Pattern Review: McCalls 5314

Overall, I am happy with the dress. There is something funny with the hemline, but I think that hanging it on the bias might have caused some uneveness?

Now that it’s done, I’ve been twirling around looking for a sock hop to go to.

I like the fit on top. With a dark bra it’s
not as see through as I was worried about.

Cost: $50. That’s a lot for me. I bought this pretty shirting on an impulse from A Fabric Place in Baltimore. I say impulse because it was $10 a yard and I didn’t find out until I was at the counter. Ummm, dress takes 5 yards.

I am a lazy beast and it took an eternity to get this sucker cut out. Please, do yourself a favor and use 60 inch wide fabric.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
My favorite new alteration since I turned 30 ‘low bust’. Sigh. At any rate, I had to take in some fullness at the top of the princess seams. I also added an inch in length to the bodice. I’ve been thinking lately that it should be a standard alteration for me. I should have taken some in at the waist when I did that, but, it’s not that bad and it just means there is room to grow.

You will need a racing back bra for this dress or draft the shoulders a little wider.

Can someone do something about the weather? I need it to get above 65 degrees and I can wear it.

And, I also got the lawn mowed!


I wasn’t going to let myself sew today until I took care of the Amazon forest that has become my front yard. But, it rained last night and I certainly can’t mow the lawn when it’s wet. Right? Right?

All that’s left on McCall 5314 is attaching the bodice and skirt. I’m hoping to finish this dress today and start sewing the BWOF 9-2003-134. I got it cut out Thursday night. No muslin (it might be too slim in the lower thigh but that’s what control top pantyhose are for).

My mom is a full bird Colonel in the Army and retiring in a big ceremony in two weeks. I think this is the kind of dress that will stand the test of time in photos. Unlike my too thin eyebrows in the above photo from her last promotion ceremony.

This is the hem that never ends….

This is the hem that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Cidell started sewing it, not knowing what it was, and she’ll continue sewing it forever just because…This is the hem that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Cidell started sewing it, not knowing what it was, and she’ll continue sewing it forever just because…Seriously. It took me almost an hour just to press the hem of McCall 5314. Every time I would get to a seam, I would think ‘almost there’ and see there was more skirt. Then I started sewing it on the machine and it was the same thing. All. Over. Again.

I chose to do a fairly narrow hem that I just eyeballed. I really dislike hemming. I dislike hemming for many reasons. Well, not many, just two.

1. I have tendonitis in my right hand and am supposed to wear a cock-up splint (that is the worst name for a brace. Try ordering that and see how you feel) for any activity that would stress my tendon (anything requiring a grip or repetitive like typing, sewing, painting, shoveling snow, etc.) so it’s difficult for me to hold a needle for more than 30 seconds. If I do, I’ll have a stiff hand and odd pains in my wrist for several days. So everything gets hemmed on my machine or my mom hems it for me.
2. I’m lazy.

First Instincts

It’s the middle of April and it’s finally going to crack 70 this weekend. Which is a relief considering that up until yesterday I was wearing a winter coat and sweater to the office.

In anticipation of warm weather, I skipped over the BWOF and went with the McCalls 5314 view A (sleeveless).

I did a muslin a few months back, worked out a low bust fit issue and bought a cotton with some stretch from A Fabric Place. After pre-treating, I realized it was 45 inches wide, not 60. At $10 a yard and needing five yards I was feeling like this was going to be an expensive and labor intensive dress (for me at least).

I cut (for the most part) out of a single vs. double layer. There was a post on Gorgeous Things last week about this. Good inspiration for making me do it.

I had no idea how see through this was until I was ready to cut. Originally, I wanted to underline the bodice in brown (so it would be opaque against my skin) and use a visable contrast binding along the edges (like a green or navy gingham). But, the underlining and binding intimidated me a little and I decided to just follow the instructions and get a light brown or white slip since the skirt would also be see through.

Just before starting construction, I also considered doing a french seam because I thought that it would be less visible than sewing and serging, but I also nixed that. I was worried about the seam laying flat with all the curved princess seams.

Now, the top is contructed and the seams on the skirt are complete.

But, grrrrrr. I HATE how you can see the facing through the fabric.

I’m taking a break. Well, really my last ball point needle broke while stitching down the facing and I’m supposed to be on my way to mom and dad’s to help clear out thier storage facility.

So, I’m 50 percent done (sleeve binding, hemming of skirt and making tie). Maybe by the time I finish, it will be 90 degrees out and I can actually wear it.

And yes, Cosmopolitan is all done, just need to add buttons to the cuff.