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  • Lindsey King

McCall's M8358 reissue - the Laura Ashley summer dress


M8358 pattern packet laid on top of bright floral fabric.

I'd seen a few versions of the original 1970's issue of this pattern (M6121) pop up on Instagram over the past couple of years; occasionally a copy would appear on Ebay, always for an astronomical price and seldom in my size.


This year McCalls have re-issued it, updated to modern sizing. I ordered a copy as soon as it was released in the UK and made it almost immediately!


The Pattern

It's a wrap dress with elastic fed all the way around the neckline and little puff sleeves with an elastic hem - you need a lot of 6mm elastic for this pattern!


At the moment this pattern is only available in paper format.

I bought my copy from Sew Direct, get a copy here https://www.sewdirect.com/product/m8358/

Lindsey, a white woman with blonde hair wears a vintage style floral wrap dress.
Front wrap view

I really don't like tissue paper patterns. I find them too fragile and the sheets are enormous, meaning you have to fight with them before you even start cutting out.

I would normally trace a paper pattern but with this one I decided to just cut it!


As the pattern has lots of ease and it was really difficult to decide which size to make I chose a 12 - the size chart put me more as a 14, so I took a slight risk. I'm pleased I did as the fit is pretty good!


Due to the nature of construction, you can't get any idea of the fit until it's almost finished - after inserting the neckline elastic. But as it's a wrap you've got some leeway.


There's two options, A with a ruffle hem and B without. I chose B as the ruffle would have been lost somewhat with the busy fabric.

Lindsey, a white woman with blonde hair shows the back view of her vintage style dress.
Back view

Also this pattern is a fabric eating monster - I used a little under 4 metres!


As there's no waist seam the pattern pieces are enormous.


A nice feature of this dress is that it's reversible, you can put in on with the wrap at the front or back!


Fabric

I found this absolutely beautiful cotton lawn in the Fabric Godmother sale at just £4.99 per metre.

I've just had a look, and at the time of writing this they still have some left! https://www.fabricgodmother.co.uk/madison-cotton-lawn-multi/


The quality is really very good, so it was a pleasure to work with. I'd personally avoid making this is a very drapey fabric as my cutting space isn't very big, and even with

Lindsey, a white woman with blonde hair wears a midi length vintage style bright floral dress.
Full length view

my dining table fully extended I still had to manoeuvre it around a lot while cutting out. I fear I'd have pulled a drapey fabric out of shape.


Fit and adjustments

I cut a straight size 12 and struggled to tell bow long it would be until it was made. I ended up removing 10cm from the length before hemming.

If I make it again I'll shorten the pattern pieces to save fabric!

For reference I'm 5ft 2" so have to shorten almost everything I make.


Cutting took a while (I'm slow at this at the best of times!) but the actual sewing didn't take long at all, making it a lovely speedy make.


Will you be giving this one a go? I'm very much looking forward to the weather finally warming up so I can wear it! Perfect for picnics and just wafting around.

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Guest
May 06, 2023

I've just bought this and am looking forward to sewing it up! Need to find some nice summery fabric. How did you find the fit around your bust? Do you usually make adjustments there? I'm wondering if I'll need to do one. 😊

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