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McCall’s M7974 Very Adorable yet Elegant | Sew Along Tutorial from Sewing Therapy

Hello, Sara here with a new pattern and a new tutorial! Normally I stay away from fitted dresses but I had to make two after seeing what Katia of @sew_sewphisticated made. I decided to make my own versions of McCall’s m7974, and guess what, I love them more than I thought I would! There are four views in the pattern and I made View A with shirred sleeves and View D without the collar. You will sew along View A with me in this video.

I heard there can be difficult sizing issues with this dress so I recommend that you make a toile version before committing to the final version.

There are a couple of ways you can adjust the fit without cutting into the fabric. One is to attach the buttons closer to the inside of the dress and the other is to increase the seam allowance on the side seams of the Bodice before assembling it to the Skirt.

For both dresses, I tried to keep a strict 5/8” seam allowance and that worked well for me, although I want to add just one more button on top as the neckline is too wide for me when I sit or bend over.

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So, I strongly recommend watching the video if you have things that you couldn’t understand.


The pattern I used
M7974 from McCall’s Pattern

The fabrics I used in the video:
View A with shirred sleeves in beige floral:
PINE FOR PRAIRIE – Country Flower Cotton 100%

View D without collar in navy floral :
Pompon Bunch Cotton 100%

The sewing machine I have:
Bernette B37 Swiss Design Computerized Sewing Machine (USA)

LDH Scissors and thread snip

The items I always use for my sewing project

Tailor’s Chalk Pencil

Poly Sewing Thread

Lightweight Fusible Interfacing

Craft Clips

Flat Head Pins

Point Turner

Wash-away Wonder Tape

These are my online fabric + sewing accessories shops.  

Dailylike Canada

Two O Nine Fabric Studio  

Seam Allowance
Use 5/8″ seam allowance unless otherwise stated

M7974, buttons, fusible lightweight interfacing (Optional), Elastic Thread (Optional)

Recommended Fabric
Cotton Blends, Crepe, Lawn, Charmeuse, etc

2 Front Bodice (Mirrored), 1 Back Yoke, 1 Back Yoke Facing, 1 Back Bodice, 2 Front Facing (Mirrored and Interfaced), 2 Sleeve, 2 Front Midriff (Mirrored), 2 Midriff Facing (Mirrored and Interfaced), 2 Skirt Front, 4 Side Skirt, 1 Back Skirt (On Fold), 4 Pocket (Mirrored)

1. Staystitch
* It prevents bias/curved areas from stretching out
Staystitch all the necklines and armholes

2. Bodice
Gather upper and lower edges of Front Bodice between notches
* I use my two favourite methods for the gathers. I recommend you watch my gathering Method video in case you want more detailed instructions!
Pin Front Bodice and Back Yoke at shoulders RST (Right Sides Together)
Sew leaving the gathered area
Adjust gathers, sew, and serge
Press the seam toward Back Yoke
Gatherstitch between the notches
Pin Back Yoke and Back Bodice matching the notches RST
Sew leaving the gathered area
Adjust gathers, sew, serge
Press the seam towards Back Yoke

3. Facings
Finish outer edge of Front Facing in your preferred method
Pin and sew Back Yoke Facing and Front Facing at shoulders RST
Press the seam toward Yoke Facing WST (Wrong Side Together)
Fold and press the seam allowance on lower edge of Back Yoke Facing
Pin Facing to Bodice, matching all the notches RST
Sew the neckline
Trim the seam
Sinp the curved neckline
Understitch Facing
*Understitching is stitching that is sewn as close to the seam line as possible holding the seam to the facing or lining
Turn Facing inside and press
Cover the shoulder seams with Facing and pin
*I recommend you either pin all around the Facing or use Wash-Away Wonder Tape
Cover the Yoke seam with Facing and pin
Edgestitch/topstitch or stitch in the ditch from the right side

4. Midriff
Pin Front Midriff and Front Bodice RST
Sew leavign the gathering area
Adjest gathers and sew
Pin the Midriff Facing and sew
Pin and sew Front Midriff and Midriff Facing at the front RST
Be careful not to catch the Front Bodice piece
*For the best look, you need to sew as close to the Bodice at the corner as you can
Snip the corner
Turn right side out and press
Pin and sew Front Bodice and Back Bodice at sides RST

5. Sleeves (I modified the sleeves into shirred sleeves I’ll just share my process briefly)
*Please watch the video (12:29 <- Video Timeline)

6. Skirt and Pocket
(Optional) Interface the front edge of Front Skirt panel
Or doublefold and press
Pin the Pockets to the Side Skirt panels and sew RST
Serge the stitched area
Press the Pocket toward the seam
Pin the Side Skirt and Pocket at sides RST
Mark the notches
Sew 1/8″ inside of the stitch
*Extra backstitching will secure the opening of the Pocket
Serge the sides
Snipping the corner will help serging
Send each Pocket to opposite direction and press
Baste the Pocket to the Skirt
Sew Front Skirt and Side Skirt panel at the side the Pocket lays towards RST
Sew Back Skirt and Side Skirt panel RST
Sew Back Skirt and the other Side Skirt panel RST
Sew Side Skirt panel and Front Skirt RST
And serge all the seams

7. Assemble Bodice and Skirt
Prepare for the gathering with your preferred method
Divide sections into three at the side seams
Sew Bodice and Skirt at the waist RST
Match the end of Bodice at the notch on the Skirt
Adjust gathers and pin
Serge only between notches

8. Front Facing and Hem
Fold the self-facing toward the right side and sew RST
From the top of Midriff, topstitch/edgestitch
Fold the self-facing toward the right side at notch
*In case you are using heavier weight fabrics or want a neat finish, follow this extra step
Sew where you want to hem
Trim the extra layers
Turn right side out doublefolding the bottom hem
Doublefold the entire hem and press

9. Button and Buttonhole
*Make buttonholes using your machine’s instructions. Refer to my short video on buttonholes for more help

Alright. That’s it for the my MakeNine 2021 project #6. Thank you very much for reading and watching! I will see you in my next post!

Some of the links above are affiliate links. Clicking and purchasing through affiliate links gives me a small commission. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, I wanted to help you find the materials easier. So you can focus more on your project. Thank you.

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