Embroidered Summer Dress – McCalls 7120
August 7, 2018
by Kris for Sewnotes

When I came across the McCalls 7120 dress pattern, I knew I wanted to make view D for a summer dress.  While I was searching for the perfect fabric for this project, I saw this Embroidered Border Cotton fabric in Aqua/Blue and I figured this was the perfect fabric for the vision that I had in mind.  With the embroidery, I decided that it would be best to make it a straight hem, rather than the high-low hem as shown on the envelope.  Before I cut into the fabric, I first drew in the seam allowances on the paper pattern and measured each pattern piece to decide which alterations needed to be done.  While I was measuring out the flat pattern pieces, I decided to do a small bust adjustment.  I used the book “The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting” that I got as a gift and a video to help me along the way.

Prior to deciding on a project, I always check out Instagram to see if others have made the pattern and what their versions looked like.  I had seen a version of view D that I really liked, instead of the facings (as the pattern calls for), this particular version was done with bias binding around the neck and arm holes.  With the different shades of blue, green and lilac in the embroidered flowers, I knew I wanted to do bias binding instead of facings with the royal blue color.

Once the fabric arrived, I really needed to think about which route I wanted to take in order to achieve my vision.  This fabric is very light weight, and I think by using a bias binding, the binding would have been too heavy for this fabric and could potentially have the fabric fall down and not sit right, as I have learned that from a past project.  I ultimately decided that I was going to underline the fabric.  I was able to find a cotton blend fabric in the exact same color.  I used the Cotton Poplin in Aqua, the colors matched perfectly.

McCalls 7120 is “learn to sew for fun” pattern, and it really is a great beginner pattern.  It is made out of woven fabric, therefore there needs to be enough ease and space to get the dress on over your head.  In the version I made, there is a front piece, a back piece and an optional tie belt.  It really doesn’t get much easier than that.  The darts were a breeze to sew.  As I mentioned before, this is a great pattern for beginners and there are a lot of options for this pattern.  You can sew a dress for the summer like I did, or you can sew a tunic for the fall and winter and wear it with leggings and boots.  The options are there so let your creativity run wild!

I used a double fold bias binding in the royal blue color to bind the neckline and the armholes.  I used the traditional method to achieve this look, I opened up the bias tape and sewed the wider side to the wrong side of the dress.  Then I flipped it over to the front side and sewed the binding in place.  Bias binding can be tricky at times, but it works best if you take your time, have patience, use a lot of pins and press lots!

I love the way this dress turned out, it is exactly how I envisioned it!  Don’t you love it when the vision you have comes to life!  It fits great and feels great!  I really happy with the small bust adjustment, I think it was the right alteration to make for this dress.


Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience sewing with the Embroidered Border Cotton, I hope that I have inspired you to sew an embroidered summer dress!