McCall’s M7317 Pleated Surplice Dress is a great summertime dress. I made this out of a beautiful white rayon challis patterned with green leaves and orange flowers. This was the first time I sewed with rayon challis so I used a microtex needle instead of the usual universal type. It was also the first time I ever added a lining to a bodice, but it wasn’t too hard to put together. Once again, I sewed a size 18 but the bodice was a bit too large in the shoulders. Would sewing a size 16 fix this problem? Luckily, I always trace my patterns onto Pellon 830 Easy Pattern so I could easily try to sew the size 16 (and make a muslin this time – whoops).
I saw this pattern and thought it was perfect for the hot and steamy Toronto summers. I sewed View A with the even knee-length hem. When I first tried it on, the shoulders kept slipping off; the back slightly gaped and the front fell open. The fitting problem appeared to be fixed if I pinched a bit of fabric along the front neckline, but I thought a dart in that location would be ugly. I fixed this problem by adding a dart in the shoulder seam, pointing outwards. This fixed both the back and front gaping necklines, but unfortunately I only did it after I sewed in the lining!
Again, I don’t have an invisible Zipper foot nor an invisible zipper, so I sewed a centred zipper along the back of the dress. I read in The Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction that I should reinforce the zipper area by adding interfacing to the fabric on which the zipper is sewn. I added two 1-inch-wide strips of interfacing, each the length of the zipper, to the back bodice edges before I sewed the zipper – hopefully this will help my McCall’s M7317 dress last longer.
I sewed the skirt and bodice seams using French seams because the challis was slightly sheer and I don’t want to encourage unravelling.
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