The Cat’s Away, with McCalls 7534
March 31, 2017
Melanie for Following The Thread by Melanie for Following The Thread

As Spring approaches I’m trying to hurry it up by making a warm weather dress, from bright red quilting cotton featuring playful mice, of course! Unfortunately making a cotton spring dress means I had to wait a week for a day suitable for outdoor pictures after finishing it.

But today’s the day to share this McCalls 7534, which I notice that Margo from Creating the Gap has just made as well, but in rayon and a maxi length. Mine is quite different, as I made it knee length & used quilting cotton. I just had to use this very fun print, a “Groovy Cotton Print – Mouse” that I like to call “the cat’s away”.

Since the last dress I made for this blog features marching elephants, I have to remember to be careful not to hang this mouse print next to it in the closet unless I want an uproar!

I enjoyed making this easy dress. There are no closures, so it’s suitable for a beginning sewist. The features that attracted me to this pattern were the mock wrap top (feels much more secure than an actual wrap) and the shoulder/neckline pleat which gives a nice shape to the bodice.

I had to adjust the right side of the bodice by just over half an inch where it meets the waist, as my right side is a bit shorter from the shoulder. If you have an issue like this, the bodice will gape — but you can take up the pattern piece either at the shoulder or waist to compensate. I usually adjust at the shoulder, but forgot this time, and had already sewn the facing on…so to save myself time I took a tuck at the waist which is completely invisible.

The only other adjustment I had to make was to add pockets. Of course! I used a bit of red broadcloth from my stash and added in side seam pockets.

The waist of this dress is lightly elasticized. The view I was using suggested a tie belt that was to be sewn in to the side seams. I didn’t want it to be a permanent part of the dress so I just sewed a regular separate sash; this way I can use it or use another belt for a different look.

The key to making a dress like this work with quilting cotton is lots of pressing. Press all the seams as you go, and expect that it will hold the shape a little more crisply than a drapy fabric will. I wouldn’t make a maxi from this fabric as it would be rather bell-like. But in this view it works very well.

Of course, with a print like this, you can get a little silly. Seeing all the activity going on, like this little mouse:

I just had to get out my own hula hoop and have a little fun.

Spring can’t come soon enough!




2 thoughts on “The Cat’s Away, with McCalls 7534”

  1. Helena for KnitWiz Helena for KnitWiz says:

    Hi Melanie: Love your sense of whimsy! Thank you for sharing this pretty dress!

  2. Avatar Margo says:

    Super cute Melanie!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *