McCalls M9872 contrast dress

I don’t typically buy patterns as i have been getting by with DIYing. However, this pattern called to me at Walmart. I traced out the top pieces on packing paper that came with handbags so i don’t feel bad about poking holes and slowly destroying the original pattern pieces. Anyone else does that?

Contrast dress is so pretty

Since i was testing this, i thought I’d use tshirts that were in my upcycle box of remnants and misc fabrics. I found a plain red tshirt and 2 black ones with logos from an event in 2015.

New life for these tees!

So after cutting out the pattern pieces, pinning and cutting fabric, i got 2 top front pieces, 2 top back pieces, 2 skirt front pieces, and 1 large skirt back piece  (instead of 2 smaller pieces).

Hooray for free tees in extra large sizes!

Pin front left and back left together. Sew shoulders and side seams. Repeat on right side. 

Create a narrow hem on the neckline of the two sides. Then connect at front and back center seams. 

Create narrow hem for armholes

Next, i cut out the skirt patterns. 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces. I got a wee bit lazy and cut the back piece on a fold since i wasn’t using contrasting fabric. The front pieces were cut out of the back of the tshirts and had text printed on it. In my haste, i misaligned the pieces so they don’t mirror tight. Oh well… I’ll do better next time.

The red lines aren’t aligned… 🤔

The pattern did not include pockets but i wanted them. The sleeves would do just fine.

Sleeves to pockets. Upcycle as much as possible!

There should be 4 pocket pieces. Place the pocket pieces on the skirts, right side facing.

Skirt back. Pockets pinned on each side, matching up with side and waist edges

Pin pocket pieces to front of skirt edge. Right sides facing. Sew front skirt center with right sides facing.

Sew the sides together at 3/8″ if your seam allowance is 5/8″. Flip the pocket pieces inside so wrong sides are facing pocket and skirt pieces. Pin the top edge that is aligned to the waist.

Doing this will hide the pocket seams.

Now align the front and back skirt pieces together so that pockets are aligned. Sew around the pocket leaving the side open. Sew the skirt edges together.

Fold sewn pockets to the front of the skirt and pin in place.

Time to connect the top and bottom pieces. I did not follow the pattern to hide the elastic inside the tube made between the seams of the connected pieces. I would if i had remembeted to lower the pockets . Instead, i sewed the top and bottombottom to wide elastic.

Measure elastic to fit waist, add a little allowance so the ends can overlap. Zigzag stitch both ends down.

Attach top and bottom to elastic with right sides facing. Remember to align the middle and side seams.

Contrasting dress for pottering around at home. Comfy tshirt material.

I learned a few things while making this.

  • I trimmed a bit off the skirt pattern so the waist shoukd fit better next time. I had excess this time, enough to create a pleat in the back.
  • I also shortened the shoulder straps. The neckline could be more snug.
  • I will need to lengthen the bodice at the bottom by the same amount removed from the shoulder straps.
  • Alignment!
  • Placement of pockets could be lower if i want to follow pattern instructions to create a hidden elastic waistband.

Not bad for a first try.

After a few days, the misalignment in front got to me. Time to rip out the old mismatched skirt. I found a long-unused dress in the closet and cut off rhe bottom 17″. No need to hem as it comes with it.

Snip snip! New skirt and shortened dress.

Since the new skirt is wider than the waistband, i made one large pleat in front, and stretched the elastic band around the rest. Be sure to check that this new skirt can slide over hips, bust, and/or shoulders. 

Pin and zigzag stitch around

Pin right side facing with elastic and zigzag sew around.

Finish the raw edge with a triple zigzag stitch. Remember to stretch the fabric as you sew.

Contrast dress with new and improved skirt

Side view. No pockets now but it looks better!

Back view. Although, this dress looks pretty reversible to me.

Much bettet now 🙂 


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