The Live Through This Dress

The Live Through This Dress

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Fabric: black wool, $7/yd, approx 2 yd. white lace, approx $5/yd, 1 yd
Pattern: McCalls 7707
Year: 1960
Notions: black invisible zipper, $1
Time to complete: a couple of evenings
First worn: Haven’t been worn yet!
Wear again? Yes
Total cost: $20

Everyone needs an austere black dress with a white lace collar. I’ve been listening to a lot of Hole circa 1994 (especially Live Through This) when I made this dress, and it was inspired by a similar dress that Courtney Love wears.

I think the black wool I used was too stiff for this pattern. I used the scalloped collar and didn’t interface the collars out of laziness, and I think the collar turned out too wobbly.

I plan to make this again with modifications, using a wool with more drape and more simple collar. This wool is really really clingy (something I didn’t keep in mind when I decided to photograph it), but it kind of adds to the Courtney Love-esque feel to it.

It was incredibly cold the morning when I took these photos, so I’ll have to figure out what works for the rest of the winter.

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Pattern used:

McCalls 7707.

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Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Lightly fitted and flared dress, with high waistline in front, may be sleeveless or have long set-in sleeves. Long sleeves are scalloped at wrists and closed with zippers. Two-piece contrasting collar on sleeveless dress, or matching scalloped dress on collar with sleeves. Collars are interfaced. Buttons are used as decorative trim on upper front. Either version has center back zipper, may be lined.

Pattern Sizing:
Size 12, 32 bust. I had to size it up but I think I made a math error since I had to remove about two inches from the back side seam.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
There weren’t a lot of pieces to this pattern, and I liked how you can customize the collar.

Fabric Used:
Black wool, white lace.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I shortened the skirt and the sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes.

I really like it! Very comfortable to wear, and finally a dress with sleeves.



Janice has been sewing her own clothes for the past few years and enjoys sewing from vintage patterns, especially the 40s, 50s and 60s.


Comments are closed.

  1. I think it’s very cute and you really can’t tell in the photos that the collar isn’t as crisp as it should be : ) The sleeves are quite interesting and I like your inspiration. Courtney Love is a hoot! I just wish she’d take better care of herself. I’ll never forget an interview she did with Barbara Walters a year or so after Kurt died. When Barbara asked her if she was doing ok she said “I don’t know, I don’t think so.” and I thought that was refreshingly honest.

  2. I love that pattern. Your lacy collar against the black is very nice. Great take on a sixties look.