Hey friends! The dog days of summer are here — and they’re in Italy too! I cannot wait to head to Italy in EIGHT DAYS! I’m tagging along with some family friends to babysit for the grandkids, and it’s going to be ah-mazing. We’re spending two or three days in Rome, and then heading into Tuscany for a week of relaxing, wine, and pasta! I wanted to make sure I had an adorable dress packed in my suitcase, and McCalls 7740 fits the bill.
Fabric and Sizing
I used a great natural colored linen from JOANN for my dress. This garment, along with several others, are all part of my June project as a JOANN ambassador! You can read more about all the pieces in this post. I used a ton of linen in this little capsule wardrobe. St. Louis and Tuscany are hot and humid, so I wanted fabric I knew would breathe well. Plus, there’s something so European chic about rumpled linen, isn’t there? (Please say yes, I know I will be wrinkly the whole trip!)
Initially, I cut out a size 14 from the pattern. My measurements are in flux right now, and I was too lazy to remeasure so I erred on the side of too large. Wow! It was definitely too large. The top is probably more like an 8 or 10 now. I took an inch and a half out of the side seams starting at the armscye, tapering to one inch at the waist. Then I joined back up with the original skirt seam about two inches below the waist. I made a few other adjustments while sewing that I’ll detail below.
The only #sewingtall modification I made was to add three inches to the skirt length, which I really like. The waist is about a half inch below my natural waist, which doesn’t surprise me. My height is in my limbs, so I don’t usually add length at the waist.
Sewing McCalls 7740
The biggest change I made to McCalls 7740 was skipping the lining. Not a lot sounds worse to me than a lined dress in 95 degrees and high humidity! I bias bound the neck, the armscyes, and the little back cutout. It’s so much lighter than a lined dress.
I also found the back cutout to be kind of… floppy? Gapey might be a better term. I’m not sure if it was because I chose the wrong top size or because that style of top just needs to be really fitted. I pulled the center back sides of the cutout down at the center back waist about an inch to get them to lie flatter.
My dress is View B, which has buttons and a tie in the back. To be perfectly honest, the way the pattern wants you to attach the ties made no sense the way I was reading it. The back clearly has to overlap a bit to have buttons and button holes, right? But then I thought it wanted you to attach the ties at the end of each back piece! Uh, what? Then one is buried under the other! I ended up attaching them BOTH to the top layer of the back piece so the tie is definitely more decorative than anything. I’ll probably end up switching one tie to the back piece, where the overlap for the button stops, so that it lays better.
I knew I was going to love McCalls 7740 from the moment I saw it earlier this spring. We had a few bumps along the fitting path, but it’s done and I am soooo happy with it! I can’t wait to wear it all summer!