Wednesday, July 1, 2015

McCalls 7121 knit dress in Girl Charlee cotton jersey

A one hour dress. Doesn't that sound great? So I was thinking when I saw this pattern, McCalls 7121. It is actually one of the simple styles that they didn't mess up with a hideous fabric choice in the example photos. Very cute with the diagonal stripes and includes a maxi version. (well that black and red example is a bit weird).

So I figured I would sew it up with something from the stash - a novelty knit from Girl Charlee.
I am a sucker for certain novelty knits - I just ordered another one from them, a very eye-popping palm tree and stripe combo. Which has arrived and caused me to question my selections. But by the next morning I was working out the perfect pattern for it. However we will set that aside to reconsider this.

A rather distant shot  - look at the pretty grapevine trailing up the fence and not at my dress.

Sailboat dress

I somehow feel I have achieved geriatric housedress with this combo of fabric and pattern. Or maybe 1970's Sears catalog? Although I was able to pair a belt with it that I bought ages ago in Italy on a "last day of in the country buy all the leather items spree" and which I have never worn. How is that? Who knows. I don't make many navy blue or navy blue adjacent items so that might be why. Also my cute navy and white espadrille sandals.

Perhaps this dress is growing on me. Actually I can say that it is because 1) super easy to sew and 2) quite comfy to wear.

Or possibly because it was 102˚ F at 6:15pm when these pictures were taken. Yes, after 6:00 and still over 100. Illustrating that adage, be careful what you wish for - I long for summer the rest of the year and don't think at all about the scorching days that will arrive. So a cotton jersey dress is super easy breezy to wear.

Pattern envelope and a better look at the fabric.


I have to say that the fit on the pattern was quite good, and that includes the fact that this cotton knit is not very stretchy at all. But the width of the shoulders was nice and the armholes not too low. Two new McCalls patterns this year that fit reasonably well - I might have to look more closely at them in the future. I made this up with the idea of testing it out before I took the trouble to make a diagonal stripe version - but now I am over it.  Just too simple for my taste, and too many other patterns I want to try out.
On the dress form. I had to put it on my super tiny size 2-ish form because the other one that is more like my size has slightly larger shoulders and I could not get the dress over it without breaking the stitches. The neckline and armholes are just turn and stitch, which normally I don't like in a jersey but this knit pressed so crisply that it worked really well. So it does look a bit goofy on the form.

Front View
Isailboat dress front

Back view:

There is 1/4" elastic at the waist which is possibly not necessary but it did give it a bit of shaping.

And one last shot of me "glowing" in the heat. The forecast is for lovely warm but not super hot over the upcoming 4th of July weekend which sounds good to me!

sailboat dress on me 2

I am just about finished with my two-piece version of the Pauline Alice Alameda dress. What a fantastic skirt silhouette - I can't wait to wear it.

My friend Heather bought lots (I mean lots) of fabrics in NY so you will see quite a few designer fabrics sewn up here in the coming months.

Hope my fellow Americans have a great 4th of July holiday weekend (ha, my fellow Americans - sounds like I am running for office.  Now what would that be? Secretary of Patterns? Fabric Czar? Special Sewing Notion Dictator for Life? yes in my own mind I am all of those:)

Happy sewing, Beth

And today's garden photo, the very hardy yellow rose that doesn't get quite enough sun but reliably blooms anyway. Love that saturated color.

Yellow rose


  1. I think it is a fun little dress

  2. Looks like a perfect casual summer dress. Comfortable, cool and simple. I like it. :)

  3. Its pretty cute! And perfect for that heat.

  4. Yes cute dress. Enjoy your hot weather!

  5. Perfect dress for our hot summers! You are not a hoarder or stash owner, you are a curator of a collection of fine textiles...happy and safe 4th to you too, Beth!

  6. Perfect dress for those temps. I'll stop complaining now about our weather!

  7. Cute and fun. And love the rose...

  8. Fun summer dress! Your garden is just lovely.

  9. Very cute on you, and perfect with those shoes! I was so focused on the fun chit chat with everyone the other day that I barely took the time to notice how fabulous all of your plants are!

  10. A simple dress style to highlight a fun print fabric. It is perfect to wear in hot summer weather. And if it really took only an hour to make, that makes it even better.

  11. Beth, i would never have had that pegged as a 'one hour' dress from the nice fit and finish you've got going on. I think it looks great and fantastically pulled-together - especially in this heat we're having. ugh. Yesterday i went from literally dripping sweat on the dining room table to go to the pleasant hill transit station - i had to use the wipers for rain! Usually the heat out here is at least dry (very worried face).

    I love the colors in the pictures on the form - very classic and nautical. You are setting a standard for all of us who feel so wilting in the heat!

  12. Love what you've made so far and look forward to seeing them on. Fantastic pattern making ideas.

  13. It looks lovely Beth! and a good one for a hot summer's day. I'm like you; I love the summer heat and pine for it when it's cold. I don't think I'd survive in anything cooler than what we get here!
    I was so glad to hear you do the same thing re lining! you know, when you have your own way of coping with a problem but wonder if others are going to think it's a bit odd; I felt SO relieved that an experienced seamster like yourself has the same technique! Thank you!

  14. Looking great!! Can't wait to see your Alameda skirt because I can't say I was too convinced by the line drawing!