McCalls M5519

I voted in California tonight for the first time today. It was incredibly thrilling. The ballot was unfamiliar to me which made the process that much more exciting. Voting in Oregon and Washington, I only got to fill in circles with a pen or by punching holes. It was all manual, at-home style and not in the least bit thrilling. Tonight, there was a strip of paper with numbers and circles like a scantron form that slides into a plastic holder. The top of the holder has a laminated booklet with holes for voting. To cast a vote, you push a thick marker that has an ink dotter at the end into the slot of your choice. When you're all done, the strip is fed into a machine and you get a receipt, shown above. I was worried about accidentally voting for the wrong thing but of course it wasn't that hard to do.

Wearing a new outfit made the day that much more special. I finished this dress just in time. I used McCalls M5519, view B, and cut the size according to my measurements and the size chart. The pattern is advertised as a 1-hour pattern and although I know that is never accurate (for me anyway) this endeavor was far from a 1-hour project.

The pattern calls for stretch fabric so I assumed it would be a close fit. I really should have looked at the finished measurements. There is a full 4 inches of ease at the bust in the finished garment. To be fitted, a garment with stretch should have none or negative stretch. Suffice it to say, version one of this dress was way to large. I ended up taking in the sides, back and sleeves and raising the armholes. The finished version is roomy and comfortable and really shouldn't be any bigger.

In the process of finagling the size, I decided to add a collar. I didn't face the collar so it's a sort of floppy mock turtleneck. To make the collar I cut a rectangle to fit the opening and fold over for a self facing. The back closes with two buttons. The closure is not really needed because the dress pulls on easily. I like the finished result and think I'll wear the dress a lot. I had to make so many adjustments, I feel like I almost didn't use the pattern. The sizes are just S-M-L style instead of numbers. To use the correct size, I'd need to buy another pattern.


  1. I like it very much, you're right, there's nothing like wearing a newly finished outfit.
    For a different look you could even wear it with a belt, no?

  2. Good voter! I'm in No. California and watched the returned all night. And I was wearing a slinky skirt that my sister had given me and I managed to shorten without messing it up - so it was New Outfit at the Polls in CA Day! Your dress is really cute - belts, scarfs, necklaces, the options are limitless. Your gonna feel like you have a whole new wardrobe! Enjoy!

  3. will you come live with me and we can sew everyday? i love this dress! i've never done stretch fabric, do you need to have a serger?

  4. Accessories will definitely change up the dress. I'm sure I'll add a belt or sash at some point.

    Andrea, of course I'll come live with you but I don't want to live in the basement! I don't have a serger. I usually leave the edges raw because they don't unravel. I would love to have a serger though. It would make things much more nicely finished. I do have to experiment with needles to get a decent tension. Knits can be hard to work with when they stretch awkwardly.

  5. I've been afraid to sew with knit without a serger, but knowing you did it with a great end result has me rethinking my fear of knit fabric!

    Why is it that McCall's sizing is SO off? I think that is part of my problem with my dress that we have been discussing. I cut a size 12, even though in real life I am a 2 or 4.
    I read on yesterday several other people have experienced McCalls patterns being sized rather large. I just cut out a dress for my daughter who normally wears a 5. When I got home I held the bodice up to her and it was huge! I'm going to have to take about 2 inches off. But I'm glad to figure it out now than after it's finished!


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