Hot! The “Too Much Modification” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Cotton, free
Pattern: McCall’s 9389
Year: 1968
Notions: Belt buckle kit, zipper, buttons, seam binding, $0 (from stash)
Time to complete: 10+ hours (Still learning how to resize patterns successfully!!)
First worn: Labor Day 2012
Wear again? Yes!!

Total Cost: Free

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make for this challenge until I got this sweet chocolate plaid fabric from a friend.Originally, I thought about making a shirt with different fabric for the pants, but the pattern I was going to use only had the pants. Sad, sad day. After that, I kept returning to this McCall’s pattern. Hm..I always make sewing harder than it has to be. To be honest, I could have used a different pattern with less hassle than resizing and modifying this McCall’s one. I think part of me just likes to suffer. Yeah, that’s me.

I was hoping between all the alterations and shortening on the pattern, that I would have enough to make the long sleeved version. No dice! However, I did have just enough to make a pretty sweet belt and a detachable collar. I’d say that’s a win.

 There’s nothing challenging about the sewing part of the pattern. I did change it up by adding a front placket and side zipper instead of just having the back zipper.  It sewed together really fast. One thing I noticed, was that the armpits on the dress were not the correct size,though I followed the instructions correctly (or maybe I didn’t…..?). I ended up using some of the cutting line vs. the sewing line for my armpit. It was a hot mess which took me a long time and more seam ripping than I  want to think about to get it correct. For reference, I used Nancy Zieman’s Fitting Finesse. It’s a great book with clear instructions, perfect for newbie resizers like myself.



Emma Simuns is a fashion loving, penny pinching girl who has just started a love affair with all things vintage.


Comments are closed.

  1. Oooh, I love that fabric! And, nice job matching the plaids and working through the pattern!

  2. i really like this dress! The print is cool and I like that you have the option of wearing it with or without the collar. That first picture is the best.

  3. Detachable collar! That is very clever indeed.

  4. Very cute! The fabric is great and your styling is spot on. I love the buttons in the front and the little collar.

  5. Your plaid matching is spot on – the whole dress looks great.

  6. It’s beautiful – it really suits you!