Completed: McCall’s 5972, The Vintage Floral Sheath

4 Dec

I just realized the title of this post is a little misleading. This is a new dress, made from a new(ish) pattern. I’m fairly certain that even the fabric is somewhat new. I’m calling it vintage because of the colorway and the overall look of the finished piece πŸ™‚ Just so we’re clear!!

Vintage Floral Sheath
ANYWAY, meet my new favorite dress, y’all!

This is McCall’s 5972, which is Laura Ashley pattern. Funny, I actually bought this dude a few years ago with the intention on making view C, with those ridiculous neck ruffles. Spoiler: I still haven’t managed view C. But I have made view B twice – once in a gorgeous purple lambswool (pre-blog, so no pictures – but I wear it frequently in the winter!), and then this piece you’re looking at right now.

Vintage Floral Sheath
The fabric is a bit special, only because it’s fucking GORGEOUS and I had the tiniest piece. I found it at the flea market over the summer, although I don’t think it’s vintage – it’s a Waverly print (says so right on the selvage) and it’s definitely upholstery fabric. I would not be surprised at all if this is a print that they are currently selling at Joann’s. However, that doesn’t make it any less amazing, amirite.

Vintage Floral Sheath
I’m really surprised that I was able to get this much dress out of the fabric. Like I said, my piece was pretty small – I think I had about a yard and a half, but it was only 35″ wide (I suspect it was 60″ at some point, as there was only one edge with a selvage. Also, holy shit I am abusing these parenthesis today). I initially wanted to make a wiggle dress, but I knew there was no way in hell I’d have enough fabric. I barely squeezed this one out as it was – I cut everything on a single layer. Almost all the pieces are cut on the fold, which meant I had to do a lot of flipping and tracing. It was worth it, though! I even had enough to cut the collar, although I did have to slice it on the center back seam since there wasn’t enough fabric to do it in once piece. I’m so pleased with my fabric stinginess!

Vintage Floral Sheath
I know the belt that I’m wearing here doesn’t really match. Shh! I plan on making a self-covered belt (I should have just enough fabric to pump one out), but I need to buy belt backing.

Vintage Floral Sheath
I made this dress entirely with stash stuff! The lining is china silk. I usually prefer to line with Bemberg Rayon – I think it feels so freaking luxurious, even better than silk! – but this stuff actually matched perfectly. And, surprisingly, it was easier to sew than the rayon. Imagine that.

Vintage Floral Sheath
I did have a bit of an issue with the fit. As I said before, this is the second time I’ve used this pattern. The first dress fits wonderfully, just the way I like it. For this reason, I did not make a muslin. I don’t know what happened between the pattern and the first finished dress, but there is definitely a size discrepancy – and I’m not really sure what I did to make it fit (other than, you know, NOT ALTERING THE PATTERN TISSUE), since it was finished so long ago and I didn’t leave my future self any notes. Thankfully, I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to fit – I try on my stuff frequently as I go, just to be sure there aren’t any little surprises waiting at the end. I caught this right before I put the zipper in. I ended up taking in the zipper side seam by quite a bit – 1 3/4″ at the bodice, 1 1/2″ at the waist, tapering down to nothing by the hip. I may need to go back and deepen the darts on the front skirt; they bag out a bit because I guess I don’t quite fill it out. So weird!

Vintage Floral Sheath
I only made a couple of construction changes to the pattern:
– The finishing calls for bias binding at the armholes. NOPE, SORRY. I pulled out my Rooibos pattern and followed the instructions for inserting the bodice lining – and it worked! No handstitching here, and it looks much cleaner πŸ™‚
– The collar does not call for interfacing. I decided to underline mine with some of my precious silk organza. Ah. I love silk organza β™₯
– I inserted a lapped, hand-picked zipper instead of the invisible dude. So pretty and sleek and yay!
– Due to aforementioned fabric shortages, the underside of the collar is china silk (same as the bodice lining), instead of self-fabric.

Vintage Floral Sheath
Ignore that belt and imagine this with something more, er, matching.

Vintage Floral Sheath

Vintage Floral Sheath

Vintage Floral Sheath
Here’s that handpicked zipper! See the stitches? NEITHER DO I.

Vintage Floral Sheath
Probably should have stuck a zipper guard in there. Oh well, no care!

Vintage Floral Sheath
I took a few extra steps to make this special – including binding the waist seam.

Vintage Floral Sheath
And this lace hem is super happy πŸ™‚

You know what else this dress looks super good with?

Wait for it…

Vintage Floral Sheath

Vintage Floral Sheath
Seriously, tho, let’s talk about how this is a fucking match made in Heaven.

You probably noticed Amelia lurking on the serger table during all these pictures. That is basically what she does the entire time I’m in the sewing room (unless she’s napping on top of my pattern. Or fabric. Or scissors), and the reason why I moved my sewing machine to be away from the window. Her big butt was always in the way!

Vintage Floral Sheath
Notice her look of pure disgust. This cat hates me hahaha.

Vintage Floral Sheath
Shitty Cat is staring into your soul.

83 Responses to “Completed: McCall’s 5972, The Vintage Floral Sheath”

  1. Sam December 4, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Wow, what a gorgeous dress! Absolutely stunning. It does look very vintage and goes perfectly with your cardigan too.

  2. Peter December 4, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    I love it. But do you really need to belt it at all? I’m not sure an actual vintage sheath would have one and it fits so sleekly as-is. Great job.

    • LLADYBIRD December 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      You have a point. I’ve been wearing belts so frequently these days that I mostly just make and wear them without a second thought.

  3. Sew Little Time December 4, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    i love this dress – it’s such a great shape on you and the collar is fab. that last pic/ comment made me snort hot green tea out of my nose. ow.

  4. tania@sewitanyway December 4, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Oh, this is just lovely!
    Well done on getting the dress you wanted out of a just-about-big-enough piece of fabric! I love the sense of achievement that comes from doing that πŸ˜‰

  5. K-Line December 4, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    This is delicious! How retro-plus. And that sweater is amazing with it. I can’t believe you’ve made 4 sweaters (in crazy colours) and they all seem to match everything.

    • LLADYBIRD December 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

      I never realized how much I needed a mustard sweater until I finally made one – it goes with everythinggg! Of course, I tend to plan my wardrobe around it now πŸ™‚

  6. Lauren December 4, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    You look amazing! I love that dress.

  7. Amanda December 4, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    I love the photo with both Amelia AND you facing away from the camera – that’s so cute! This is a great dress, I actually think the belt works with it. The sweater looks great with it too. Nice work!

  8. Becky December 4, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    I agree with Peter. I am actually old enough to remember when everyone wore sheath dresses. No one wore a belt, not even Audrey or Marilyn. But maybe you feel like you should? I think it looks great on you, and it is a beautiful dress.

    • LLADYBIRD December 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

      That’s so funny, since almost all of my sheath dress patterns come with instructions to make a matching belt! I guess real life didn’t quite dress like that, though πŸ™‚

  9. sweary sewer December 4, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    The dress is gorgeous!

    I have a question for you, if you could possibly help? I noticed that you said, “I may need to go back and deepen the darts on the front skirt; they bag out a bit because I guess I don’t quite fill it out.” I made a shirt and the bust darts “bag out” – does this mean I need to deepen the dart then?

    • LLADYBIRD December 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      It sounds like it! Just take in a bigger chunk of dart and that should solve any baggy issues.

      • sweary sewer December 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

        brilliant, thanks so much for your reply. (i was on holiday, hence the tardy thanks from my end!)

        i love your blog, btw. funnies and pretties all in one! πŸ˜€

  10. tracy December 4, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    i love the fabric, so gorge! your cardi goes beautifully, goes without saying of course!

  11. Michelle December 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Wow I love this dress!! It’s so pretty and I can’t wait to see it with a matching belt!

  12. ShanniLoves December 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    This dress if fabulous and does look vintage. I swear you always find the best shit at the flea market! Looks great with that cardigan too. Really makes me want to start knitting but I don’t know if I have the patience for it.

  13. Kitty Cat Stevens December 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    i love it so much! i have some extra curtains lying around that would look lovely as dress πŸ˜‰

  14. misscrayolacreepy December 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    The dress couldn’t be more perfect!!! I love it!

  15. Helen Made December 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Gish what a gorgeous dress! I love the colour of the fabric – so happy! And it definitely looks great with the Agatha cardi too.

  16. byhandlondon December 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    What is it with cats and sewing rooms???? My cats cannot get enough.

    This dress, the fabric, the collar, the cardi…. it’s all so beautiful. I can’t even tell you how jealous I am of you and your super knit ways!!

  17. Carolyn December 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    It’s a beautiful dress and all of your additional touches really make it special!

  18. Michele December 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    This sassy little sheath suits you well!

  19. megthegrand December 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    AMAZING!! Love this dress most of all, and hot damn, it looks fantastic with the Agatha cardigan!! Seriously – could you rock that print any more?

  20. Rochelle New December 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Aside from the fact that your dress is amazing. As per usual. You NEED to make shitty cat a shitty cat dress.

