Friday, January 11, 2013

McCalls 5975 - the pink zombie dress

I actually finished something two days ago - one dress hemmed, three to go.

I've got metres and metres of mystery knits from years and years ago - knits that are not colours I particularly like or have the characteristics you actually choose knits for (eg. don't wrinkle) - take that thick cushy pale blue knit I used in the first V1258 Vena Cava and the pink jersey I used for Mum's pj's, a Lekala dress and the first iteration of Simplicity 8728 (I still have loads of both left) - well, here's another one of those endless, odd knits, I call it the zombie knit fabric.

It's basically a nude/pinky mesh with another cut up mesh on top that is attached every now and then by a thin thread - as you can see, it looks truly raggedy. It's also quite sheer (where it's only one layer), luckily I have a very fine cotton vintage slip that is perfect under it.

M5975 - COW neck
After tigerboy's disappointment (or maybe disgust) with the raggedy edges on his pj's, I was sure he'd detest this on sight. Instead - "Pink!?, Honey, it's pink!!!"
"Oh, really? Hadn't noticed."
"You don't wear pink, unless it's with orange and pyjamas." (True)
"Yes, I know, I decided to branch out."
"I really like the style......"
So, there I am thinking - he didn't notice the raggedyness? But lo and behold, then he started peering carefully at the fabric with a confused look.
"This is kind of weird."
"You don't like it?"
silence .................................... "Yeah, I do, it's really unusual isn't it? Yeah, I really like it! I like what you've done with the neck part here."
"It's a cowl neck."
"A cow neck?"
"No, a cowl neck - C   O   W   L, cowl." (Later that night he asked me if I was going to do anything else with a cow neck - it's not worth my time.)

So maybe I've been reading too many postapocalyptic novels with zombies and general decay but it really reminds me of skin peeling off - charming right? I'm not telling him or else that's all he'll see too.

So, onto the sewing part.......

I decided to use the cowl necked bodice from version C, with the cap sleeves from version B. I used my own skirt pattern - the A-line skirt pattern that I made and have used on nearly every dress I make.

My current measurements (just had to redo these for a Lekala order):
Height: 168cm
Upper bust: 89 cm (35")
Bust: 95.5cm
Under bust: 77cm (small rib cage? narrow back?)
Waist: 74cm
Hips: 102cm

I cut a size 12 bodice with the following changes:
  • I cut the side seam of the front on the size 14 line from the armscye down to the waist
  • I lowered the waist line of the front bodice because I think some of my waist lines have been too short at the front lately - it wasn't necessary which I think is due to the weight of the fabric pulling everything down.
  • I cut the back bodice on the fold, instead of two separate pieces with a seam down the back - I reduced the side seams from about an inch under the double notches down to the waist to compensate for the extra on the centre back at the bottom (because the seam was supposed to be curved) and because my waist is a lot smaller at the back. The back waist ended up being approx. 1cm smaller on each side than the size 8.

I didn't bother with the facing (if interfacing was called for, I didn't use that either).
On the back neck, I turned the sa in and stitched with a double needle.

I think the pattern makers wanted you to put a zip in it - nah, I had no intention - directions, schmections, I say.

I shortened the cap sleeves (also size 12) but off the top of my head, I can't remember how much by - wasn't much though.

The cowl was a bit deep for me, so I ended up angling the inside front corners of the neckline (the cowl part) an extra 3cm to pull the cowl up.

I used a ribbon hanger loop from a RTW dress/top as shoulder stabiliser (those ribbons come in handy for lots of things).

Twin needled the hem and the hem of the sleeves.

I had to take at least 4cm off the bottom of the back bodice because of sway back but I think that this is such a stretchy fabric that the weight contributed to quite a bit of that, so in a different fabric, who knows?

I used my overlocker (serger) for all of the seams.

I made my own belt, I think they include a pattern piece but really? It's just a long rectangle (actually, mine is pieced, so it's 3 rectangles - not at all noticeable in this fabric).

M5975 - I'd been running errands all day, hence the 'wreck of the hespress' look I've got going on.

I'll definately be making this again in another version, it was fast and easy. I love easy to wear dresses that can go from work to around the house to running errands and doing the groceries. I might even make the straight skirt, it's just that I love that I can sit/run/walk however I feel like in an a-line, so unless I'm working I can find straight skirts a bit restrictive sometimes.

And this next pic? There in a very messy green pile on our coffee table is the Burda dress that needs the hem to be finished - it was dumped there rather unceremoniously this morning when I realised it was time for me to get going and I haven't picked it back up - shame on me!!!


  1. i love your dress- the mesh fabric and the cowl work really well together-

    1. Thanks - I really must start on my Jungle January dress!

  2. I love it too, very cute and flattering. looks very cool for a hot summer day.

    1. It actually worked out better than I expected for running around in the heat.

  3. He, he, so are you wearing it to Zombiefest? The Zombiness is very subtle. It is a beautifully shaped dress even if you are not 100% in love with the fabric.

    1. Well, i could but don't you know it, I have more or less the same fabric in shades of blue/purple in one of the mystery knits tubs and if I remember correctly, there's actually quite a bit more than the pink. Blue might be a better zombie skin colour don't you think? What on earth am I going to do with the rest of this pink stuff, let alone the blue.

  4. Great dress - I love the fabric - makes the dress so unusual. Love the idea of using the RTW hanger ribbons. I have been throwing mine out - must start saving them - although I am on a RTW fast.

    Great job.

    1. Yep, those ribbons come in very handy. Mum usually gives me a stack whenever I see her. I abhor shopping, so it doesn't happen very often but when I do it, I want to get it all over and done with right now which usually means I walk out of the store with a big bag - that happened the day I took these pics actually, ah well, more ribbons for the sewing notions.

  5. Hi Tigergirl.
    I love your name:))
    'Seams great' is used to reinforce a seam. So on the dress you just made, you could have added some 'seams great' when you sewed the seam, like sewing in cotton twill tape. Seams great is just a tricot version of cotton twill tape.
    I hope this helps.

    I love seeing how you used the mesh fabric in this dress. It's so pretty.

    1. Thanks! Hmmm, now I'm really stumped as to why I bought it because I use all kinds of other things to do that. I must have read an alternate use for it somewhere that made me think "I need that!" ......... but it's flown from my brain, sometime in my 80's it will probably come to me in the middle of the night ;-)