Hi my friends! It has been a very long time since I’ve written a blog post. I would give you a detailed list of excuses, but I like you all too much to burden you with such a lengthy list.
As mentioned in the title, this post features a fabric review of Mood Fabrics’ Cityscapes Digitally Printed Cotton Sateen Fabric, and pattern review of McCall’s M7351 classic shirt dress. This delicious fabric was sponsored to me by Mood Fabrics in exchange for an honest review and blog post. It was a treat to work with this fabric, and I’m thrilled I have the opportunity to share my fabric review with you. Along with my review of the fabric and pattern, I will share a few details of how I made this shirt dress and how I achieved the final look.
First, I want to share some exciting news about my recent collaboration with Mood Fabrics and what you can expect to read on this blog in the next few months. Yes! I will be posting on this blog site more regularly. I know! It’s a shock to me as well. But re-establishing my blog and writing about my recent sewing makes is on my 2020 resolution list, and this opportunity with Mood Fabrics is the push I needed to reconnect with the blog community.
Several months ago, I put in an application to become part of the Mood Sewing Network, which entails reviewing fabrics of my choice from the Mood Fabrics’ website, and writing a review about these fabrics on my blog. I was contacted a short time later by the Digital Media Director and was given the opportunity to review a few of Mood’s fabrics for three months. In the coming months, I will be sharing my review of several fabrics that will be selected by me from the Mood Fabrics’ website. All of the upcoming projects that I will be sewing as part of this collaboration will be sponsored to me by Mood Fabrics. My membership in the Mood Sewing Network is a three month commitment; therefore, you will see at least one project sponsored by Mood Fabrics on this blog each month, starting with the project I’m sharing with you today. Click on the badge below, if you are not familiar with Mood Fabrics and shop the site. I’m sure you’ll find something you like!
I haven’t made any definitive choices about the type of fabrics or patterns I want to use in the upcoming months. However, I have a few ideas for what I want to make next. I’ll share more of those ideas in a later post. Stay tuned!
In addition, Mood Fabrics has generously offered my followers 10% off their purchase at Mood Fabrics. I’ll be posting the code for this discount on my Instagram feed and stories. So, tune in and follow me on instagram. Lastly, I will be hosting a giveaway within the coming weeks or month. This giveaway is also sponsored by Mood Fabrics. So, here is another reason why you should stay tuned and up-to-date on my current posts and follow my various social media accounts. Okay! Let’s get into the fabric and pattern review. This month I am reviewing Mood Fabrics’ Cityscapes Flowers and Foliage Fabric and the McCall’s M7351 pattern. Let’s start with the fabric!!!
Mood Fabrics’ Cityscapes Flowers & Foliage Fabric
It didn’t take long for me to put this beautiful cotton sateen fabric in my cart after I first laid eyes on it! This fabric is so gorgeous, a luxurious blue floral fabric, and if you have been following me on my various social media you know I LOVE the color blue, especially rich blue hues. This fabric is dreamy; I’m still swooning over this fabric. The Cityscapes Flowers and Foliage fabric is a stretch mercerized organic cotton woven fabric rich in color and smooth in texture, almost like a matte satin. What does all of that mean? Well for starters, when a fabric goes through the mercerization process the strength of the fabric is increased by 10 – 50% allowing for a more durable garment that can last much longer. There’s also an increase of luster. So, the fabric has the appreance of a low sheen matte satin fabric. Another bonus is that mercerized fabrics such as this one has a lower shrinkage rate (when washed). Finally, mercerized fabrics are rich in sheen and color, and the sheen and colors in the fabric are less likely to fade over time.
This fabric is 97% cotton and 3% elastane. As such, it has a slight stretch on the crosswise grain of the fabric. It has an abstract floral design with cityscapes printed on a light and medium blue background. The orange, yellow, and burgundy colors in this piece compliments the fabric and adds for an interesting take on cityscape fabric designs. Although this is a cityscapes fabric with medium sized buildings located in the background, the buildings surrounded by flowers and foliage adds to the fabric’s unique abstract design. In addition, the floral designs are charming and located in the foreground of the fabric leading the eye to the most prominent and striking details. I love this Brazilian abstract design, and I’m excited to purchase a few more yards to add to my sewing stash.
Handling the Fabric
This fabric has a very soft hand and a silky fluid drape. Although it has the appearance and feel of a silky fine fabric, it behaves much like a 100% non-stretch cotton woven fabric. Therefore, it provides much stability and requires much less hassle while sewing. Simply put, it sews up wonderfully! The drape of the fabric doesn’t provide any challenges while sewing and it’s a fun fabric to work with. To learn more about and purchase this beautiful fabric visit Moods’ website here.
McCall’s M7351 Review and Experience
Initially, it was hard for me to settle on a pattern to use for this fabric. I wanted to select a pattern that would compliment the fabric and match the theme of the design. At first glance, I think of a simple shirt dress with a fit and flare style or a simple pleated skirt. Before I received the fabric in the post, I started testing several shirt dress patterns that I had in my pattern stash. The first pattern that I tested was the most notable Simplicity 8014. This is a pattern that has been circulating in the sewing community for quite some time, and for good reason.
