The M7969, also known as McCalls 7969, is possibly one of the most Instagram famous sewing patterns. There are so many photos of this loose-fitting, deep faux-wrap, puffy sleeves dress. It works well in so many fabrics, and so I finally plucked up the courage to try my first ‘big 4’ pattern. The big question is, will it be the last big 4 pattern I use?
So, the thing holding me back from big 4 patterns is the sizing and ease. I’ve read so many horror stories about people following the measurement charts and ending up with an enormous, having garment that should have been fitted to their body. So I’ve steered clear, sticking with safer indie patterns.
The M7969 has been so popular that I figured it couldn’t be that bad. So I bought the version that was 1 size smaller than the chart indicated. I’d figured this out from reading reviews, and it generally worked out ok.
I’d also noticed that the pattern, which is oversized, seemed to be made for those with a small bust. I have a pretty big bust, and often need to make full bust adjustments. These adjustments can be really tricky with a wrap bodice, so I was keen to avoid if I could. So, a wearable toile it was.
I bought this fabric from Rainbow fabrics – they sell deadstock from fabric manufacturers, sourced mainly in the UK and Turkey, and the pricing is really low compared to other popular fabric shops. I had 3 metres of this white and blue viscose, I loved the print and thought it’d be fab for a beach cover up, so thought my toile could make a fab dress for our upcoming holiday if it worked. I wasn’t convinced that it would.
I almost gave up during the construction, as I felt the bodice was going to be too tight around the armscye area (this pattern uses raglan sleeves) and too exposed at the bust. But when I eventually attached the skirt, I found it fitted pretty well. And was better than a beach cover up. I loved the print and the dress, so it was quickly promoted to evening wear!
I did find the neckline a little too revealing, and so have added a little stitch at the bust for better coverage. All in all, not too bad an experience, I might even make another next year!
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