mccall’s 5971 – navy wool crepe dress

10 Dec

i actually started this dress a little over a week ago… it took so long to complete for several reasons:
1. i fell on friday night and didn’t have much use of my left arm until monday or so. it’s still in a sling – i went to the doctor yesterday and apparently my elbow is cracked 😦
2. i had a friend visit over the weekend and we were too busy being awesome (you know, like hanging out in the emergency room. whoops! he was a good sport about it, though 🙂 for me to do any sewing
3. i was trying really hard to make this dress ~perfect~, since i spent quite a bit of money on the fabric.

so, here we go! i used mccall’s 5971:
view A, obvs

i only made a few changes to the pattern – but other than shortening the shoulders (which i do on pretty much *all* patterns i sew), there weren’t any changes i had to do to the fitting. i cut a straight size 8. this pattern has different pieces for the bust sizes, i used a C based on my measurements. i used an invisible zip instead of a regular zipper and i lined the entire garment (pattern calls for just bodice lining). my fabric was this gorgeous navy blue wool crepe, and i lined it with a bright blue satin polyester lining.

the pattern uses princess seams for the bodice shaping… i hate sewing (and pressing!) princess seams, but i always like how funny they look:
bullet boobs!!

i always think lining looks so crazy with the clipped edges and funky seams…

here is the bodice after i put the lining and sleeves in.

sooooooo dress!!
front of dress (yes i took my sling off for this picture!) sorry there isn’t much detailing in this picture, it is hard to get a good shot of such dark fabric.

back of dress
i used two hooks and eyes at the top since i inserted the zipper a little low… the top one came undone before i took the picture, sry for the gap. also look at my cute little slit at the bottom! hahaha

i couldn’t really get a good bodice shot before my camera batteries died :\ this was my camera sitting on top of my sewing machine

i just thought this picture was funny. i LOVE the way the sleeves turned out!

inside lining shot without flash – this shows the detailing better. i just figured out how to insert the invisible zipper in the lining… i like how neat and pretty everything is!

here is a lining shot with flash… the blue is bright, but it is not quite *that* bright

bottom hem and slit. i sewed the hem with an invisible stitch so you can’t see it from the front 🙂

and just for fun…
the whole reason why i made the dress in navy. OBVS SO I COULD WEAR IT WITH MY BLUE SHOES.


11 Responses to “mccall’s 5971 – navy wool crepe dress”

  1. Amelia December 12, 2009 at 2:11 am #

    Beautifulllllll! And lulz for bullet boobs.

    I think a fully lined dress feels so much better to wear and moves better with the body. I still have a lined A-line skirt my mother made for me in high school and I think the reason it’s lasted so long is the lining.

    Also, the sleeves are perfect, way better than the pattern.

    Hope your elbow gets better fast. That sounds so painful.

  2. Nancy February 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    You did an awesome job! I purchased this pattern some time ago and finally made a muslin of the bodice. I’m ready to cut the fabric now. I would like to put in an invisible zipper like you did. Can you give me any advice? I am not used to sewing linings, so I could use some hints.

    • lladybird March 4, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

      thank you!

      lining is pretty easy to sew, it goes together the same way as the exterior fabric and then you just drop it in. the best advice i can tell you is to practice your handstitching and get good with an invisible stitch, because you will need that to join certain lining pieces together (like the bodice to the skirt) and to slipstitch the lining to the hem and whatnot.

      as far as invisible zippers go, they really are the same as inserting a regular zipper. you just need an invisible zipper foot – you can insert them without one, but it is SO MUCH EASIER with the proper foot. i can’t really explain how i did the lining on the invisible zippers without pictures (i’m more of a visual person), but there are a lot of tutorials online that you could pull up to explain it. basically, the zipper is sandwiched between the fabric and the lining the same way it would be if you were making a little zippered makeup case or whatever.

      hope that helps!

  3. danielle April 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    i made this dress too!
    but in some wacky flannel.
    i want to make another version in a more serious fabric….

  4. Nancy June 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    I finally completed this dress and it looks really nice and dressy. I used black poly/rayon/lycra and trimmed the neck and waist with a narrow black velvet scrolled trim. I had TONS of issues with the fit, but finally got it right. It was my first invisible zipper, and I had to rip it out a couple of times. The first time the seams in the back waist were not even and it really bugged me. (Always striving for perfection – uggh.) Then I took it out again because the whole thing was not fitted enough. I took it to work and had my coworker pin the back while I had it on in the bathroom – LOL. I have a dress form, but she doesn’t move like a real person! In the end, I love the dress but I probably won’t make it again.

  5. Nancy June 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Oh! I forgot to say that I didn’t like the cup sleeves on me. I think it was the lining that made them stick out funny, and I already have broad shoulders. So, I made the dress sleeveless and it worked out beautifully. Now, if I could just get my husband to take me somewhere worthy of a little black dress. Dream on….

  6. Justine Abbitt September 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    You did a beautiful job! This is the second time I have googled a pattern Im about to make and found one of your great reviews! Great minds think alike even if you did get to it like a year sooner ; )

  7. lsaspacey July 26, 2016 at 11:08 am #

    Hey, Lauren! It’s years later and I just figured out that this dress was probably made from fabric you bought from me. I just reopened my Etsy shop, Metamorphpursuit, and going through my old sales I saw that you bought a length of navy blue wool crepe from me in 2009. I don’t think I was aware of your blog at the time so I didn’t recognize the name. How cool. I felt so bad about never using that fabric. I bought it for a very ambitious Calvin Klein Vogue 2608 evening gown project that I never made. I have the pattern and am STILL reluctant to put it in the shop even though it no longer fits!

    Well, it’s so cool to see that it was actually used and is not still marinating in another fabric stash too. You did a great job and I hope you got a lot of enjoyment out of it.

    • LLADYBIRD July 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

      Hey! Yep, that’s definitely where I got the fabric! Ahh I love that you found me 😀 And I am happy that you sold me the fabric in the first place, because I definitely got some use and love out of it! (sadly, the dress no longer fits – but I passed it on and it’s getting loved/worn/appreciated by it’s new owner :D) As far as the pattern goes – do what I do, stick it in a frame and call it art. Then you can look at it every day and not feel bad that you haven’t sewn it 🙂 It’s ART 🙂


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