Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Vintage Green Dress: McCalls 7208

I had considered buying fireworks. Or at the very least a massive amount of confetti to throw gleefully around. And popping of champagne corks felt like a must! Because after years of lusting, and yearning, and pressing my greasy nose against the computer monitor and moaning with unfulfilled desire, I finally had got the vintage pattern of my dreams, and even better yet, I had found it in my size! The sewing gods indeed had smiled upon me!

Meet McCalls 7208. First released in 1964, and very happily made by me 52 years later!

Vintage Green McCalls #1

Vintage Green McCalls #2

First things first - whilst I love this dress, it sure did use up a huge amount of fabric! The skirt is one of the biggest I have ever gathered, and when I read the pattern and realised that they wanted a skirt lining (gathered also) plus piping for the skirt seam, I threw back my head and laughed and laughed. I had enough trouble gathering all that amount of thick fabric and then sewing it to the bodice without complicating matters with extra fabric for lining and the fiddlyness of piping to boot! So I kept things simple and just sewed on the skirt. Just between you and me, I feel the incredible fullness of the skirt makes it look like I have added a few pounds, so I shudder to think of the effect the lining would have had!

The bust size on this was 32 inches, which I am, but as per my usual experience of making a vintage pattern, I needed to bring it in substantially to get a correct fit. The strap was a bit of a nightmare to put on - getting the strap seam and the bodice centre seam to match felt like mission impossible at times, but after employing my quick-un-pick too many times to mention, I got there in the end!

I also cut about 20cm off the skirt length. I am constantly surprised at how long vintage skirts end up being, especially since the pattern illustration makes them look like they finish at the knee. Was there some sort of anti-calf sentiment going on in the 1950s and 60s that I remain blithely unaware of? I am so puzzled by it!

All things considered, I am pretty happy with this dress. The green is my favourite shade of green, but if I ever made it again I would choose a much lighter fabric than the one I sewed it up in. It's just that bit too heavy for the dress - a lawn or voile with lining would be a much better choice. Ack - ya live and learn!

Vintage Green McCalls #4

Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta go do some twirling. This dress was made for being spun around a dance floor!

Vintage Green McCalls #3


Project Details
Pattern - McCalls 7208, published 1964
Fabric - Heavy cotton from The Fabric Store
Notions - Interfacing, invisible zip


  1. The dress looks fantastic!

  2. It's beautiful; what a find!! Love the color and it looks great on you. Agh, a lining too? I would've skipped that also.

  3. Rocking that fabulous green dress lovely lady.

    1. You're a lovely lady yourself!

  4. Oh wow this is a gorgeous dress & you look. amazing! I love the colour and the bodice design, which looks quite different to other full skirted dress patterns of the era.

  5. Truly lovely! I am such a fan of that shade of green xx

  6. Fantastic, great colour and perfect for twirling!

  7. It's super pretty! Can't wait to see your future versions.

  8. That green! The gathers and the neckline! Gorgeous as per usual Jorth. X

  9. Gorgeous! I love that green too, and may have snapped up the same fabric at The Fabric Store as that colour is so hard to find! It looks fabulous on you.

  10. Beautiful and that skirt is definitely made for twirling.

  11. Dresses in the fifties were worn just below the knee, often finishing at the crease on the back of the knee. They were never as short as worn today. I was in my teens late fifties and early sixties. Skirts were fuller than today I think. I remember a dress that did not fit anywhere that I made and there was three yards in the skirt and one yard for the top all hauled in with a wide belt.

  12. Ha, this is one of my sought after patterns too! Funny when I first saw your dress I was a little disappointed because the skirt didn't seem to have the same lift as the illustration but was very happy to read that you had in fact eliminated the gathered lining (the poof factor) on yours. Excellent color! Because of your great job, I might ramp up my search now.


Leave a comment! Make my day!

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.