Love the dress… The Pattern? Not so much…

Sorry…  But this is not the first time I have been shaking my head at a pattern envelope or PDF.  This time it is McCall’s M7169.  I love the photo and diagrams.  This is another garment in my Sister’s Sewing Projects.  

Let me start with… I love my sister’s fabric choices!  Both fabrics are cotton with a hint of spandex – for those days when chocolate or cheesecake are required.  The brown flowers are so abstract up close and so clear from far away.

Ok, maybe I’m over reacting, but chocolate was required in order for me to finish this dress properly.

I had no trouble at all putting in the invisible zipper.  This time I even chose to read and follow the product instructions.  (It’s called a Concealed Zipper foot, but I’ll never remember that.  You know what I’m talking about when I say Invisible Zipper foot, don’t ya!)


First I sewed my back centre seam up right to the top, pressed it open, and sewed the right side of my invisible zipper in place at the seam.


Then, as instructed, I changed to my other zipper foot and sewed both edges of my invisible zipper down.



Next, I was instructed to rip open the centre back seam covering the invisible zipper.  Seems counter-productive to put it in, only to rip it out, but it works.  You might be able to see in the photo that only one side of the invisible zipper is sewn in properly, so far.


Then I changed to my invisible zipper foot and sewed down the other side of my invisible zipper.


Last, I closed the invisible zipper and sewed closed the gap in the centre back seam at the bottom of my invisible zipper.


And it all worked out just peachy keen!  I love it!  I think next time I am going to iron my zipper open first as it does make it easier to sew in if the teeth are pressed flat first.  Seriously, are there a hundred ways to sew in an invisible zipper?



Now for my over-reacting rant…  

The recommended fabric for this pattern is a woven and yet they don’t give you proper neck facing pieces, instead they use self made bias tape.  I don’t mind using bias tape instead of facings on knits.  But with a dress such as this one I prefer proper neck facings.  Maybe it’s just me?  So I made my own, copying the curve of the front and back bodice pieces.  Not hard to do.



I cut the front neck facing on the fold, just like the bodice front, and cut two of the back neck facing, interfaced all the pieces and sewed them together and onto my bodice.  


Done!  Problem solved.  Now why did they do that?


Now wait!  I still have one more rant in me!  

While I was cutting out this pattern, I ran into this problem:

Can you see it?  I started cutting on the solid 18W line on one side and the solid line turned into a 24W line on the other side.  Similarly, on one side the dashed line was 18W but turned into a 24W dashed line on the other side.  Did I miss something important in the instructions?  Why did they do this?  

Now granted, this dress didn’t take much effort to make once I got started.  Easy even!

Love the dress… The pattern?  Not so much…

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Have you come across an annoyance or dud recently?  Tell us about it!

Happy Sewing!

33 thoughts on “Love the dress… The Pattern? Not so much…

  1. I love using bias facings for wovens. You see it a lot in RTW and sewing patterns. The other issue, I think, is a printing error. Someone recently blogged about a printing error they found in a pattern – they contacted the company and got a refund + 2 free patterns of their choice. Might be worth a try? Frustrating for you at any rate!

    1. Yes, I admit the “facing” thing is a personal preference … My Rant. I was definitely frustrated by the lines changing size at every curve though! A refund would be nice wouldn’t it!

  2. Nice dress indeed. I’m a proper facings fan. Why struggle with fitting bias round a curve unless it is to make a feature of the binding?

    1. I agree. I would find it difficult to attach woven binding to a woven fabric here. There just isn’t as much stretch and give to it as when I attach a binding to a knit fabric. The result is much neater.

  3. I love: for those days when cheesecake or chocolate is required. Yes, I call those days everyday! 😉
    I have had some annoying pocket instructions recently – but I just ignore them and do my own thing now. That’s the great thing about experience right?!

    1. Exactly! I agree on the cheesecake and the chocolate, oh yes… and also on the fact that there are many techniques that can be used to get the job done!

  4. Your blueprint changed on you with the lines. That’s not good. Imagine if that happened in house plans, but you still created a very nice dress. Your sister’s fabric choices are lovely and I really like the colour blocking and sleeve length.

    1. Well said! Yes, I agree, my sister has good taste… All of them do! 😃

  5. Ruddy misprints! More and more common due to cheapskate habits and poor technical proofreading… Nice zip technique, I may even remember to try it next time. Then again, I usually ignore the demand for invisible zips as I prefer the strength of a normal one, and the look of a hand picked zip. Personal preferences!

    1. Thank you! I’ve tried a hand picked zipper just once. It worked but was not perfect. I need practice! One technique at a time!

  6. Changing zipper feet? THAT must be what is missing from my technique. Thanks, I will try this. Love the dress and I agree that this particular dress pattern needs proper facings.

    1. Yes. These instructions used the invisible zipper foot to hold the teeth while sewing and the other foot for sewing the edges of the zipper on. I suppose any other small foot could do that job? Thanks!

  7. What a great dress! The fabric is perfect…and I love that style, so wearable no matter what yummies one chooses to ingest. I can’t imagine why they didn’t include neckfacings with that pattern. I agree that Binding just wouldn’t be enough. How nice that your sewing experience came to the rescue!

    1. Thank you. There is nothing better than a fitted dress with some give! My “experience” only came through after my panicked search for the proper pattern pieces was exhausted! 😂

  8. I usually see a pattern only as a guideance. I do not expect that the garment fits out of the envelope, and the instrucions are a proposal. Sometimes you discover new techniques, sometimes you choose to make it your own way. it’s ok for me

    1. I agree! That’s a good attitude to have for success in many things!

  9. I think I would be ranting at that misprint! How frustrating for you but your experience came through and you made a fabulous dress!

    1. I’m just glad I noticed it when I cut out the first piece, and not the last! Thank you for the kind words!

  10. Frustrating misprint. Thankfully you didn’t destroy the whole pattern. Definitely worth a letter to the pattern company .
    The dress was worth the effort though, and I’m sure your sister will be delighted. Care pressing the zipper if you plan on including the actual coil too.

    1. Yes, my son jokes that I am so “militant”. The Angry Consumer! But I probably should say something to the pattern company, if it was a food product I certainly would, so why should this be different. I have pressed the zipper once before and was very careful with the actual coils, but it did help momentarily with keeping the zipper flat.

  11. You know by now that I’m going to say that I love that print! Yes?
    Anyway I like a bias binding edge, but if I think it’s not going to sit nicely then I use a facing as narrow as a binding. The only thing I don’t like about facings is that they tend to pop out, even when they are secured. If I used a full facing I would probably attach a lining, just to keep it out of the way.
    The dress is fab

    1. Thank you. Yes a facing always seems to go hand in hand with a lining doesn’t it! It has been so long since I have done something with lining, I should probably hunt something out…just for the challenge and the fun of it!

  12. I love the fabric! And dresses with a little stretch are great – they seem to forgive other imperfections as well. So weird about the pattern printing, but good to know if I ever use this pattern!

    1. Thank you! That’s what we are here for, right? Learning, inspiration and information… And fun!! 😂

  13. Wow, yet again I am going to look lovely. When I used to sew, pattern misprints would drive me crazy, now with limited hand use it would be the straw that broke the camels back and the dress would never be finished. Send me the pic of the pattern misprint, I will be more than happy to write to McCall and tell them they blew it. Although last time I complained about getting a “BUG” in my packaged soup they send me coupons for more soup and I just could not face the thought of possibly opening a package and finding another bug.

    Thanks again little sis, you have once again outdone yourself.

    1. Thank you. You picked some lovely fabrics! Like I said before, it’s fun to do someone else’s project when I can’t think of what I want to sew next for myself! It’s simple to take all the supplies given to me and just sew. Not too taxing on the brain!!! 😃👍

  14. Urg! It’s definitely no fun when the pattern has a typo, but at least you caught it before it became an issue (and at least it didn’t make the pattern unusable!) The finished dress is great, especially since you left room for chocolate! 😉

    1. Thank you! My sister wants to send a photo of the error to McCalls. (I’m too busy sewing at night and working during the day to even think about it). If I remember, I should send her a good photo of the error and see what they tell her.

  15. Lovely dress! And yes. I also love your sister’s fabric choices. As for why Mc Calls does this on patterns? Just to keep us awake and on our toes, that’s all!

    1. Hahaha… you are a very funny lady!!!

  16. This dress is fab! Great print and the invisible zipper is impecable, strange technique with changing the foot, but I may give it a go next time I’m against the invisible zipper. I don’t particularly like facings because as already mentioned by someone else they tend to pop out, so I always go for the bias if I can, I don’t like that either lol!

    1. I’ve seen so many ways to do an invisible zipper. It’s hard to imagine! Thanks, for stopping by! 👋

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