Friday, 19 November 2021

Green Linen McCalls 7969

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 in Moss Green Linen from The New Craft House

I'm back...with a completely seasonably inappropriate dress! I made and photographed this dress way back in August and it became such a favourite over the last few weeks of summer that I decided it was too good not to share. Plus when the thing I like least about sewing and blogging is taking the photos and I've actually gone to the effort to take some I'm going to share them!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 in Moss Green Linen from The New Craft House

I'm sure many of you will recognise the pattern as the online sewing community favourite - McCalls 7969. Yes I finally jumped on that band wagon and can totally see what all the fuss is about. With no fastenings and raglan sleeves, it is an enjoyable and fairly speedy make (despite all the gathering which is definitely not a fave of mine) and it is absolutely dreamy to wear. It is the kind of oversized dress which doesn't make you feel drowned in fabric and I think that is mainly to do with the way it fits across the back and shoulders. It just sits really nicely whilst also allowing you to waft around feeling cool and breezy. 

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 in Moss Green Linen from The New Craft House

To make this dress I used this deadstock linen in the most amazing vibrant shade of mossy green which I received from The New Craft House as part of their ambassador programme. It is unfortunately now sold out as I took so long to post this...however, it is the perfect weight for dressmaking and both washed and sewed beautifully. 

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 in Moss Green Linen from The New Craft House

I cut the size S which is actually a couple of inches smaller than my measurements but I knew this dress was going to have a lot of ease, especially as it was a big 4 pattern. I just about managed to squeeze it out of the 2m of fabric I had by cutting the hem ruffle on the cross grain and making that pattern piece slightly shorter (in length rather than depth) than intended. This means that the gathering attaching that tier to the skirt is less full than it is supposed to be but I quite like it. I had fumes of this fabric left when I was done and definitely felt like I'd won at pattern Tetris.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 in Moss Green Linen from The New Craft House

As paper copies of this seem to be like absolute gold dust here in the UK it was my first time using a PDF of a big 4 pattern and it was a good experience. Easy to assemble, and once done looked just like one of their regular patterns. I actually think I preferred the layout of the digital instructions to their usual instruction sheets as it was nicely spaced out and clear. Also you can zoom in on the illustrations which is so helpful. I love that McCalls are now offering this digital option for some of their designs but it does confuse me that they are sold for the same price as paper copies.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 in Moss Green Linen from The New Craft House

For me, this dress is all about the sleeves. They are such a gorgeous shape. I love that they are shorter along the top and longer along the underside edge so that they always sit 'just so'. They have all of the big sleeve energy I want yet none of the faff of dragging in your dinner or getting caught in cupboard doors/on door handles! Binding the gathered end of the sleeve can be a little fiddly as this linen liked to fray and was quite bulky when all gathered up but I got there with a bit of patience.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 top in Fog Crinkle Linen from The Fabric Store

And all that sleeve talk leads me on to the bonus garment in this post. I loved those sleeves so much I just had to make a top version. For this I used The Fabric Store's crinkle linen in the fog colour-way. I will absolutely be ordering more of this fabric in different colours for next summer as I love it. It has this amazing airy, gauzy texture and the crinkle in it stays even when pressed. This is achieved by using a special high twist yarn to weave it. I wouldn't want to use for a dress unless lined as it is quite lightweight and loosely woven and therefore a little sheer. It might make a great beach cover up sort of dress though - in fact it would be stunning used for a Hallon Dress

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 top in Fog Crinkle Linen from The Fabric Store

I must admit I messed up on the dress version and managed to stretch out the neckline a little bit when I added the binding. To prevent the front wrap from gaping I added a little tuck at the front sleeve seam which I actually quite like. On the top I was careful to stay-stitch that neckline and handle the fairly delicate fabric really careful which worked - although I did still need to add a little stitch to hold the centre front of the wrap together to preserve modesty when moving about. The pattern does instruct you to interface the binding pieces which I was confused by as surely the point of cutting binding on the bias is to enable it to stretch - and the interfacing prevents that. But actually maybe if I had interfaced my binding I wouldn't have stretched out the neckline...

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 top in Fog Crinkle Linen from The Fabric Store

Anyway I adore both of these garments and am really excited to be able to eek a little bit more wear out of them in Sri Lanka next week as I've treated myself to a much needed yoga and wellness break. I have of course decided that I quite desperately need another short jumpsuit to add to my holiday wardrobe which I will be attempting to sew the day before I fly...is it even a holiday if you don't give yourself an unreasonable sewing deadline beforehand?

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7969 in Moss Green Linen from The New Craft House

5 comments:

  1. Gorgeous dress and "bonus" top! I have my paper pattern to hand and am deciding on the fabric. What weight is the linen that you used? It gathered beautifully. I'd been thinking that I might size down two sizes (as I did on my Roscoe). Did you size down one or two sizes?
    I also can't fathom why a PDF would be the same price as a paper pattern since you have to pay extra to print it out. And if you want to insure access to the directions in the future (as patterns become OOP) I 'assume' that you need to print out the directions while they're still available? I will admit that it would be a bonus to lose the huge sheet of sewing instructions!

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    1. Hi Lodi, O I hope you enjoy making and wearing this one! I'm not sure on the weight as it is not on the New Craft House website anymore but I'd say about 180-200gsm. The crinkle linen for the top is 145gsm.
      I sized down one size as each size band (xs,s,m e.t.c) appeared to cover two sizes. I would definitely make a quick muslin before risking going down two sizes.
      The instructions are downloadable with the PDF pattern file so they are saved on my computer!

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  2. Oh yea, computers. Mine "broke" at the beginning of the pandemic. I'll have to get right on that, lolol. At least my sewing machine has kept on chugging!

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  3. I love both garments and I'm glad you'll be able to sneak a little bit more wear out of them! I loved, "is it even a holiday if you don't give yourself an unreasonable sewing deadline beforehand?" That's absolutely something I do to myself! Definitely makes the vacation even more needed, since I pile so much extra stress on myself before leaving... but it's always fun to sew with a goal in mind. (and if you don't finish your jumpsuit, don't fret! you can always wear it on the next trip!)

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  4. Glad you are back and with such a beautiful dress! Enjoy your holiday and let us know how the jumpsuit turns out!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!