    • LLADYBIRD December 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      Oh my god, I totally should. She would be so mad at me HAHAHA

      • Rochelle New December 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

        Whatever she’d probably love you more. There’s only one way to find out πŸ˜‰

        • LLADYBIRD December 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

          She does love Landon, because he hates her. You could be onto something here…

          • Rochelle New December 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

            I know I am. My mom has 5 cats hahaha

            • LLADYBIRD December 4, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

              Your mom is my hero β™₯

              • Rochelle New December 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

                Yeah turns out you can find a lot of good quality cats in dumpsters. Ahhhhhh…. that’s not funny. …but it’s true. Poor things.

  21. Kerry December 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Just GORGEOUS, and fits you perfectly.

  22. LLBB December 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    beautiful! Also, classic cat move by amelia getting you to move out of her sunny window spot πŸ™‚

  23. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! December 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Love it!! It totally has a 60s vibe I think! And so meant to be with Agatha. See, I knew I was right in thinking yellow is a great neutral. This is why I’ve knit 3 yellowish sweaters. I could see this dress with a pop of red to. I’m totally loving that collar, and I think it’s kind of genius that it’s the lining underneath, even if it was out of fabric stinginess!

    (I want to know more of this Rooibos armhole thing instead of bias binding.)

  24. Tiffany December 4, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    It’s so pretty! Love that collar and the print is fantastic. I wish I was tiny and lived in Nashville so I could raid your closet!

  25. mommylap December 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    Love it muchly. I also think it would look killer with some chunky boots. Like Frye campus or even (dare I say) cowboy boots. I’m crazy about that collar..

  26. lisa g December 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    love, love, love! this dress is fantastic, i adore the giant floral print. and i agree with the “skip the belt comments.” i love the mustard cardigan with it too, funny how that color goes with everything!

  27. lisa a December 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    The dress looks great! Its always nice when you can eek out a pattern from a small piece of fabric. I was going to comment on how hilarious it was that your cat ignored you in every photo but the first one, hilarious.

  28. Laura Sinclair December 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Wow that dress is fantastic – scoping out the pattern at the moment. πŸ˜‰

  29. Rebecca/WannabeSeamstress December 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Fabulous dress! Great job on getting this dress out of so little yardage. :]

  30. dragonzflame December 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    So doing that jealous weeping thing right now. I’ve got some amazing Hawaiian cotton that’s begging to be made into a sheath dress, but it requires me to grade up a bodice and re-draft a skirt because the one it comes with isn’t right. And I have a wedding dress to make. I’ve got a moratorium on all other sewing projects until that’s complete.

    But, oh, man! Want!

    (And for the record, I actually love the belt you’re wearing. It breaks up the print a bit.)

  31. Abigail December 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    The dress is lovely! I admire your zipper skills, and the fabric is very pretty and sepia-y. Definitely has a vintage feel.

  32. Sew Lonnie December 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Words cannot describe how much I love this dress. It’s AMAZING. Well done.

  33. Neeno - Sew Me Love December 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm #


  34. Red Point Tailor December 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I am speachless … it is gorgeous! It is so sunny and sommer like … Great Job!

  35. Marie December 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    This is the perfect dress – perfect shape, perfect colour, perfect fabric, perfect fit! Love it so much ;o)

  36. Rebecca December 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    That is so cute, love the fabric:)

  37. Kimberly December 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    I literally laughed out loud when you put the sweater with it. πŸ™‚
    Love the neckline on the dress.

  38. Carol Heitmuller Carrier December 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    That came out fabulous BUT the clean sewing room is making me super jealous since it has been suggested mine is ready for an episode of hoarders. Please tell us you are not always so tidy

    • LLADYBIRD December 5, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      I am, but not without great effort! I don’t function too well in a messy house (especially a messy sewing room!), so I make it a point to clean up after myself after every sewing session. Of course, messes still happen… and stay… and you should see my fabric shelf, because it is NOT neat (on second thought, no, please don’t look at it ahaha).

  39. oonaballoona December 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    besides the fact that as usual you’re cracking my shit up, THAT DRESS IS THE BOMB. and i think the belt is a perfect match. but ruggy tells me i am colorblind.

  40. Lizzie December 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    This is STUNNING – yep I love it a lot! and with the mustard cardi AMAZING. So wish I could wear mustard without looking like I just threw up.

  41. ladykatza December 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    I totally missed the cat the first time. WTF? In any cause I ENVY YOUR FITTING ABILITIES.

  42. kittysdrawings December 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    Erhmehgerrrrd I LOVE IT. Yay to fabric stinginess! It is a great gift πŸ˜€
    Interested in your love for Bemberg rayon…I’ve not had much luck finding it around these parts (the Land Down Under)…everywhere only has China silk – which isn’t even silk. Boo. So I line things with cotton sheets. Yep. Doesn’t work for slinky things obviously.

  43. Tilly December 5, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh I WANT THIS SOOOOO MUCH!!!! Lauren, it’s absolutely gorgeous! I was really hoping you’d link to 200m available of the fabric from a UK fabric store – aw well, no such luck for me.

