McCalls 5925 – Costume Not Couture

dark grey long sleeve dress with belt

I have a card that says COUTURE on one side and COSTUME on the other, it hangs on the wall of my sewing room as a reminder that sometimes, for whatever reason, a project just needs to get done. This is one of those projects. I did a lot of sewing for my daughters when they were young, but they’re teenagers now and not interested in having me make things for them (although they do ask me for a lot of alterations and deconstructions.) I think shopping is more fun for them and great fashion is so accessible on the Internet. I’m fine with that actually because I can focus on sewing for me, but occasionally they’ll ask me for something. Their fashion tastes change in a nanosecond (with the exception of Uggs whose appeal has held fast for all three years of middle school) so I had to get this tunic done before she lost interest in it. This pattern is really fun and well drafted but is not quite a simple as it looks, it has some quirks:

dark grey long sleeve dress with belt for winter

  • This is a size 6, the smallest one in the pattern and I suspect some of the volume needed for the yoke gathers got lost when McCalls graded down from a larger size sloper. The muslin (yes I made one in case DD didnt like the style) didnt have much volume so I added 4 inches to width of the back piece and 2 inches to the gathering under the placket
  • The bodice pieces are laid on top of the yokes and stitched down from the right side, however, the yoke pieces are not marked in anyway to make this easier.
  • The top edges of the bodice pieces are folded down and gathered. The bodice needs to be marked on the right side 1 inch from the cut edge to note the alignment of the folded bodice edge to the yoke.
  • I reversed the placket construction. I used a cardboard template and silk organza to press the seams of the front placket, sewed the facing down first and flipped the pressed placket tothe front. I just think this is easier with front placket styles and the result looks more RTW.
  • For trim I used some brown mesh that was pinked and laid under the folded bodice pieces. The mesh and fashion fabric were gathered together as one layer. I cut the fold in the fashion fabric and after its washed a few more times the raw edges will fray.

dark grey long sleeve dress with belt look back

As for fabric this rayon broadcloth from Gorgeous Fabrics is really great for a tunic, it has the perfect weight and drape for a flowy style; its actually rather heavy, almost like slinky. It loses A LOT of dye in the wash so use a color catcher the first few times. Like all rayon this fabric also wrinkles, but instead of ironing can be tossed in the dryer on a delicate cycle for 5 minutes and the wrinkles will relax.

Lastly, I also made her a belt because she keeps borrowing my belts. This is just black handbag strapping, a clip and a ring from Pacific Trimming that has been in my stash for a few years.