The Notary Dress

Notary Dress

This weekend I finished my "Notary Dress" I showed a peek of last week. It's made of a navy blue wool/poly blend with an Egyptian cotton lining in the sleeves and bodice. The pattern is McCall's M5972 View A, but I've made a number of changes.


M5972 View A

I've been wanting a classic navy blue dress for a while, and I picked the pattern for a number of reasons:

  • The class silhouette. The straight skirt in particular, was different from anything else in my full-skirted closet.
  • The open yoke. I knew I wanted to add some horizontal pleating to the yoke of the dress, so I selected a pattern where I wouldn't have to deal with moving any darts or seams.
  • Wide neckline. I wanted a boatneck, which I find very flattering. From the envelope illustration this appeared to be a fit but in reality it was more of a wide scoop.
  • On a side note, when it comes to patterns from the major publishers, my preference goes Vogue, McCall's, then Butterick. I've worked with Burdastyle patterns, but never a Burda one.  Maybe I need to branch out?


( If you're curious, the necklace, which I love, was purchased at the most recent Picnic fair, but the artist, Kriya, also has an Esty shop.)

So in terms of modifications, I made a ton. My go-to guide to design modifications is Adele P. Margolis's Make Your Own Dress Patterns. For fitting modifications, I use Fit for Real People.

  • As with all commercial patterns, I cut out the pattern on different size lines for the bodice and skirt to match the envelope measurements, smoothing the lines with a french curve.
  • I redrafted the neckline as a boatneck.
  • During the tissue fitting (Gertie has a great series on tissue fitting that I highly recommend), I took a wedge out of the center front, to make the neckline lie flat and so the center of the pattern lined up on my center. I also rolled the shoulder seam forward about a 1/2 inch, which is typical for me.
  • The bodice fitted, I cut out the lining and then went back to the pattern piece and added my three horizontal pleats. Each pleat is about an inch wide, with an inch folded under, so I added two inches at each pleat point. I will mention that once I got it on my body, I had to refold the top pleat some to get it to lie flat. I also blind-stitched the pleats downs.
  • Raised the waist seam an inch or so to match my natural waistline.
  • Added cap sleeves. I used the "sport sleeve" instructions from Margolis' book. Basically, I traced the armhole and then made a few muslins that I based into the actual dress until the fit was right.
  • Because I added the sleeve, it made the side zipper a little difficult. If I had been smart, I would have added a seam allowance to the back and moved the zipper there. As it is, there's no closure, I just pull the dress on over my head, which works, but is not ideal. Actually getting it on is fine, getting the dress off is a little more difficult.
  • I ended up slimming the extra I had cut into the skirt at the hips, so a smoother silhouette.

So after all that, how do I think it turned out?? Hmmm....

Notary Dress

I give it my official seal of approval. (Seriously, I love this dress!!)

Notary Seal of Approval

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly