Pattern review and photo-shoot for Love Sewing magazine

Pattern review McCalls 7536

I was recently given the opportunity by  Amy…Love Sewing’s editor, to review McCalls 7536 and to go for a photo shoot for the magazine….how cool is that!!!

The pattern, that is free with this month’s mag, has different skirt style options and sleeve options, with two styles of neckline. I think the possibilities are endless for the different vibes that you could get depending on fabric choice and style. Imagine a net petticoat under the full skirt for a 50’s vibe! You could even go longer on the skirt too.

Pattern review McCalls 7536

I wanted a casual look for my dress that I could glam up with accessories if I wanted too, so I decided to make view A with the small capped sleeve, ‘V’ neck back and front, and the ‘A’ line skirt. Guthrie and Ghani kindly provided the fabric and I chose a lovely linen/rayon blend chambray because  I figured the denim vibe was perfect for what I wanted.

I made a toile for the bodice section only and cut a size 12 for my bust and shoulders (I’m quite square shouldered). I sometimes need to go a little bigger for my waist so I graded out slightly at the waistline from the 12. The fit was really good straight away so the sizing of the pattern was spot on, with just the right amount of ease. I ended up adding about a half inch to the waist length and I made a couple of other minor fit tweaks which were to make the shoulder seams a bit less sloped and to raise the armhole depth about a half inch. I also added 1 inch to the skirt length.

Pattern review McCalls 7536
Me and Amy, Love Sewing’s editor

The instructions were quite easy to follow and pretty detailed, however I did a couple of extra steps m, self….I added iron-on stay tape down each sloped edge of the neckline within the seam allowance to prevent stretching as the neckline is on the diagonal grain the and I also reinforced the bottom of the ‘v’ with a little piece of interfacing ironed on the wrong side over the ‘V’ area so that when you slash right into the point it helps to prevent fraying.

I couldn’t resist adding in-seam pockets at the side seams of my dress…because, you know…pockets! ….Who doesn’t love a dress with pockets…hehe. I topstitched with two rows down the sides including the pockets and I also stitched all around the waist, hem, neck and sleeves. I used coral pink thread and love the effect of it. By the way, to get enough intensity of colour I used two strands of thread and a topstitch needle to accommodate the extra thickness. I rarely use proper topstitch thread as I find it tricky to use. To add a nice finishing touch to the whole dress I lined it in a fine white cotton lining which feels so nice and cool to wear.

Can we just talk about the photo shoot now? What a blast I had! It was lovely to meet Amy and also the other ladies who did the photography and makeup…. I loved having my makeup done and took note of how my eyeshadow was done and the colours used, which were nice bronze-browns and rust tones. Although I felt a bit nervous, to begin with, I really enjoyed the whole experience in the end and had a laugh along the way (I wanted to steal those pink shoes by the way, as they fit pretty well 😉 ) I love the resulting photos (hope you do too).

Pattern review McCalls 7536

Pattern review McCalls 7536

Pattern review McCalls 7536

Pattern review McCalls 7536

It’ll be back to normal on the blog next time with my own photos. I’ve got a couple of sewing projects lined up and hope to share soon. Until then, thanks for stopping by x


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  1. June 17, 2017 / 10:39 am

    The photos look fab! Love the dress, makeup and shoes. Glad it went well.

    • Diane G
      June 17, 2017 / 12:58 pm

      Thanks so much Manju. I’m pleased how it went as I was so nervous the day before!

  2. Helen
    June 17, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    You look gorgeous Diane, and obviously had a blast! Love all the ways you made this pattern your own – what a great summer dress!

    • Diane G
      June 17, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      Ooh thanks Helen. So glad you like it. And yeah, I was surprised at how I ended up enjoying the photo shoot 😊

  3. June 19, 2017 / 4:31 am

    Great photos! And I love the dress too – I especially like that you added the topstitching on it. Very nice work!

    • Diane G
      June 19, 2017 / 7:06 am

      Thanks Linda! Glad you like the topstitching. I wanted to break up the plain fabric and I enjoy topstitching too.

  4. Zoe
    June 19, 2017 / 6:07 am

    You look great, I love the chambray you chose as well! 🙂

    • Diane G
      June 19, 2017 / 7:08 am

      Thanks so much Zoe! It’s actually the first time of using chambray and I really like it.

  5. June 19, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    How lovely! This dress looks great on you. I love your fabric choice too.

    • Diane G
      June 19, 2017 / 1:20 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind comment Eli Cat!

  6. Karie
    June 22, 2017 / 10:17 am

    What a gorgeous dress and how fun to be featured in a sewing magazine! Is this a UK mag or can we get it over here in the US too?

    • Diane G
      June 22, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Hi Karie. Thank you! Yes it was great fun and a wonderful opportunity for me. Love Sewing magazine is available in UK shops but for overseas you can take our a subscription to have it posted to you or you can subscribe digitally. I have linked to the website in my post above if you want a look 😊

  7. Jane Henshaw
    June 26, 2017 / 6:08 am

    Gorgeous Diane, what a great thing to do, lovely dress and what fun.

    • Diane G
      June 26, 2017 / 7:14 am

      Ah, thank you Jane. It was fun for sure!

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