The Summer of Paisley

Sometimes, a girl needs an extra-loud dress to get her through the horrendously hot and humid days of mid-July.

McCall's 7119I can’t say that I’ve ever considered myself much of a fan of paisley – some of the prints and colors remind me a little too much of the awful ties my dad work to work in the early 90s. Maybe it was less the print itself and more the recollection of the terrible fiber content. At any rate, I’ve never really been drawn to it, but something about this particular blue print at Mood Fabrics just took my breath away. Maybe due to the more monochromatic color scheme – since there aren’t a lot of competing colors, it allows you to focus on the design itself. Or maybe it was because of the price – it was (and still is!) on sale for $4.99 a yard! Yeehaw! McCall's 7119

Scoring fabric for under $5/yard means you have the greenlight to buy a bunch of it and use it to make something with a fabric-hog of a pattern. Which is exactly what I did in this case – I’ve had my eye on McCall’s 7119 for a couple of months now, but that long wrap takes about 3 yards of fabric to make up, which I wasn’t feeling (or, rather my wallet wasn’t feeling). $15 for 3 yards, though? I can handle that!

McCall's 7119McCall's 7119

Despite what that price tag would lead you to believe, this is anything but a cheap fabric. Described as a cotton poplin, it’s a lovely lightweight cotton fabric that has a really nice hanging drape. It’s thin enough to feel cool and airy in this hot weather, but opaque enough to not need a lining. The colors are beautiful and saturated, and the print is nearly identical on both the right and wrong sides (which is important for a dress like this, where the dip in the skirt back hem is seen from the front). It also does a good job of resisting wrinkling – not 100%, since it is cotton after all, but well enough so that I didn’t have to spend too much at the iron smoothing out wrinkles after the pre-wash.

McCall's 7119Working with this fabric was an absolute joy. It pressed and cut like a champ, and didn’t give me any trouble at the machine. I decided to use French seams for finishing this dress, as the fabric was light enough to handle the bulk (or lack thereof) of the layers. Navy thread turned out to be the perfect color match, and a used a small 70/10 Microtex needle as not to puncture a bunch of big holes in the fabric. Since the dress is a wrap, there are no closures – just a little hole in the side seam in which to feed through the waist tie. The facing is sewn down invisibly by hand, the hem is machine-rolled, and I added a tiny little snap to the front crossover to eliminate any northern wardrobe malfunctions (sometimes, if the wind blows, you see quit a bit of leg due to the wrap of the skirt. I am ok with this. Ha!). McCall's 7119

I was a little concerned that the craziness of the print combined with the style of the dress would be overwhelming on my petite frame, but shortening the length of the skirt was all it needed :) This is definitely still a loud dress, but I’m a loud person so I think we suit each other just fine :)

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Comments


  • Kimberly
    July 21, 2015

    This is beautiful. And the blue goes well with your current hair color. Thanks for this.

    • Lladybird
      July 22, 2015

      Thank you! I am enjoying this new hair color for sure – mostly because my favorite colors really complement it :) haha!

  • anne jewell
    July 21, 2015

    i appreciate your posting this. although i love paisley, i’d never have thought to make it into a wrap dress. so pretty!–anne

    • Lladybird
      July 22, 2015

      I probably wouldn’t have thought about it either if it hadn’t been for that price :) haha! Anyway, thank you!

  • Nini
    July 22, 2015

    Lauren, I just love everything you make! You and I are built pretty much the same, and I am always so excited to see what patterns you choose. Your sewing skills are exceptional…such a joy to see. You are, by far, my favorite blog! Thanks for the great posts. so…off to buy McCalls 7119 ;-)

    • Lladybird
      July 22, 2015

      Hey Nini, thank you so much!! Your comment just made my day :D

  • Erica B's DIY Style
    July 22, 2015

    This is so cute on you! I have this fabric too and I’m still deciding what to make.

    • Lauren
      July 22, 2015

      Thank you, Erica! I have no doubt whatever you end up deciding is going to turn out fabulous (and I’m going to be jealous that I didn’t do it with my fabric, haha!) :)

  • Lori
    July 22, 2015

    I just love this dress on you, the style and color is beautiful. You look fabulous.

    • Lauren
      July 22, 2015

      Thank you so much, Lori!

  • Male Pattern Boldness
    July 22, 2015

    This is such a lovely dress, Lauren, and because, as you say, it’s monochromatic, it doesn’t overwhelm you at all. Great job!

    • Lauren
      July 24, 2015

      Thanks so much, Peter!

  • Sonja
    July 23, 2015

    This is so cute! I’m generally pretty suspicious of paisley, too, but the colors in this are so nice!

    • Lauren
      July 24, 2015

      I think the colors are what did it for me. Can’t go wrong when it comes to blue!

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    July 25, 2015

    I’m guilty of loving paisley – I love this one because it’s not all crazy colours, just a lovely blue (what better colour for summer?!) and white. Super flattering pattern, love the back neckline.

  • Fiona
    August 1, 2015

    I love this on you Lauren, it’s not too loud at all! There’s so many lovely features to it which all work so well together, I especially like the shape across the shoulders at the back!