Standing Up Only Dress

I’ve been admiring some lovely makes using the McCalls 2401 pattern. As is customary on Clipped Curves, my top three are:

1. Joanne’s gorgeous version using a vintage Liberty silk found at a vintage fair.
2. Alice’s blurry version (her words not mine) and she’s made stunning red polka dot and summery versions too!
3. An incredibly glamorous evening wear version by Mitali

I traced a size 6 up top and graded to an 8 to accommodate my hips. My toile looked ok but I decided it would benefit from wider darts in the back piece, raised bust darts, a bit of neck gape removed and widened arm holes. Not too bad, at least I avoided the dreaded small bust adjustment (see Shona’s post about the side effects of this adjustment – it’s like major pattern piece surgery with trade-offs, all of which I suffered from making my Sureau toile).



I ploughed straight into refashioning a dress I found in a charity shop that still had the original store labels attached. I salvaged the zip but it wasn’t long enough so I’ll save it for another make. The outer and lining fabrics were chopped up using the M2401 pattern pieces and I discovered cute horizontal pockets in the front of the dress that were also incorporated into my refashion.

Super satisfied with my invisible zip insertion and wrangling the spacial logistics of lining a dress, I excitedly tried it on. It looked great but was completely impractical for sitting down or breathing deeply. Hmm…



I tried on my toile again… tried sitting down and breathing deeply. Yep, I’d fitted it for standing up only. Why is learning by your mistakes such a painful process? What’s the funniest fitting mistake you’ve made? (you know I’m only asking so that I can feel better about this incident!)

Today is the last day you can enter my birthday giveaway. I’ll select a name at random from all those entered by midnight tonight. Good luck!


11 responses to “Standing Up Only Dress

  1. What a gorgeous dress and such a shame it’s standing only. Can you let it out a little? Or do you go to many cocktail parties that will need you to stand all night?

    • I think I can steal a smidgen if I unpick and narrow the seam allowances (ribs and hips, waist is fine) but I’m puzzled over where to ‘borrow’ some extra fabric from for the bust. Also it’s one heck of an unpicking task!

  2. I love the end product! Charity shop salvaging is one of the greatest thrills on earth!

  3. NO! I can’t believe it – the re-fashion/ remake looks so cool! It’s beautiful fabric – is it really a stand up dress only? Anything you can do to redeem it?

    • I was so cross with myself when I realised. I think I could use smaller seam allowances for the side seams to gain a bit more around the hips (for sitting) and ribs (for breathing). I can’t think how to get more in the bust… I can’t move the dart as I won’t have any seam allowance left.

  4. Wow, gorgeous dress. There is no way you could let this fabric go to waste, it’s too pretty. What if you added some elastic at the back seam to help it stretch to sitting down levels?

    • How do you mean? I was thinking about unpicking and making the seam allowances smaller around the hips.

      • Yes, unpicking and sewing in elastic, in an appropriate colour, to re-join the 2 seams and also then make it a design element. Unless u have enough seam allwance present to make the dress wide enough.

  5. Aww man! Great dress too bad about the minor problem! lol I have a dress that I can’t raise my arms in. So I very rarely wear it. If I know my work is going to be light that day and I won’t need in my filing cabinets I’ll wear it. too funny!

  6. You could add a contrast colour panel down both side seams (from under the armhole to the bottom of the dress) to make it look like an intentional design feature – create the slimming effect of a panelled body-con dress?!
    It would be a shame not to wear it – fab fabric!!

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