Saturday, September 26, 2015

McCalls 5752: the "Perfect" knit dress?

This pattern has been in my stash a while. I keep pulling it out to make, then deciding to do something else. Finally, I traced it in June. And then got sidetracked again. But it sat on my sewing table glaring at me and I finally sewed it.
But to be honest, I'm kind of lukewarm about it. It's one of those dresses that looks OK in pictures, but really doesn't wear well in real life.
But let me start at the beginning. The pattern is McCalls 5752, AKA "The Perfect Knit Dress" by Palmer/Pletsch. I made view B, but omitted the ruching on the midriff panel and lengthened the skirt 18 inches.
For fit, I only wrapped the front an additional 1/2 inch, but I should have shortened the front wrap. It gapes a bit - partly due to my fabric, which is very drapey. I stitched together the bodice wrap at the facing fold line to keep it modest. It works, but stitching a wrap bodice bugs me. It's a cheater move and I know it. I also added pockets because I cannot wear a dress without pockets.
The fabric I used is a very thin ITY. I normally wouldn't use a knit this weight for a dress, as it is quite clingy, but it kept telling me it wanted to be a maxi dress. And I really like the print as a maxi dress, I just wish I had chosen a pattern with a less clingy skirt. Because that is the problem I'm having with this dress. Without hard core shapewear, it clings to my hips in very unflattering ways.
The shaping of the midriff band is no help. I have a bit of a tummy, courtesy of three children and a general disinclination to exercise. The seam that attaches the midriff to the skirt highlights this area by curving over it. Not an ideal design element for me.
Overall, I think after a week of consideration, I like this dress enough to keep it in the closet, but it definitely won't be a go to, since it requires shapewear for me to wear in public. I'm not opposed to that generally, but it isn't an everyday thing for me. And the pattern is going in the circular file. Sorry, McCalls. This is definitely NOT the Perfect Knit Dress. Back to the drawing board...

12 comments:

  1. I notice you do a lot of maxi dresses. Is there a reason for that? Just like them?

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  2. Oh, I think think this is so pretty - even though it has lots of 'bugs'! I bought this pattern earlier this year, had to get it from Ebay or Etsy, don't remember. But am looking forward to sewing it. thanks for the tips and hints!

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  3. Yeah, I just like them. They work for my life, and I still feel cute in them. Whenever I wear a shorter skirt, I feel like I spend the whole day adjusting it.

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  4. I had to laugh a little about shape wear not being a part of everyday life. Just think, it wasn't that long ago that it was a part of everyday life.
    The dress is lovely.

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  5. I see your picture and KNOW you are not old enough to remember comedian named Red Skelton, and he had a character name Clem Kadiddlehopper. My fondest memory is sitting in my grandpa's lap, watching his show, and laughing. Good clean jokes, family appropriate. Also, thank you for your review. I also made this dress, but used a medium weight knit, a ponte. I had to do a FBA, and a FTA (full tummy adjustment) but I like it. Mainly I think it is the weight of knit. I made a wrap dress with an ITY, and had to make a full slip to wear with it so I didn't feel like I was flashing the neighbors. But it was the name on the blog that attracted me, and your substance in the blog that will keep me coming back. BTW, I am 61 years old, and was around 5-8 when I was with my Grandpa.

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  6. While it may not be an everyday dress - what a great dress for attending an event or going out to dinner. You are right it does photograph amazing. And the business of the print hides any of those figure features from this view. I have challis print that speaks to me telling me it wants to be a maxi dress as well...lol. Hopefully I will get to bring it to life over Christmas holiday.

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  7. That's exactly where the name came from! My Dad loves Red Skelton and he's been calling me Kadiddlehopper, after Clem Kadiddlehopper, since I was a teeny child. I'm in agreement with you about my fabric choice. I love ITY, but sometimes I forget it isn't great for everything. :)

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  8. That sounds wonderful! Usually when my fabric bosses me around, I have more success. I made a challis maxi dress a few years ago and I really love it. I hope yours makes its way into the wardrobe!

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  9. The fabric print was a great choice for this dress. The dress if very flattering on you in the pictures, sorry you aren't happy with it. I grade my patterns on a scale from 1 to 5, anything that is a 4 or 5 is a keeper, anything else I donate in hopes that someone else will enjoy. Hope you find "the perfect knit dress".
    Bonnie @ www.sewplus.blogspot.com

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  10. My Grandma continued to wear her girdle until the day she died *despite* having severe respiratory disease from having smoked for so long. I'm dearly glad I missed that period of history. :D


    The dress looks fantastic for your 'meh' feelings about it. I agree--it looks like a great dress for a night out with the husband. I had a similar experience with this pattern. My ITY gaped too, and the width of the midriff was out of proportion on my short torso. I really wanted to love this pattern because the pattern envelope's pictures are really fierce, but it was just ok. Sigh.

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