a blog about my adventures in dressmaking, crochet, knitting and anything else i try to make.

mccalls m7595 and some rambling.

hey everyone,

it has been a while since i posted anything here.  it’s coming up to the two year anniversary of us living in our house and therefore two years since my blogging output started slowing down.  it’s time for an overshare; brace yourself.

moving out was such a big deal for me financially; i went from having my wages basically just to fund my fabric habit, to them funding my actual whole life instead.  consequentially my fabric fund went down drastically and that was reaaaaaaaaally hard to get used to.

i got out of the habit of making “new” things.  now i’ve been sewing for a while i think i know what suits me and what i enjoy wearing; new pattern releases don’t often tick those boxes for me, which makes me feel a bit out of it when i see a million versions of a new pattern popping up all over the place.  would anyone want to read about the 6th linden sweatshirt i’ve made? or a t-shirt that really fills a gap in my wardrobe?

it’s also really hard to prioritise doing things and making time for yourself when you’ve got a house to run and a full time job to go to.  god knows how people with children do it.  i feel like i ended up telling myself i didn’t have time to sew feeling like i would get on with “house” things more, when in reality all i did was sit on the sofa, put on weight and be miserable.  i can’t say the last 8 months have been the best months of my life either.  my mom had a stroke in october, (thankfully she’s fine and you would never know if you met her!) then just as life started picking back up again after those long old winter months, my grandad passed away very unexpectedly in may.  he was in his mid-80’s, so he was old, but he hadn’t been unwell which is why it was a shock.  i’ve found it strange watching life going on around me while i feel like i’ve been almost on hold since october.

me-made-may was going on when grandad passed away.  i didn’t want to take part this year because i wear me mades most days now (ones that still fit me anyway!!), however i actually found it really inspiring to see people’s every day outfits.  i found it much better than my every day feed, as it wasn’t a constant barrage of the new patterns i have come to feel so meh about.  someone i particularly enjoy following is katie marcus from whatkatiesews.  she often sews with plain fabrics and makes things that aren’t always the latest pattern but she always looks great in them, and in my opinion, stays true to herself rather than jumping on the latest sewing bandwagon.

she made a dress the other day; mccalls m7595.  it’s a nice summer dress with a plain un-darted bodice (more on that later) just with two nice width straps and a midi length skirt.  perfect for this crazy heatwave we’re having!  when i messaged katie to ask her what pattern she used she recommended doing a toile of the bodice as it came up quite short for her.  i’m very glad she did!



i made my toile and had a lot of gaping on my chest; i tried taking the side seam in, but it didn’t come close to fixing things.  i cried for help on instagram and marie from marie4james sent me a tutorial that she said she has to do quite often; it involved pinching out the excess, drawing in a dart then rotating the dart to the side seam.  my dart-less bodice now has some rather large darts!  but it fits really well, so it’s all turned out well in the end. i also lengthened it 3cm based on katie’s recommendation about bodice length.  here’s a comparison of the original pattern piece vs my modified one!!



the fabric i used is from barry’s – i actually bought some to line the hood of my next kelly anorak too a few months ago.  when i saw it in there again this weekend i knew it would make a lovely sundress for this heat!  i like the glittery bits that run through it, makes it feel extra summery!  thankfully the shiny bits don’t make the dress itchy to wear; didn’t really think about that when i bought the fabric!

the bodice is self lined, with an elasticated channel at the top of the back bodice to stop it from sagging down and gaping.  i cut my elastic in line with the guide that came with the pattern (i made a size 14 btw) and it turned out the elastic didn’t actually do that much.  i ended up unpicking and stretching my elastic out about an inch & a half more, which feels better when i’m wearing it but i probably could have got away with stretching it a bit more.

it’s not tight fitting at all, i’ve probably got about 3 inches of ease around my waist, which you need as it’s an over-the-head dress. who wants anything too tight in the heat though?  pass me a tent to wear and i’ll be happier!

i feel like i look really annoyed in that picture, but i’m not hahaha.

i liked the construction of the dress; i don’t often make lined things so taking my time to stitch the lining down on the inside was a nice way to finish things off.  the pattern instructs you to self line the bodice, but i had to go back and add a skirt lining as it my fabric was super sheer!

(i’m hoping that underarm podge disappears as i lose weight because it’s making this bodice look really tight which it isn’t!)

i took about 3 inches off the length of the dress to hem it, as i’m 5’4″ and felt a little drowned by all the fabric.

all in all i really like this dress; i’ve got some mint green fabric which i might make another one out of, because although i have lots of dresses i don’t actually have many really summery ones!

so there you go, my return to blogging.  sorry for the overshare, normal cheerful service will resume from now on!


16 Discussions on
“mccalls m7595 and some rambling.”
  • Hiya! I don’t know if I’ve commented on your blog before, but I’ve been subscribed for a while and we’ve chatted on instagram a few times (I’m @theweeseamstress).

    Just wanted to say I’m sorry to hear about the troubles you’ve been having and send you some good wishes. I can totally relate about all the new patterns – there are very few that get me excited these days.

    Also don’t feel afraid to post about basics! I love seeing your makes because you use colours that I can actually imagine myself wearing, and most of the insta pics I save are basics rather than anything super fancy.

    And obviously, lovely dress! I’d really like something like this, but I know the rain will start if I make one now… xxx

    • thanks so much nicky that’s really lovely of you to say! all the support has made me believe that i should carry on even if things i make aren’t super new or exciting. i’ve heard this weather is lasting for four weeks – please make one so we can have some rain!! haha x

  • Sorry to hear you had some hardships lately.
    I feel similar about seeing the same brand new patterns all over Instagram all the time without any real feedback. I much rather see your 6th linden and see how you made it work for your body and how you wear it in real life.
    Glad to see you’re doing better.

  • I make many of the “old” favourites too so don’t worry about that. In fact I still have my first lindennon the To Do list so need all the inspiration I can get.
    I sat next to you for a day at the Sewing Weekender last year ( and bought a walking foot on your recommendation after ) Hope you have managed to fund a visit this year too
    Sorry to hear the year has been tough. It is a big transition moving into your own place, and I sympathise with the family events
    Keep smiling and welcome back to blogging
    Almost forgot to say – lovely dress!

    • thank you ann – it was lovely to spend some time with you last year! this year i’m giving it a miss as we’re going on holiday in november, there’s good fabric shopping in japan so i’m saving all my pennies for that! 🙂 are you going to the sewing weekender again? hope the walking foot is working out for you!

  • Oh Rach,
    I had no idea you were going through all of this. I wish I still lived in Birmingham and I could give you a hug.
    I know all to. well how tough the whole moving into you own home and watching your entire wages go for things that you need, but that don’t really give you any joy, feels like.
    There is absolutley nothing wrong with making up patterns multiple times, I do it all the time! (and don’t post about it!)
    Sending hugs,

  • Sorry to hear you’ve been having a rough time Rach. Great to see you back with such a summery dress – and roll on the repeats/basics/really wearable clothes. I find the more copies of a new pattern I see in my blog feed, the less I feel like making it!

    • thanks janet! i feel the same about the more i see things actually lol! i want sewing to fit easily into my life & wardrobe; i just don’t think a flamingo print overall or whatever is going to do that for me right now! i’ve got a couple of inari tee dresses in plain grey & plain navy blue lined up and they will get a LOT of wear!

  • Welcome back. I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog but have definitely commented on Instagram…mainly about your gorgeous cats!
    Sorry to hear you’ve had a tough time.
    It’s great to see you back, I love that you’re ‘real’, and honest about your makes, it makes a refreshing change. Looking forward to seeing more Lindens. 😉

    • ahh thank you carolle! i think the cats are gorgeous too but then again i suppose i am biased! haha. i’ve got a few lined up but i might have to wait to post about them, can’t even think about jumpers in this ridiculous heat we’re having!!

  • I’d be quite happy to read about your 60th Linden haha! I had no idea that the last 8 months have been hard for you and I’m sad to hear it’s been tough. Losing a grandparent is hard but I’m glad your mum is ok! Adulting is hard, don’t beat yourself up. Make and blog what you want to make and blog, and if that basics then that’s totally cool, you’re doing you and that’s awesome. I do agree about the new pattern instagram explosions though, it tends to feel like everyone not on that bandwagon doesn’t get much of a voice about anything else at the time and puts me off too!

    Sending you lots of love and hugs and hopefully see you soon!! Xx

    • thanks so much jenny! we’ll have to arrange to meet up soon i’d love that! oh yup for sure agree with you about that bandwagon hype, it’s tough! we’ve just got to stick to our guns making the same things haha! thanks for the love & hugs, right back at you xx

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