This pattern is simple in construction with a few great details. Although I would love to use this pattern in an upcoming project, I was unable to use it for this current project because I did not have enough fabric. I also considered a few other shirt dress patterns; however, I ran into the same problem. Finally, I came across the McCall’s M7351. This is a classic and simple button up shirt dress that I adore. The pattern comes with four views that consists of sleeve, length, and hem variations. In addition, the pattern has a front facing for the button placket, a collar-band, collar, and it comes with a cute little belt pattern. The pattern calls for 8 – 1/2” buttons. I used a medium blue plastic buttons purchased from Joann Fabrics.
For this project I decided to make variation B, which is the shirt dress with the rounded hem. However, I omitted the pockets placed over the breast and the long sleeves with tabs. Instead, I placed the pockets on the skirt (as soon on view A), and I used the pattern for view D sleeves (as shown on the model).
This pattern features a back yoke with two inverted pleats. Although I did not have any problems sewing this pattern, I would most likely omit the inverted pleats in future garments. It’s not something that’s appealing to me.
Ideally, it would take an intermediate sewist such as myself about 2-3 hours to make this pattern. However, I had to make a great deal of modifications and adjustments to this pattern, so it took me longer than expected to complete the project. This pattern is rated as easy for someone with limited sewing skills such as an advanced beginner. However, this pattern requires buttonhole skills.
Modifications and Adjustments
The McCall’s M7351 pattern comes with cup sizes that range from A – D. I selected a size 16 , C cup for this project. But I still had to do an 1/2 inch FBA. Since I’m short waisted, I also had to shorten the waist by 1” to bring the waistline of the pattern to my natural waistline. I did this alteration to the front and back pattern pieces. The bust dart’s position was to high for me as well. So, I repositioned the bust dart moving it down by an 1/2”. I also made a bicep/width adjustment to the sleeve pattern using the pivot method by Professor Pincushion. This is a method that I’ve been using for years and it is definitely worth learning. I added 2” to this bicep adjustment, placing an extra inch on each side of the sleeve pattern. Finally, the skirt was a tad bit short for me, so I lengthened the skirt pattern by 2”. This was surprising to me because I never have to lengthen a skirt. Instead, I mostly shorten my skirts when working with commercial patterns.
Initially, I didn’t make all of these adjustments at the same time. I made approximately 3 – 4 mockups of this pattern before I was able to get the desired results. Although I am quite pleased with how this garment turned out, there are a few changes I would like to make for better results in the future.
Mainly, I would like to shorten the back bodice between the mid back section and the waistline. There is a bit of extra fabric in this area that I would like to pin out. Additionally, I would include a waist dart in the front of the garment for shaping. I added a waist dart to my altered pattern when I include the 1/2” FBA. However, I did not include this change in my finished garment. The next time I make this pattern, I will certainly include this change in my garment.
After making all of these necessary adjustments to get a better fit, I also made a simple modification to the collar band for personal preference and comfort. I added a snap to the collar band in the place of the buttonhole and button. Mostly, the buttonhole and button method is very uncomfortable for me and I often feel like I’m suffocating. Therefore, I find the snaps to be most comfortable for me.
Lastly, I want to briefly talk about the belt that I made for this garment. As I mentioned above, the McCall’s M7351 pattern comes with a belt pattern. I used this pattern to make the navy blue belt that you see in these pictures. The belt was made with a navy blue 100% Supima cotton fabric that was purchased from Joann fabrics. This cotton fabric is one of Joann Fabrics’ high-quality luxurious cotton fabrics, and compliments this cityscapes fabrics beautifully. Since the dark blues in the Cityscapes fabric doesn’t stand out as much as the other colors in this piece, I decided to make a contrasting belt that would bring the navy blues in the dress out more. I’m not certain if I was successful in doing this. However, I do like how the belt looks with this dress. What do you think?
I purchased the buckle from Joann Fabrics as well. Although I’m not too thrilled about how this “diamond” buckle looks with this dress, it was the only buckle I had in my stash at the time. I will most likely change it for a different one later. The belt pattern was very simple and easy to sew. It consist of one long pattern piece with a diagonal slant at one end of the pattern. Essentially, you will apply interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric and with right sides together stitch the belt together leaving an opening to turn the belt right side out. You press the belt with an iron and top stitch the belt in place. Afterwards, you will add your buckle to the squared end of the belt.
In sum, I’m over the moon with this beautiful shirt dress, and I’m quite pleased with the finished results. I would definitely purchase this fabric and make the pattern again.
Since we are all experiencing a world-wide pandemic due to Covid-19, I’m not able to get much wear out of this garment. However, I am excited for the day when I can wear this luxurious floral dress to a dining restaurant with hubby or to a Sunday church service. I’m thankful to the team over at Mood Fabrics for giving me this opportunity to work with one of their most prized fabrics. This is definitely a fabric you want in your stash.
That about sums up this review. I hope you’ve enjoyed this review! I hope to hear your thoughts about my final look and review.
Until next time my friends, stay creative!