As summer is slowly starting to wrap up, although it always has a few more hot days as a final hurrah so I know it’s not over just yet, I thought I’d go ahead and sew up a modern pattern that I believe can be styled vintage. Today’s pattern of choice is McCall’s M7950 looking at style A which is a close-fitted bust, has a self faced bodice, slightly flared and gathered skirt with buttons, shoulder strap and pocket variation. Style A has bust ties and the dress doesn’t require a zip so it’s great for those a little nervous about sewing a zip (yeah it’s not my favourite part either).
My fabric choice for this dress is 2 and a half yards of this gorgeous vintage-inspired floral from fabric.com. This is the Paintbrush Studio Fabric, organic flower market large flowers petals daisy fabric and it is a lightweight 100% cotton fabric. Designed by Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess for Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, this 1970’s inspired fabric is perfect for quilting, apparel and home decor accents. This organic cotton fabric is fun enough to appeal to kids but sophisticated enough that grown-ups can wear it too. The collection this fabric comes from has the most beautiful colour story and I definitely purchased some of the coloured gingham from this collection I’m sure you will be seeing it soon as it’s just too beautiful to ignore. I’m also tempted to get this piece from the collection, thoughts?
Deciding what size I am on this pattern was pretty straight forward and if you read my previous pattern review, you might still remember by general pattern size selection method. With my 28 inch waist, I should be a size 14 according to the chart but I always go down a size as it just fits me better every time and I decide on the 12. Once again, my method worked perfectly and I still had enough seam allowance should I ever want to let the dress out a bit.
Sew, let’s get started! The bodice was very straight-forward to assemble and it took me no time at all to get it done. After sewing the back bodice and attaching the front sides, the part that took me the longest was creating my straps and folding them right sides out. The bodice is self-lined meaning that instead of using a lining fabric, you use your normal dress fabric. This is mainly because the dress has ties at the front, when you tie up your bodice, the ties are complete in the dress fabric and don’t look strange. Skirt assembly was easy as pie; sew down the seams, add pockets and gather. Add the skirt facing which you add interfacing to down the sides of the skirt front as this is where you will be adding your buttons and buttonholes.
There is a pattern piece, piece 9, which is your buttonhole guide. You don’t need to cut this out of fabric. Attaching the skirt and bodice together was pretty easy and as always, I use my dental floss gathering method due to its ease. Adding my buttonholes wasn’t a problem as my machine has a 4 step guide and after a quick practice on some scrap fabric, I managed to complete my dress. For my buttons, I went through my button box and found that whilst in Europe I purchased 6 gorgeous little yellow buttons which were the perfect size. Now the pattern does ask for 7 buttons but even though I only added 6, I felt it was enough. The buttons were hand-sewn and the dress was done.
Fit: The bodice fit perfectly and it sits right on my waist making her comfortable to wear. I like to live dangerously so I don’t check my pattern fit as I sew and rather have a meltdown when I’m done instead. Luckily, this pattern worked out perfectly and I was so happy with it. The main issue I have with the fit is I think my bosoms may be a bit too big for the allocated size. I was a bit confused if I should wear this dress with or without a bra and found that with a bra, you could see the bra front centre when I wore the dress and without a bra, you could definitely see a little bit of middle outline boob. The ties are large enough to cover any visible bosom but I do see this making me a little self-conscious. If I were to sew this pattern again, and I already really want to, I would adjust the bodice pieces to cover up a little more and perhaps close the gap they create at the midriff in the centre. The last thing I would alter on this pattern is the strap placement. I just found they felt a little awkward in their placement and I would move them out a little to be more flattering and to cover my bra straps.
The final fit issue I had was the skirt length, on the envelope picture, the model is wearing style C which is the longest skirt this pattern has and it reaches just on her lower calf. I assumed that style A would reach between calf and knee but it is a bit on the long side. I would raise the skirt a few inches to make it a bit more flattering and perhaps more on the vintage style. It might seem like there’s a lot wrong with this pattern but there really isn’t. If you are comfortable showing a bit more skin then this would be a great pattern for you and as I’m currently a little heavier than normal due to medication, I’m a little more self-conscious. I will certainly be trying this pattern again with the above adjustments and I will hopefully link an updated review either below to right here when it happens.
This pattern would be perfect for those that enjoy a more 70’s style of clothing or who are comfortable with their midriff visible. McCall’s 7950 is a modern pattern but it certainly can be styled in a vintage way. I can see this dress being perfect for sandals and a straw hat for soft chilled summer vibes. There are a few tweaks I would add to this dress for my own personal comfort and preferences but I found this pattern easy, quick and very cute. Overall I really liked this pattern and am so glad I gave it a go. I’d highly recommend giving this pattern a go yourself especially if you are a beginner or hate sewing in zips. This pattern is easy to find online so don’t worry.
I would really like to sew up style D which includes a button-up bodice and tie up straps, but perhaps pair it with the shorter skirt from pattern A. The pattern does have pockets that are added to the front of the skirt and depending on what fabric I choose for this style, I will decide my preferences when the time comes. If I am to sew up style D I will add the information below and a few extra photos.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.