I think I would really struggle if I worked from home. On the weekends, the only thing that gets me out of sweats is a grocery trip. How do you work from home folks ever get the motivation to put on something even resembling real pants? The irony here is that I like feeling put together, which always involves not-leggings for me (as much as I love them, and BOY I do). My office is business casual and I look forward to putting together outfits each morning! And I reeeeeaaaaally like the occasional fancy night out. A black-tie dress is one of my favorite things to make, and the McCalls 7683 dress I’m sharing today was definitely a winner! Read through to hear all about the process of sewing it, and why I even made it in the first place.
Fabric and Sizing
McCalls 7683 is definitely the perfect choice for a simple but classic black-tie dress. Actually, the views are so versatile you could use it for basically anything! It calls for knit fabric, which makes it a breeze to sew, and the V neck adds some sexy-yet-classy visual interest.
I used the teal ponte from StyleMaker Fabrics for my dress. It’s the same ponte I used for a pair of Ultimate Trousers last fall! As soon as I saw that the pattern was designed for knits, I knew it’d be the perfect fabric for it. It’s thick enough to feel luxurious (and flattering) without being so heavy that it drags the dress down. Michelle has so many lovely colors of that ponte in stock right now. I really recommend it!
I made a straight size 12, view D (kind of) based off the finished garment measurements. At first I was concerned that it might stretch out after some wearing, but didn’t end up taking any room out anywhere. The ponte held up really well and I’m glad I didn’t size down!
I did make a few adjustments to the dress. They really had to deal with the skirt, unsurprisingly. Basically, I made it way more boring than drafted! When cutting, I cut out two of the front pieces and eliminated the slit in the front. That means I also did not include a train. Slits and trains just aren’t my style.
Additionally, I did draft out the skirt to be more of a trumpet silhouette. This gave me back some of the room I lost with no train or slit! There was no science to this — I just made the hem the width of the fabric (folded), and joined back up with the pattern around the knee. I added 10″ to the dress’s length and wore it with a 2″ hem and 2″ heels, #sewingtall friends. I did not adjust the waist placement at all.
Sewing McCalls 7683
There’s nothing really complex about sewing McCalls 7683, especially when you eliminate the slit and train! The neckline is a little tricky to wrap your mind around, but once you can envision it, it’s a breeze. There is a fair amount of hand-sewing on the inside of the neckline. Normally I go to any length to avoid that, but you really can’t with this pattern. Once I got into it, too, I could see why most normal people don’t mind it! A quick whip stitch really pulled the neckline together.
I had intended to use my twin needle for this dress, but this is the project when I realized I must have broken it and forgotten about it. Honestly, a longer straight stitch with a regular needle absolutely did the trick. The ponte is stable enough that it really doesn’t need any special treatment!
This dress was so easy to sew, and made me feel very old-school glamorous. It was the perfect dress to wear to a black tie event(!) with my boyfriend(!!). I try to keep it real with you guys, and I was open about the rough breakup I went through last spring. You amazing people made me feel so supported and loved, and I cannot thank you enough for that. After a fresh start here in St. Louis and what felt like months of moving myself and then my work, I finally got back on the dating scene. I’m really excited to be dating an awesome guy — maybe I’ll throw up a picture of us (and the dress in action) on my stories later today.