My first item of clothing I sewed this year is McCall’s M7503 sleeveless V-neck dress, designed by Karen Miller. The dress is fitted through the bodice and has princess seams, Dior darts, and invisible back zipper. It includes separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C, and D.
The M7503 dress has separate pattern pieces for different cup sizes, which is always a bonus! It saves me time from not having to do a FBA. I made size 16 with D cup using a 55% linen-45% rayon blend of navy floral fabric from Fabricland. I then fully lined my dress with navy Bemberg lining. To finish the lining, I understitched the armholes and necklines. I’m still learning this technique and some of my seams are a bit wiggly, but they are functional for now, which is what I want.
My main alteration was to lengthen the bodice by 2.5 cm. This is my usual alteration for McCall’s dresses (did the same on M7188), but judging by that wrinkle across the bodice, I might not have needed to do so. I also shortened the straps a bit, and I might need to take them in just a little more to allow for an erect back and so the neckline lies flat.
I’ve got some other fabrics that I want to make up with this pattern, including one with stripes! The M7503 pattern envelope has a lovely illustration with a striped fabric, and I think the second view of this dress allows for stripe-matching.
I also made some additions to the dress pattern that weren’t included in the instructions. I added fusible interfacing to front neckline edges and back neckline edges to prevent stretching, as I found the linen-rayon dress fabric stretched on the bias. Additionally, I added interfacing to the centre back fabric edge, to reinforce where I would sew the zipper. This adds strength to the fabric where there might be strain.
Instead of inserting an invisible zipper, which is indicated on the pattern, I added a hand-picked zipper using the method from Sewaholic . I didn’t have an invisible zipper foot at the time of sewing (but I have one now), so my next piece of clothing will have an invisible zip!
The pattern requires the sewer to put in horsehair braid in the dress hem. This was the first time I used horsehair, which I bought as a nylon mesh braid from my local Fabricland. It adds a nice swishy feeling to the skirt, and allowing you to take advantage of all the skirt body.
I’d love to wear my McCall’s M7503 to a garden party or a summer wedding. Toronto is enjoying a last hot summery weekend (even though it’s technically autumn) so I might have to wait to wear this dress next summer!
Here’s a close-up of the hem with inserted horsehair. The hem was rounded so I had to baste and gather and press to make sure the curve was and not puckered.
Here are photos of the insides: the navy Bemberg lining and Petersham ribbon waist stay. I think my Oma, a master tailor in Germany, would be proud of how nice the insides of this dressed looked. When I was sewing little dresses for my dolls with her fabric scraps, she would always lift up the skirts and check the seams. I finished all these seams with a zig zag stitch because I don’t have a serger or coverstitch machine (although I recently had a dream about one!).
I sewed a plastic clasp to the Petersham ribbon, which I then stitched to the waist seam of the lining and the dress itself, without poking through to the outside of the dress.