Circa 1930 - McCall's 7154

My copy of Sew Today magazine arrived yesterday.
There's actually two new Vogue patterns I like!
And a double page spread showing McCall's 7154.

It is a beautiful 1930's evening dress with great details.  Unfortunately I don't have anywhere to wear exquisite gowns to and I'm not sure how flattering the skirt would be on me.  I didn't want this to stop me so before Christmas I set about making the bodice into a top to wear with jeans.
Here's how it turned out...

I think this is a way of making the design much more wearable but as usual I didn't really leave myself enough time.  I'll get it over with and show the unfinished insides of shame now.

I used a wine coloured silk crepe de chine which was lovely to sew with.  I don't think I've made anything with real silk before and was surprised at how tough it was to cut and iron - I couldn't get some of the creases out no matter how hard I tried.  The back seam wouldn't press flat at all.

I cut the over-bodice wider and longer and the under-bodice slightly wider at the back.  I couldn't figure out quite how to eliminate the zip in the original, I think if I was going to try this again I might cut the over-bodice back on the fold.

I really love the pleats at the shoulder and the cut outs look really beautiful but you have to sew very accurately and clip to the corners fearlessly.

I didn't quite manage to get the bands attached smoothly at the front which I am blaming McCall's for as nowhere in the pattern does it tell you how to do this!  Honestly.  Step 22 tells you to leave the ends free.  Step 54 sort of tells you what to do with the back band edges but its really unclear and I wasn't putting in the zip anyway. No step tells you how to attach the front bands.  Do they proof read their pattern instructions at all?


So as long as you don't look to closely this is a really lovely top and I'm now on the look out for other great 1930s gown patterns to convert.
What period details do you love?  How do you incorporate them into your wardrobe?


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  2. I honestly wouldn't notice the little mistakes unless you pointed them out. and as for the inside, well that is just nobody else's business!
    I think you've done an amazing job on what looks like a tricky pattern.

  3. Thanks! It really is a lovely design.

  4. I'm making a bridesmaid dress from this pattern and I'm in the muslin stage. I don't understand the figure for step 11 at all. What's going on with those shoulders? I think I'm just going to stitch them right sides together for the sake of fitting the muslin, but if you have any tips, that'd be great! It was a genius idea to make this into a top and I love the color you chose.

    1. I think you are doing it right. You open the front and back shoulders and sew them right sides together which sounds like what you've decided to do. The armhole edges should then be enclosed and the neck edges will come together (wrong sides) but still be unfinished - you then tack these together in step twelve to enclose later in step 21. I found it helpful to look at what I was aiming for in the next step. The bit I didn't quite figure out was how to finish the bodice bands at the front, the instructions didn't seem to cover that. Hope this helps, I'd love to see pictures if you want to leave a link!

    2. Thanks. I sewed it wrong several times before finally figuring it out. I don't understand the bodice band finishing either...will probably just wing it! I finished my first bodice muslin and it was waaay too small. I don't know what I was thinking when I traced my pattern. Starting over with bodice muslin number 2 tonight. At least I understand the construction better now, right? My super-neglected blog is It might be late June til I post this garment.

    3. I gave your genius top version a shout-out on my blog...I hope you don't mind!


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