Linen McCalls 7743

From the leftover fabric from the sack dress, I made another dress! (The joys of having to buy a minimum amount of fabric. You get a second chance to make something cool!)

mccalls 7743 in linen

This is McCalls 7743, a dress pattern I’ve used many times. This time I made a different view, choosing the back without the cutout detail. In this next picture I am twisting my body it seems, as the zipper is straight but looks quite crooked here.

mccalls 7743 in linen back view

I left it unlined, for a cool breezy summer dress. I wanted to enjoy the benefits of the linen and not add lining fabric. This makes it breathable and cooler for hot summer days!

mccalls 7743 in linen 2

It is a bit sheer, so if you care about people seeing the outline of your legs through your dress, lining is probably a good idea. On really hot days, I could care less if you can see the shape of my legs! It’s still less revealing than wearing short shorts, and more comfortable for me too. On cooler days or if I feel self-conscious, I’ll wear a slip.

mccalls 7743 in linen 5

I added seam binding to the waistline for a waist stay. (You can see this method in more detail in this post.) In this fabric, it helps strengthen the waistline. Linen is delicate and seams can tear under strain. This should help! (So I can eat a big meal and not worry about busting the seams of my dress.)

mccalls 7743 in linen waist stay

I sewed a lapped zipper into the back, following the directions in my book. This method produces a nice result!

lapped zipper on mcals 7743

This dress is a different look than my first version with this fabric. Funny enough, both ended up with peachy-pink around the face, which is so pretty. There’s even the same purpley blob in the middle of the bodice!

vogue 8278 linen sack dress 3

One is loose and slouchy, one is fitted. One defines the waist with the cut of the dress, one relies on the belt. Both have the same facing construction where you slipstitch the inner shoulder seams, so it was repetitive and easy to sew.

mccalls 7743 in linen 4

I swear these shoes feel more flattering and cooler in real life. In photos they’re a bit flat and plain and shorten the legs.

I added a label – this big facing was a great place to use the biggest label! The facing piece was missing so I drafted a new one using the back piece as a guide.

mccalls 7743 in linen with made by me label

If you are sewing labels into a similar garment, sew the label to the facing first while it’s still flat. Make sure it is parallel to the centre back edge and square to the top edge, and there’s enough room to sew the seam allowances and not be near the label.

sew the label to the facing first

I even sewed the hook and eye to the top of the zipper opening. For some reason, this is one of my most-hated sewing steps.

mccalls 7743 in linen with made by me label 2

Since I’ve only sewed the view with the cut-out back, the back bodice is a little long. I didn’t notice on the other views, but next time I’ll pinch about half an inch out of the centre back length. It’s just a little roomy from neck to waist, when the waistline of the dress sits on my waist.

Side note: this was the most awkward outdoor photo session! A guy watched me the entire time. It was even worse than the selfie guy I mentioned in this post, at least that guy kept walking. This one offered to take my photo and then casually leaned against a pole about twenty feet away and watched me run back and forth. So incredibly awkward! Yet I didn’t want to waste the sunny day so I kept going.

mccalls 7743 in linen 3

I think I look better in this one than the sack dress, taller and slimmer overall. This is a much better style on my body shape. I am more excited to wear this version, which tells me something! (Next summer, that is. It’s starting to be past linen dress weather here.) There’s something to be said for sticking to silhouettes and patterns you know you love.

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26 Responses to Linen McCalls 7743

  1. Elisabeth October 14, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    The dresses look very similar, but this dress is so much prettier on you!

    • Tasia October 14, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      Thanks! I know eh? Same fabric, similar print placement, but one is cut to fit and the other is ‘belted’ to fit which is bulkier and requires more adjusting throughout the day.

  2. Sommer October 14, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    I didn’t think the other one looked bad, but this one looks great!

    • Tasia October 14, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      Thank you!

  3. Becky October 14, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    Great dresses! The print in lovely. I also like the tag, great touch.
    Haha I also hate sewing the hook and eye – it takes like two seconds, but it always seems like such a pain. So I rarely put them in.

    • Tasia October 14, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      I know eh? Such a silly thing to dislike. I’ll usually make invisible zippers go right to the top of the opening, no hook and eye required! That being said there are times where it’s really noticeable to leave it out, it can improve the finish to have a neat hook and eye bringing the edges together.

  4. McCall Pattern October 14, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    Really pretty dress on you and great fabric!

