I have a fancy Mardi Gras Ball party this weekend and I wanted to make a fancy new dress since a lot of my others do not fit as well as they used to…gained a few pounds. Oops! So I looked around and saw McCall 7154. I love era pieces and this 30’s dress is simply gorgeous. Unfortunately I did not have the funds for the emerald or royal purple silk charmeuse I had in mind so I went with a royal blue polyester charmeuse. It works well but not as well as a slightly heavier fabric like silk charmeuse would.
For my first go I decided to go with my new sizing, a size 16 according to McCall Pattern company. Well, 18 to them but I always size down one. I didn’t make any adjustments thinking the ease of the style would work just fine. It was ok. As you can see in the photos below the arm holes have extra fabric and the overall width of the shoulders is too wide. So I definitely needed to go back to my usual 14 for the top but I decided to keep the 16 for the waist and hips. There is also some pulling at the bust even with all of that ease so I needed to do my usual FBA (full bust adjustment) after all. I also added 1″ of length to the waist of the bodice. And for anyone doing this pattern, they kind of leave out the step on how to attach the bands to the middle of the top…so I guessed. I ended up folding under the seam allowance for the middle top section and tucking the bands into it.
So I added 2″ to each pattern piece front as they are cut out on the fold, so a total of 4″. McCall pattern size 14 is a 36″ bust, so a 34B cup size. My bust is 40″, so 40-36 = 4. My cup size is a 34G. Very different from a B cup! If I go according to just my full chest measurement of 40″, the top would actually end up being way too big for me.
Below is a photo of the adjustments I made to the underbodice front piece. I basically cut it apart along the lines I drew in and added 2″ to the middle line. This made the darts huge and I had to re-arrange them a little but as seen by the second picture it has the right shape and fits much better, :).
So I had to add the same 4″ of ease to the overbodice front piece. I really didn’t want to add a dart and mess with the visual aspect of the exterior lines of the dress. I couldn’t find an FBA tutorial that didn’t put in a dart and the one I found I couldn’t figure out. So I put in my lines but slashed them a little different. Instead of cutting in from the side I cut out to the side. Then I added 2″ between the middle line I had slashed out. After putting the fabric pieces together I realized that line I thought I could leave curved did need straightened out and that I needed to loose about an inch off the side.
And voila, the dress is coming along nicely. I haven’t put the bands together yet but other than needing to take in the side a bit of the front overbodice piece as mentioned, I think it looks and fits rather nicely, :). I can see when I place the top on my dress dummy where the side seem doesn’t fall straight, so I am going to take in about a 1″ wedge. There is no longer any pulling in the chest area and the sleeves are placed where they should be and not look like they might fall off my shoulders, ;).
Hopefully my finished dress looks pretty close to this one! Except for the train in the back, still sorting out how to adjust that to make it more of an even hem that won’t drag behind me.
Update: took out a 1″ wedge on each side of the front overbodice and straightened the hem line, huge difference! Now to cut out the hip sections, :).