I’ve always enjoyed dressing up, but I enjoy it even more after I recently transitioned from working in an office to working at home. Ever since I could remember, I’ve enjoyed wearing dresses over pants. I enjoy getting dressed up, even if it’s just to go out of the house. So needless to say, I was excited when I had two formal weddings to attend this fall/winter.
And instead of buying or renting dresses, I decided to make them, and now I think I’m addicted! (Don’t worry, I won’t be unnecessarily filling my closet with dresses I’m not going to wear!)
Before I started sewing, I researched and looked up formal dresses and patterns. I first started by looking at renttherunway.com and brainstorming different dresses I could make. After I narrowed down dresses I loved, I then looked for different sewing patterns that were similar to my inspiration dresses. (I’m thinking about putting together a research post for formal dresses – let me know if you’re interested.)
Material and Notions Needed:
- 2.5 – 3 yards
- Jersey Needle
- 1/4″ Elastic
Pattern Review: McCalls 7683 (View D – Without Train)
The simple design of the dress is a perfect classic look for a formal event. The design of the pattern is simple, elegant, and a design that will last through the ages.
The dress was also made out of a stretchy knit material, which made it simple to sew and comfortable to wear! (no zipper!)
Sizing and Alterations
I’m not entirely sure what size I ended up sewing. Why? Well, I decided to make this dress last minute after another one I made wasn’t formal enough for the wedding. I didn’t have enough time or material to make a muslin, so I wanted the extra fabric to allow me to make alterations on the go. If I had to guess, I ended up making a size ___, but still took in the waist. I also took up the waistline an inch to match my natural waistline.
Other than that, I didn’t make many alterations to the pattern. I opted out of the train since I thought the wedding was going to be outdoors. I also didn’t want to trip on it, knowing that I would be chasing my toddler throughout the night!
The overall design was a little bit out of my comfort-zone, but I wanted to make something fun and new. So instead of removing the slit, I kept it, and I’m glad that I did! It added to the old-school glamorous look, plus it gave the formfitting dress a little bit more movement throughout the night (which was perfect for dancing and chasing a toddler).
Sewing the Dress
Adding the Neckline
The neckline does require a lot of hand-stitching for both the shoulders and the neckline. I didn’t mind this detail because It allowed me to hide the stitches. (I just did this step while watching TV)
Adding the Slit
The instructions for the slit took me some time to figure out, but once I did, it was a breeze to make.
Instead of following the instructions for the hem, I serged the ends of the material and added a blind hemstitch.
This dress was easy to sew, and I would recommend the pattern to anyone looking for a dress for a formal event. It was classic, simple, glamorous and cost me under $30 to make! (That’s a WIN in my book!) Plus, there are a few variations, so you could easily dress down the pattern depending on what fabric you decide to use.