    Super jealous of your cuddly kitty too… I grew up with loads of cats but now I live in a top floor flat on a busy road and my boyfriend is allergic so it’s not happening 😦

    But back to the dress – love it.

  44. Sarah W. December 5, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    This is pretty much my favorite dress silhouette. That print looks wonderful on you!

  45. craftylittlebugger December 5, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    Hot! Such a great print and style. Very jealous!

  46. jadestar December 5, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    Your dress looks fantastic! I am totally crushing on your sewing space. It looks amazing. I can’t wait to get a designated craft space πŸ™‚

  47. gingermakes December 5, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    I can’t even deal with how much I like this. I wish I could be happy for you, but I’m JUST JEALOUS. OK, I’m happy for you. But also jealous. Great job!

  48. Abby December 5, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    I love everything you make! Every time I see something new on your blog, I add the pattern you used to my wishlist. πŸ™‚ I’m also awed by how many garments you churn out. As soon as this semester is over, I’m sitting down at my sewing table and banging out a new dress!

  49. Lynne December 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Ooo! Your dress is gorgeous! And I think you deserve extra bonus sewing points for the savvy cutting!! And I happen to think that belt is quite nice with it. πŸ™‚

  50. missjoiedevivre December 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Wow this is amazing. Divinely, drool-worthy, jealousy inducing amazing. And it looks great with Agatha! I need to find my equivalent of mustard to go with everything I wear. But bloody hell woman, you are so freaking talented.

  51. Sabs December 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    I want that dress! If you ever get tired of it, will you give it to me? (please)

  52. dixiediy December 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    first of all, your craft space is always so neat and tidy (and cute, of course)

    more importantly – this dress is the shiz! who cares if the fabric isn’t technically vintage, it really does have a vintage feel and i’m totally impressed that you got that entire dress out of a 36″ wide tiny bit of fabric! love this dress!

  53. Adrienne December 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    It looks amazing, I love the neckline and the colors of the pattern! It does looks fab with the sweater πŸ™‚

    • Adrienne December 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

      Colors of the floral print, I meant heeee

  54. melissa December 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    You have some mad sewing skillz! Love the dress! I think you should try a skinny gold metal belt with it; you might like it. Never would have even thought to use home dec fabric. I will be checking them out from now on. I just thought I’d mention that because i’m skittish about cutting up my tissue patterns I trace mine with tracing paper from the artist supply; I buy it by the roll. This makes me feel better about altering my pattern.

  55. zilredloh December 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    I’m in love with your dress… and looking at the sheer number of comments you have I’m not surprised that everyone else loves it too! πŸ™‚ It’s perfection Lauren!

  56. maddie December 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    this dress is absolutely amazing, especially against the backdrop of you turquoise walls!

  57. SuzySewing December 9, 2012 at 5:29 am #

    Gorgeous dress and I LOVE the fabric. It reminds me the one I used for my first Antoinette. That was also a upholstery fabric and it worked πŸ™‚

  58. sallie December 9, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    LOL!! My cat hates me too! Cracks me up…
    Love the dress – the fabric is dreamy and looks so freaking good with your Agatha!!

  59. Tracy December 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Is there anything one needs to know about using home dec fabric as apparel fabric? Are there any disadvantages?

    • LLADYBIRD December 10, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      Hm, I think the only disadvantage would be the pattern limitations for using home dec fabric – like, you can’t make anything that requires a drapey/flowy fabric, or anything with a lot of gathers (as it would be way too stiff). Something structured like a sheath dress or pencil skirt, or something that would benefit from the weight/thickness of the fabric, like a circle skirt – those would be perfect. The other disadvantage is you have to pay attention to the size of the print – since a lot of home dec fabric has a very large scale print, it might not be appropriate for a garment (or you would have to pick a pattern that had as few pieces as possible, to keep from cutting up the print).

      I prefer to use garment fabric whenever possible, but sometimes you see stuff in the home decor section that has way too awesome of a print to pass up!

  60. kazzthespazz December 10, 2012 at 4:11 am #

    I’m sooooo late to the party, you’ll have to expect that from me I’m hopeless, that aside, what a perfect dress, perfect fabric, perfect finish, perfect Agatha and the most purrrfect companion. Everything is just… perfect.

  61. kimmie December 10, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    dear god. I can’t decide if its the picnic-y fabric or the betty draper cut but I am fuggin obsessed with this shift! When I strike it rich…i wanna commission you to make me entire wardrobe.

  62. Becca December 12, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    It’s gorgeous! The fabric is perfect for that style. The fit is just lovely and everything looks so crisp and clean. You did such an amazing job with your handpicked zipper, too. Love the dress and your pretty cat! πŸ™‚


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