    • Tasia October 14, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      Hey, thanks! Thanks for a great pattern :)

  5. Kelly October 14, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    Such gorgeous fabric! I’m glad you ended up with a dress you really like out of it! I love the print placement on this fitted dress, with the dark colors near the bottom. Beautiful!

    • Tasia October 14, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      Thank you! Yes, this one’s much more ‘me’ and flattering to the figure. And better print placement!

  6. Melissa October 14, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    It’s awesome you had enough fabric to make 2 dresses. While I think the sack dress looks OK belted, this one is definitely more flattering on you. I love the placement of the print as well!

    I still have a few projects waiting for hook and eyes, it is a funny thing to be lazy about isn’t it?

    • Tasia October 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

      It totally is. Do you wear them even without the hook and eye, or are waiting to call them ‘finished’ once the hook’s been sewn?

  7. Katherine October 14, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Gorgeous dress, hands down a winner like all your other versions of this dress.Plus – gorgeous fabric!

    • Tasia October 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

      Thank you! Yes, there’s something nice about having a go-to dress pattern. Especially after trying something new and not loving it.

  8. Leigh October 14, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Funny how just a little bit of design change can make such a difference. Dress 2 is much more flattering on you. #1 is not bad really, but it is a bit ‘meh’. The print is great though. Perhaps you could change it to a skirt or peplum top (recut it) or something. No sense ‘wasting’ such a pretty print on a dress you’re likely to leave in the closet. Great job! And thanks for showing us the comparison!

    • Tasia October 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

      I’d considered recutting it into a peplum top, something like this one! Mostly because I love that top and wear it frequently, so I know I’ll wear it, and because the print will be nice with dark solid bottoms.
      It’s cool to see the comparison eh? It really shows how the cut of a garment can make a huge difference to how we look. Same body, same fabric, same shoes, same day even, but a different and more flattering cut.

  9. Sewbussted October 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    The dress is absolutely gorgeous on you.

  10. lisa g October 14, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    personally i like both dresses, but this one definitely seems more “you!” that fabric is gorgeous, i just love large scale prints. and ugh what a creeper! glad i have a picturesque backyard so i don’t have to deal with strange people leering…

  11. Natalie October 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    What a difference! I love this dress, it’s very “you” feminine and sophisticated and the linen will be lovely in summer, especially without all the excess fabric bunched up around your waist that the other pattern had.
    As for people involving themselves in your photoshoot, I know what you mean! So awkward!! I end up taking most of my photos in my front porch, purely because my yard is overlooked, at incredibly close distance, by 4 apartment balconies… they love to lean over and watch “the real life show” photoshoots, gardening and hanging out the washing are all of interest it seems! No one has offered to come down and help me yet! ;)

  12. Noelle October 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    I love it! I have a similar body shape to you and I just do not like sack dresses on myself. Maybe you should try a shift dress next! I was pleasantly surprised when I made one for myself as I usually only wear fit and flare style dresses.

  13. Lucy October 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    This one’s really elegant and super-flattering! I can see it going from work to evening with little more than a change of shoes. The other one is nice, but definitely on the casual side.

    I also think this one somehow shows off the colours better.

  14. Imogheena Farandel October 15, 2014 at 5:20 am #

    Oh this is heaps better! It’s very flattering on you. And I’m also now, in this context, looking at the fabric thinking ‘that’s such beautiful fabric, too!’ Whereas in the first dress I wasn’t seeing it.

    I think this dress will also be a lot more versatile as well.

  15. Rebecca October 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    This one is so pretty! Funny how different the same fabric can look in a slightly different style. I just wanted to thank you, I’ve spent the last month going through your archives and read from 2010 tip now! While I’ve been sewing for a couple of years, I am just about to begin sewing clothes, and am so excited to begin! I’ve been dreaming about it for a while, and have far too many projects on my list already. I’ve learnt so much from all of your posts, and feel confident as I start my first skirt, the Hollyburn, as soon as the pattern arrives! Thank you!

  16. Lora October 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm #


    I just got your book. It will be a great reference tool. Your mom must be very proud of you. One can tell how hard you worked. Very nice job!! Money well spent on my part.


  17. Diana October 19, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    That is so cute! Because you made both dresses from the same fabric, it’s very clear how much shaping impacts the result.

  18. Vanessa October 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    I think both dresses look great on you.
    The Vogue dress worn belted would be great in a casual setting. The McCalls is a little more polished for occasions when that’s needed.
    Love the label tip!