think the fabric was right for you and even if the cut of the pattern was . . . was . . . made for a small chested, long waisted woman I guess! The color is still lovely, and now we have a heads-up about the waistline on that pattern.

    Can’t wait to see the vintage shirt dress!

    • Reply Sue May 31, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      I was tempted to can the whole thing, post included. Initially I was finding it hard to be inspired to write about it, but I’m happy I did. Definitely more suited to small busted women, which seems a bit odd given that the pattern has the multiple cup sizes. Ah well…on to the Vintage Shirt Dress and soon!

  • Reply Kathy May 31, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Sue. DYT Type 2 here. I disagree – I think the colors are spot on for a type 1. Even tho the ferns are flowy, the flowers are circles!! I couldn’t feel comfortable in the brightness of this fabric but I think it looks beautiful on you. Even tho its distinctive, you notice your happy face first. Have you seen the Cinema shirt dress pattern by Liesl & Co.? The waist is lower than your pattern. I’d try to at least salvage this fabric even if you hack it into something else. Maybe you could insert a self-fabric band at the waist, making the upper edge slightly convex and the bottom edge straight. If you cut it on the bias, you wouldn’t have to match the print! Good luck.

    • Reply Sue May 31, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      OH Yay! How great to see another DYT person! Thanks for the input on the fabric! Especially since you are a type two. The colours do feel 100% type one and it was the colourway that made the sale for me. It was in retrospect that I thought the fern pattern might be too flowy and type two. You know how it is…you spend enough time looking at something and you start seeing negatives that may not really be there.

      Your comment has taken away any fabric doubt I harbored. THANK YOU so much for that!

      The scales are tipping towards giving it a go at saving the dress!

  • Reply Manju May 31, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Beautiful fabric and you will nail the bodice length next time. As you say there are plenty of positives about this project!

    • Reply Sue June 2, 2017 at 9:39 am

      I’ll nail it or I’ll over compensate and make a bodice too long, hahahaha! You’re right…the positives are worthy of a remake!

  • Reply Deb May 31, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Sue, you are a very creative lady and can handle lots of colour. All is not lost. How about adding a band of colour (to extend the bodice)? Your dress looks great.

    • Reply Sue June 2, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Thanks Deb! I didn’t mention it, but the under collar, collar stand and inside pockets are pink gingham. That fabric I have more of and I could add a band to extend the bodice. Thinking on that option!

  • Reply Suzanne May 31, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Well that is a bit of a shame on the fit because the colour and print is so wonderful, especially with your hair.

    That colourful mural is wonderful. Such a shame they painted over the other one.


    • Reply Sue June 2, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Well the other one got torn right down and replaced and I fear this one will go too. It is showing signs of aging and with the new ones they can blast them with a power washer to keep them clean. Still, the bus shelters add so much character to the neighbourhood!

  • Reply Connie* May 31, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Oh my. I feel like I have lived this exact same sewing experience. That fabric is very pretty and I actually like the fit. I think you look really cute. But then again, you ALWAYS look really cute. But these days…..I think that the fabric selection, around here anyway, is kinda measly. So I have to be Very careful before I cut into anything that I actually really like. You are a supremely talented seamstress so I take heart that you, too, think it is a process.

    • Reply Sue June 2, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Hey Connie. These photos are really the only ones close to flattering. I have a couple of dresses that are empire waisted and I quite like them, but for some reason this one sticks out rather oddly in real life.

      And this fabric? Purchased at a local fabric store that closed it’s doors this spring. So yep….the fabric selection just went down a whole lot here too!

  • Reply Sharon May 31, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    How frustrating but I have also learnt that measurements don’t lie (especially if I have taken them twice). The pattern sounds like has good bones.

    • Reply Sue June 2, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Oh Sharon, this is such a good point! You’ve got me thinking about how a tailor works…meticulous, multiple measurements! My previous body 🙂 pretty much fit a standard pattern. I didn’t worry too much about measurements. Things are indeed a little different now and the carpenter’s measure twice, cut once adage rings loud and clear. It really is time that I measure everywhere.. Thank you so much for this!!

  • Reply pao June 1, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Hey Sue, what about an obi-type belt? Would that work? Something wide enough to establish the waistline you want and cover the empire waist that’s there. And maybe in a contrasting color/print. Otherwise the pattern and color looks wonderful on you.

    You could also continue with the button down aspect, like your first one, and wear it as a duster. Then the empire waist isn’t such an issue. And there’s not so much de-construction involved…

    • Reply Sue June 2, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Pao! Oh my gosh, I’m getting such good ideas here thank you! I can definitely try the obi-type belt, but then opening it up to a full shirt dress might be cool too.

  • Reply Flo June 7, 2017 at 5:01 am

    I love the fabric, but I agree that the bodice is too short. I’d either figure out a way to detach the top and remake it as just a skirt or find a short-waisted friend who it might fit properly! Another thought is to buy some contrasting fabric and either remake the entire bodice and reattach or make an insert to extend it, giving it a colorblocked effect. Like you said, if nothing else, it’s a learning experience.

    • Reply Sue June 8, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      LOL…my first choice would be if there was someone even more short waisted than I. I do have some pink gingham which I used on the collar so that is definitely an option!

  • Reply dan June 7, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    All you do looks really perfect to me, but you are the ( perfect ) tailor and know how the dress should fit!
    I would be absolutely unable to sew a dress so…it’s very better that I don’t give you any suggestion!!! 🙂

    In any case, I like your lovely photos…

    • Reply Sue June 8, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Thanks so much Dan! I know you don’t sew, but you have impeccable taste so I always appreciate your advice!

  • Reply juliet June 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I love the dress – the fabric is so pretty and what a fantastic background to photograph against, I do a little bit of sewing but I am more a knitter so really interesting

    • Reply Sue June 13, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you Juliet! I’m like you…but the opposite, LOL. I do a little bit of knitting, but I am more of a sewer. I find I mess up the tension when knitting ALL the time. Thanks for visiting!

  • Reply Barbara June 24, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I really love the look, the fabric really grabs your attention, it is soooooo pretty! My first thought when reading you weren’t happy was, huh?’ because that first picture looks soooo good! But when I read a bit further and saw the side picture I understand the ‘problem’. What a pity! Maybe you should really try to make another version, because I think this is such a flattering and pretty silhouette as well! But I myself am the type that doesn’t do that anymore, so not sure if you are… 🙂 The pictures are stunning as well, by the way!

    • Reply Sue June 24, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Thanks Barbara! With the bodice lengthened even just a little, I’ll be more than happy with the silhouette! I’m just about to do a ‘fix’ on this dress next week! Wish me luck!

    • Reply Sue July 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Wow! Thanks for going to the trouble…and for finding a Canadian source as well. It was touch and go, but I did manage to eke out just enough fabric for the fix! I will be sharing the updated dress soon!

      OH and sorry for the delay. It appears your comment was awaiting approval…probably because of the links in it! Thanks again!

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