Friday, 11 May 2018

McCalls M7547Dungarees: Floral Edition! Pattern Review

It is such a treat to be able to use amazing photos taken by a professional photographer for a pattern review!  These dungarees were made as a Reader Review for Love Sewing magazine and I thought I'd share here how I got on sewing the pattern. Photos are by Renata Stonyte.

It's a jeans and overalls pattern with lots of potential for customised elements, two leg silhouettes are included and length variations.  The fabric recommendations are for stretch wovens and I went with a stretch sateen as I wanted to wear these in Spring and I didn't want anything too bulky for the pockets and seams.  Big florals are everywhere and although it's a bold print, the dark background felt a bit safer!  Mine came from Josie at Fabric Godmother,  this is a similar fabric, still available. I did make up a tester to check fit out of some weird stretch cotton from my stash. It was worth doing. Unlike many big four patterns, this one doesn't have much ease, I ended up making a size 12 which matched my body measurement on the sizing info.

There are a lot of marks to transfer so it's worth a double check before you unpin the tissue pieces from the fabric!   I read some reviews before I started sewing - lots of sewing bloggers have made this pattern- and many people mentioned the short straps so I cut them a few inches longer.  I also added 2 1/2" to the waistband length as the original style is fitted at the waist like a pair of close-fitting trousers- I wanted something more relaxed!  I also straightened the legs from around the knee downwards, again for a relaxed feel.

It's a systematic make: I batch stitched elements like the pockets- prepping them all together and then sewing the topstitching one after the other.  I find it easier to get consistency with my settings this way.  The pockets are all patch style and I basted each one to get accuracy and placement symmetry. The instructions are quite detailed but there's no guidance on when to finish your seams so I'd advise reading ahead and planning accordingly. 

Quilting tools often come in handy for dressmaking.  I used a Hera Marker to crease all the pocket edges that needed turning before I pressed them.  I also used Clover water pencils to transfer marks and a seam gauge to check placements, topstitching, hems- everything really!

I added Liberty cotton lawn interlining to the front and back bibs to keep the fabric stable- no stretch is needed on these sections.  I did find it a little fiddly getting my straps to meet perfectly on the back bib and had to narrow the top of the back bib to get the inner triangle facing and staps to fit neatly.

Happily, I didn't need much in the way of fitting adjustments.  The front low crotch was a bit saggy- no one wants that!  So I reduced the top inner thigh seams a little and the sagginess was banished.  The biggest change I made was to omit the ease stitching at the waist for a looser fit. I made sure all my pieces were centralised front and back when adding the waistband and it all worked out well. The waistband sits just above my high hip rather than the original high waist fit. 

Amy's version looks lovely in the dark denim.  She sewed up the same size so you can see how the ankle taper in more on hers. Read her review here!.  It's a satisfying pattern to sew and could be a good base for other stretch trouser shapes, can't wait to get some more wear out of these!


  1. My favourite thing about this whole post is your smile! You are usually very reflective, but you just shine here!

  2. What super pictures and the dungarees really suit you and fit just perfectly. I prefer the relaxed fit for looks and comfort. Perhaps you should modelling to your list of talents!

  3. Beautiful fabric, great fit, lovely models - well done :)

  4. Beautiful outfits. You are both such pretty models. I always had such problems sewing pants - love how you made them fit so perfectly.


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