DIY Gathered Dress | McCall M7186

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Please see my disclaimer for more information.

First of all…let me let you guys know that this blog post has been sitting my queue since November of last year. I know, I know. Some of you commented on this make when you saw it pop up on my I
Instagram months ago and I assured you all that I’d post about it. Well, now I am.

I sewed this one up after sewing my Simplicity 8214 make. I wanted to sew something quick and easy. I knew that this would be an easy make once I read the dress description. It is a pullover, close fitting dress– which means no zipper! Now, I’m not opposed to a zipper, but to not have to install one makes for a fast and easy project.

This make is all about gathers. So, if you’re a beginner looking for practice with gathering, this is your project. There are gathers at both the shoulder seams and at the waist. I personally like the gathered waist, as it hides the many cookies I’ve been eating for the past two weeks. ? Additionally, there is nothing intricate about this pattern as far as technique goes. If it weren’t for me attempting to record a tutorial on this, I probably could have finished in about 2 hrs or less, post cutting. View B only requires 4 pattern pieces, as with all views except view A.

My original plan was to make this dress in a winter white (which I still plan to do); however, I was gifted a ton of fabric from a friend. So, I just used a blue, double knit fabric that I was given.
Side story: I decided to give up fabric/notion shopping for the month of September and use the money that I would’ve spent as a donation to my church’s multi campus expansion efforts. Well, I was in a bit of a pickle not having fabric while trying to maintain a blog. It was most definitely a leap of faith. I was trusting God to provide the resources that I needed to fulfill the purpose that He’s called me to and not rely of my “own” resources. Not even knowing what I was doing, my friend gifted me a bag full of fabric that she had saved from when she was learning to sew. Talk about a blessing! I challenge anyone in need of provision to sow a seed and watch that need get met!
For this make, I cut a size 14 and graded up to a size 16 at the waist and 18 at the hip. After trying on the garment, I decided that I wanted the garment to fit a little more snug around the hip and taper more below the knee. I probably could have relied on the negative ease and stretch of the fabric to do this if I had cut a 14 all the way, but since I graded up, I just took the dress in at the hip. In the future, I will go back and cut out a size 14 or 12 and not worry about grading up.

I wanted to try something a little different for the hem than what the pattern instructions state. The pattern calls for turning up the hem and topstitching. Personally, I don’t like how this looks. So, for the sleeves, I hemmed using Pellon Double-Side Perma-Stick tape, a tip that I learned from Shari of My Daily Threadz. I think that this gives the hem a more polished look. However, because the fabric is double layered in the front, I did a blind hem by hand instead of using the tape. My conclusion is that tape is only appropriate on areas that don’t require stretch.

I would sew this pattern again, without hesitation. It is an easy make that fits well and can be dressed up as a nice, cocktail dress. For this shoot, I paired with with some formal earrings and shoes, recycled from my wedding.

Have you subscribed to my YouTube Channel? Check it out!

Comments Off on DIY Gathered Dress | McCall M7186