Dressmaking · pattern review

McCall’s M7974

Bear with me everyone – I want to see if I’m the only person who has had the experience of procrastipatterning….?

When I first started sewing, the M7974 stood out to me immediately as a pattern I would want to make. The V neck bodice and yoke, nipped in waist and flared skirt ticked all my boxes of the type of dress I love, AND it was a button up dress with pocket option? Sign me up!

However, despite my love for this pattern I never quite got around to making it. Perhaps it was the reviews saying how hard people found the pattern techniques and sizing, or getting distracted by all the other patterns out there that drew my attention. Or maybe that it felt too “basic”…

When I started sewing I began to follow a totally arbitrary rule that I didn’t want to make clothes that I could easily buy in a store – my me mades should look really unusual and unique. I have no idea where this idea came from!

3 years later, I’ve realised that actually the answer to my me-made wardrobe had been in front of me all along and the garments guaranteed to make me happy, the safe ones, ARE the most exciting. Just because the M7974 felt like a safe style on me was NOT a reason to ignore it but instead a reason to gravitate to it.

So without further ado, here is my new favourite TNT pattern. Firstly, the sizing and adjustments. McCall’s have a LOT of ease in their patterns and while their measurements put me in a size 18, I actually end up making a 12-14 most of the time.

I used the size 14 and made my usual 1.5cm narrow shoulder adjustment. Whereas in my Sia dress with a similar silhouette where I needed to shorten the bodice pieces, in this pattern I needed 1cm more length. I then graded to a size 12 on the waist which was more comfortable.

For my first version I used a lovely viscose from Driessen Stoffen here in the Netherlands. This really bright, happy print made for a gorgeous summer dress I feel fantastic in!

Sewing is a never ending process and I realised from this make I wanted to raise the neckline a little for my next one. This wasn’t too hard – I drew a line 1inch up from the centre point, then redrew the neckline to that point from the shoulder yoke.

For my second M7974 I took inspiration from the Rouje Laura dress. I’d found a perfect fabric match over at Pretty Mercerie and decided to make it for the #SewRecreateTheLook challenge.

To match the skirt, I took the Nina Lee Kew Skirt from the expansion pack which handily matched perfectly at the waist.

I think it worked out really well and will definitely make this dress again!

So, that’s my Procrastipatterning lesson learned. Next time I see a pattern and think it’s too safe because I know I’ll like it….that’s a sign to make it!!!


2 thoughts on “McCall’s M7974

  1. I made a hacked version of M7974 last summer and this is inspiring me to go back and make another version! 😊 I really love both of your versions, they look beautiful!


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