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.

  5. It's been a couple of years since this blog posting. I love your dress and your positive attitude! I think it's fantastic that you teach others this wonderful skill...thanks for passing it on!

    Tell me, please, how did this pattern work out for your sewing class? I am dying to know! Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Hi Kathleen thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement on teaching people to sew. This pattern worked great for my students. It was too much to attempt in one session, but if broken up over 2 class, perfect. Happy Thanksgiving.