Friday, June 19, 2015

The Definition of Easy McCalls 7120

So, you know I teach sewing to support my fabric habit. I am currently in a round of sewing lessons where my students have made a pair of pants and a top. Next, we will make a zipper project and a dress. Before, asking my students to make something, I figured I should try the pattern first. McCalls has a line of "Learn to Sew for Fun" patterns and I chose 7120. 

This pattern is for  semi-fitted, pullover dresses which have neckline and pocket variations, and stitched hems. B: Below elbow sleeves with button and tab. D: Shaped hemline, wrong side shows. C and D: Self-belt. Sleeves Bhemline Dside slits C and F: Narrow hem.

This pattern has an "easy" classification and I chose it because I wanted my students to have a few choices. I chose to test the pattern in the most difficult of the easy styles. I made this dress in Amy Butler Lotus Tree, Peony Pink. This fabric has been in my stash for a while and I have been waiting to find the correct project to use it. 

Pro: Many elements for new sewers to build skills: Sleeves, darts, exterior pockets, facings, buttons, buttonholes, and sleeve tabs.

Pro: Cute dress without closures for the newbie.

Con: The details may be time-consuming for the newbie. They may need to take breaks when they begin to feel overwhelmed.  

Con: Runs big, go down size. My pattern is XS-XXL range and  I cut the size medium, but graded it down to a small when sewing it, it is bigger than expected.

Con: Too long in the suggested length. I made hemmed mine in a wide 3.5 inch hem.

Maybe con: I am not sure about the depth of the neckline. I did not expect it to be this low. In this cotton, it stays in place. If using a rayon that drapes more, it will show too much for my taste.

Deep V-neckline

The print is large and I felt the pockets were camouflaged, so I added buttons to the pockets to mimic the buttons on the sleeves. 

Pocket with button detail
Sleeve tab

For the hem, I kept the length and sewed it 3.5 inches deep. I love a wide hem in a mini dress, so I didn't cut it down. 

Wide Hem

I like this one, I may sew this one again in the size small and I may add back

darts. I need easy summer dresses that have style, but are not fussy with 2 

young kids. I like this for the skills it teaches the newbie. My students will make 

it in the coming weeks, so I am anxious to get their take on it. For veteran 

sewists, this one is easy. I am curious to know if my students would define it as 


Happy Sewing,



  1. WOW!!! Don't you look cute and FASHIONABLE!!! I love your fabric choice :)

    1. Thanks! I have had this in my stash for a bit and I am thrilled to find a use for it!

  2. This looks great. What a good idea to pick a pattern with so many options for them. I hope it works well in the class.

    1. Thanks Lisa! It will either be a brilliant or catastrophic plan :)

  3. Such a cute dress! Looks fab on you. Great idea on sewing it yourself first.

    1. Thanks Tomasa! I hate not knowing an answer to an student's question, especially if I don't know because of laziness ;P

  4. Really nice. I think it's good to have a few skill building challenges. Then it really feels like an accomplishment. I'm sure you're a wonderful teacher.