Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vintage McCalls 4762 Baby Doll dress Pattern from 1976 aka the Marcia Brady Dress

Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Finally finished the baby doll dress that I think Marcia Brady would have love. As I previously mentioned I was working on this floral baby doll dress using my vintage McCalls 4762 dress pattern from 1976. I will be the first to admit that I am a fan of fashion from the 60s and 70s. I was a big fan of the 60s and 70s fashion revival that happened in the early to mid 90s. Baby doll dresses, mod styled dresses, velvet leggings, long vests, palazzo pants and bell bottoms. Okay I didn’t really wear the bell bottoms, but I did wear my dad’s Navy issued dungaree pants which were pretty retro to me. I was pretty styling during my high school years. I still have a love for that era, which is probably why I was drawn to this pattern. Very Marsha Brady. I see a whole slew of these dresses made from various fabrics for my Fall wardrobe. For now I finished my first version using Rayon Challis from Fabric Mart.

Pattern Review (The Pros): The pattern was very easy to follow and came together rather quickly. Does this mean my sewing skills are getting better? The dress would have probably been finished earlier if I hadn’t insisted on using French seams to finish the seams for most of the dress. I love how finished the dress looks from the inside.

Back View

The Cons: My only gripe about the pattern as it is for all dress patterns from the 70s is the ease they add into the design. I added ½ inch to the side seams for the bodice and sleeves because this was a size 14, but left the skirt portion alone. I found out that I really didn’t need the half inch for the bodice, but should have taken out at least ½-1 inch from the side seams for the skirt portion. The gathering was so big that it made me look pregnant. I had to sew on a sash to get a more fitted and flattering look.

Gratuitous Picture with Buni

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes, except I added a sash, which you could hardly see and lace trim around the neckline and sleeve edge.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes, because I thought that a size 14 might be too fitted for me. I added ½ inch to the side seams for both bodice pieces. Turns out I didn’t need to add it and would have fit the size 14 just fine. Also because the bodice was so loose I didn’t need to add the zipper and could easily slipped the dress over my head. Had to add a sash to give me some shape because the skirt was too gathered to look flattering on me. I will need to keep these changes in mind for the next version of the dress.

Sad attempt at getting the two kids to pose with me.

Pattern Level: Experienced beginner since you will be doing a sleeve and zipper insertion.

What could I have done better? I should have trusted my gut and not added the ½ inch to the side seams although I felt that the ½ inch to the side seams of the sleeve portion made it a perfect fit for me. Also think I should have used a solid colored fabric for my sash since the busy print makes it blend into the dress.

Would you sew this pattern again? Already in the middle of making version number 2 with the changes I noted from making this dress.

Pattern: McCalls 4762 circa 1976 purchased from Retribution Vintage on Etsy.

Fabric: Rayon challis from Fabric Mart.

Techniques: Sleeve insertion, gathering, French seams and invisible zipper.