Split up, Wrap up [McCall’s 7185].

I’ve wanted to make this dress as soon as I saw the pattern envelope. A fitted wrap dress with a split, and rolled up sleeves. I could never find something similar in shops that fit my 5’0″ stature, so why not try to make one? Not being experienced with pattern fitting and grading, I think I got lucky this time.

  • Pattern: McCall’s 7185, View B, with separate pieces for cups A/B, C and D.
  • Size made:  US 6-14 included, I made size 6 in cup A/B.
  • Pattern pieces: 11 for view B (without pockets)
  • Fabric used: Cotton Sateen [97% cotton, 3% spandex],  127cm width, 3m long, made in China, bought from Spotlight
  • New Techniques used: First time trying a true wrap design; Making buttonholes; Sleeve tabs.
  • Modifications: Eliminated pockets.
McCall’s 7185. The description on the pattern envelope is “Wrap dress have fitted bodice, waist band, skirt variations, stitched hem, snap and hook & eye closure.” I made View B, which is what the model is wearing.


View B: “Rolled, below elbow sleeves with button tab. Mock bands, semi-fitted skirt, pockets. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C, D.”
Photo from here.


Eleven pattern pieces when the pocket is eliminated. I would have made the pocket if my fabric was plain, but with the print I thought it would be too cluttered.


According to the suggested sizing, I should have made 6/8/10 for B/W/H, but I cut a straight 6 knowing there is so much ease in Big 4 patterns. Above, the facing for neck and bodice is continuous in the wrap design.


Bodice done. It fits me without any grading. As it is a true wrap design, there is some leeway as to how tightly you overlap the pieces at the front to fit the body.


The two front skirt pieces are mirror images of each other, and the edges are faced. Actually, as I’ve posted on Instagram, the skirt pieces are darted, ease-stitched, interfaced, self-faced, understitched, basted, overlocked, pressed and then top-stitched…


Skirt done. It also fits my hips, which is surprising given the discrepancy between their suggestion and what I cut – but again, being a wrap design, it offers some window of error.


First time making sleeve tabs, and more importantly, BUTTONHOLES! I’ve been avoiding them for years thinking they are too difficult…my first 20+ garments had no buttons for a reason. I finally tried it on my sewing machine and it took all of 5 minutes!


Finished garment. This actually took about 30 hours to make. I had to go very slowly especially with top-stitching all the way around the neck, bodice and skirt edges.


The front flap is held by metal snaps and bar-hook closure at the waistband.


I tacked the roll-up sleeves in place, as I will never wear it unrolled (it doesn’t have a cuff), and I can’t be bothered rolling it every time. The buttons have a shell-iridescent base with pink and purple swirls on top.


Back view. Being short, I usually have to shorten the skirt piece by 10+cm. I did not alter the skirt length here, and you can see that the dress is supposed to be above-knee, on the model, but on me it is clearly below the knee.



I think I got lucky this time, making a somewhat fitted garment with reasonable results, without making any adjustments or pattern grading, while cutting a size that clearly deviates from what is suggested by the company. It was stressful every step of the way, not knowing if it would fit or not and whether the garment is wearable in the end! The most sensible thing to do is to make a muslin, but I just don’t have the motivation to do so…gotta thank my lucky stars.



17 thoughts on “Split up, Wrap up [McCall’s 7185].

  1. The dress is so beautiful, and it’s perfect on you. You can definitely pull off that high split in the front, too! I think leaving off the pockets was the right call–they would have taken away from the sleek look of the dress + fabric combo. Lovely work (as usual)!

    1. Thanks Mads! I think the pockets would suit a military-looking fabric, I can see that version with some studs added. But after deciding to use a floral I left out the pocket. Glad you share the same view :)

  2. This is so good-looking. I reflexively liked the pattern when it came out, but every time I look at it in my stash their version on the front of the envelope made it really hard for me to see the potential. You really saw it, and version is just so much nicer!

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I think one of the most exciting part of dressmaking is the imagination involved, merging fabric, pattern and wearer. Lucky this one worked for me, not all of them did! :p

  3. Really beautiful. I love your choice of fabric. I’ve made the full skirt version as I would be worried about the amount of leg I would flash, but the sleeker version is definitely more attractive.

    1. I like the full skirt version as well, sleek on top balanced with movement and volume on bottom. I didn’t have enough fabric in my stash for it though! And yes…for sleek version…there is some unintentional leg flashing involved ^_^”

  4. Such a beautiful dress! I’m not usually one for wrap dresses, but this is such a cool twist. Great shape, and wonderful execution!

  5. After seeing your dress, I went and bought this pattern, I am going to make the flare skirt tho. LOVE your new blog MC!

    1. Bird!!!! I’m so happy to see you here! My blog is 8 years old and not many visitors but it’s a record for myself more than anything :) Do you have instagram? Please please (re)consider a blog/instagram, so many people including me would be ecstatic to see your creations (I’m not on Facebook or PR a lot)!

  6. Congrats on making buttonholes for the first time! Not so scary, huh? I don’t think I have this pattern. I’m a little wary of wrap dresses. I’m always worried a quick breeze will leave me exposed. I cannot believe you are still tracing out pattern pieces. Are you located in the US? You know if you make a mistake you can just buy this pattern again for a dollar! Anyway, your fabric choice is super gorgeous. You’ve made me reconsider the wrap dress! I want to sew one up now, too.

    1. Thanks Carmen! I’ve debated with myself about tracing and have traced some, cut some. If they were $1 I’d buy two of every pattern! I think I have a tendency to keep things as they are after I use them, hence tracing. I bet I’ll be too time-poor one day that I’ll just cut everything!

      1. I used to trace commercial patterns, too, I swear! But once you abandon all that, it’s so much faster and easier. Plus, your skills are to the point now where you can make fit adjustments as you go along. And you can fold up your tissue pattern pieces and put them back in the envelope for safe keeping.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s