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Author Topic: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?  (Read 2251 times)

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Offline isakswings

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Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« on: February 19, 2012, 03:09:03 PM »
I found this vintage pattern and I want it! The skirt variations are reason enough for me to want it. :) I have been wanting a petal skirt pattern and this pattern has one! Anyway... does anyone have experience with them and if so, did you like the pattern? My mom likes McCall patterns a lot...esp their older patterns so maybe this one would be ok? This seller has it in a size 8 which would fit dd's measurements.

http://www.bonanza.com/listings/Misses-Bodysuits-w-Neckline-Sleeve-Skirt-Variations-Pattern-12-McCall-s-7350/45694917

Offline Skittl1321

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 03:41:35 PM »
I haven't used them, but I would say since you have experience sewing skating dresses it should work fine.  Just compare the pattern pieces to what you are used to- if they are way different, you might want to make adjustments.

I find once I've made a garment a few times, I stop paying attention to specific instructions of a particular pattern anyway.  I just need it for the basic shape.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 04:11:00 PM »
The pattern looks fun. I did a lot of mcCall's patterns back in the 60's when I was a teenager. They're straightforward, with nothing hidden from the sewer.

What I want is a pattern for skating from the 1940's or early 50s.
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Offline aussieskater

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 04:17:48 PM »
Wow thanks for the link.  Lovely skirt variations indeed.  I've never seen a pattern for some of those variations.  The seller had it in a 14, which I've just bought, and it's hopefully winging its way across the oceans to me.

Offline isakswings

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 04:36:35 PM »
I haven't used them, but I would say since you have experience sewing skating dresses it should work fine.  Just compare the pattern pieces to what you are used to- if they are way different, you might want to make adjustments.

I find once I've made a garment a few times, I stop paying attention to specific instructions of a particular pattern anyway.  I just need it for the basic shape.

I am the same way. I want to try a specialty Sportswear pattern but I have heard their patterns are confusing so I have yet to buy one. I was thinking just today that I could probably put a dress together without instructions. LOL. I was thinking the McCalls pattern looks like it might fit with my other patterns. I've mixed and matched before with success, so I am thinking this would work too. I love the skirt variations!

Offline isakswings

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 04:37:34 PM »
The pattern looks fun. I did a lot of mcCall's patterns back in the 60's when I was a teenager. They're straightforward, with nothing hidden from the sewer.

What I want is a pattern for skating from the 1940's or early 50s.

I found some of those vintage 40's, 40's and 60's patterns on ebay. Check there!

Offline isakswings

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 04:40:13 PM »
Wow thanks for the link.  Loveley skirt variations indeed.  I've never seen a pattern for some of those variations.  The seller had it in a 14, which I've just bought, and it's hopefully winging its way across the oceans to me.

I haven't either! I have not found the petal skirt pattern and I've been wanting one. Dd skated to music from the Peter Pan movie(not the cartoon). That petal skirt would have been perfect! :) I need an 8 in this dress...which the seller has.

Offline aussieskater

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 04:51:55 PM »
Dd skated to music from the Peter Pan movie(not the cartoon). That petal skirt would have been perfect! :) I need an 8 in this dress...which the seller has.

"Would have"?  Does that mean you found the pattern too late for her program?  Isn't that always the way??  :D

Offline isakswings

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 04:57:55 PM »
Yes. She skated to that music 3 yrs ago. ;) She's skating to the Jurassic Park theme song this season. :) Of coarse 3 years ago, I wouldn't have made her competition dresses! I wasn't ready to do that then. The first time she skated in a dress I made for competition, was in June. LOL! Now... I'm doing what I can to customize her dresses.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 06:38:30 PM »
I made that dress back when that pattern wasn't "vintage," LOL.  In fact, I think I still have the original pattern up in my sewing storage totes. It was one of the first dresses I made and it was really challenging at the time.  I've since sewn many skating dresses, multiple Halloween costumes, holiday dresses and my wedding gown. I no longer fear this pattern, lol.

The fit was difficult because it doesn't have a zipper and the neckline was really low-cut.  I'm not great at fitting patterns, but I noticed how much cleavage would show before I cut and raised the pattern neckline in front.  That made the dress difficult to get into and out of because the opening was smaller.  I didn't think to add a zipper. (Lessons learned)

The petals on the skirt are tedious to make.  Each one had to be hemmed by hand.  Today, we have sergers and edging machines, so that's something to consider if the instructions haven't been modernized.  I remember that the petals were tricky to attach because they're each separate.  I had to tack each one in place, then stretch the lycra to ease the non-stretchy skirt piece.  It ended up being easier to hand-baste them and go over with the machine.

For some reason, I associate this pattern/skirt style with Peggy Fleming.  I think she wore a similar dress at some point during the Olympics or in Ice Capades.

It really is a very pretty dress when done right - I'm sure you'll do a great job.


FWIW, I will always choose a Vogue, McCalls or Butterick pattern over Simplicity.  I feel like Simplicity tries to make it foolproof, so they add tons of extra steps and stitch-and-trim efforts that the others don't include.  I also feel that McCalls patterns fit better than Simplicity patterns.
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Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 06:53:51 PM »
I found some of those vintage 40's, 40's and 60's patterns on ebay. Check there!

ooh, so right. Me in love with this one. Some light weight wool, a touch of braided trim and I would be dazzling.  ;D
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Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 07:07:07 PM »
Thinking about it, with your experience, you wouldn't need a pattern just for the petal skirt.  I remember thinking "Really?  I needed a pattern for these?"  Well, I did because the tack marks needed to match up, but that's just simple math.

Just make a one piece bodysuit - it didn't have a set-in skirt, but the petals were attached along that line, so you have to use tracing paper to mark it, but don't cut the bodysuit fabric. 

The short-skirted dress has around a dozen petals and they overlap each other as shown in the photo.  You could take the hip measurement, divide by 12, and you'll have the finished top width of the petals - add a little extra for seam/hem allowances.

The petals are wider at the top and come to a point at the bottom.  Use leftover tissue paper to draw out a shape like that, tapering to a point at a length that is hip-to-finished hem.  (Cover the butt, in other words!)

You do have to hem each petal along the curved edges.  I think turning the point was a pain on the machine, so I did it by hand to get it sharp.

Tack the petals in two layers along the line where you would ordinarily set in the skirt.  The petals point upward (right side of petal to right side of the dress) because you'll stitch along that line to attach the petals.  Press the petals down to cover the seam line; you might have to trim the seam.
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Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 08:08:44 PM »
ooh, so right. Me in love with this one. Some light weight wool, a touch of braided trim and I would be dazzling.  ;D

The first skating dress I made was a disaster.  It was a skating jumper/cheerleader outfit. 



Velvet was listed as a fabric choice.  I love velvet, so I bought a deep, dark green and eagerly made the jumper.  I learned all about matching nap, inserting gores and "stitch in the ditch."  It wasn't as easy as it looked.  The pattern didn't have cheer shorts or panties, so I tried cheer shorts and then changed to a black bodysuit (couldn't find a green to match) over my tights and a white turtleneck (as shown) over that.  The outfit was incredibly heavy and with all the undergarments, I couldn't wait to get it off after I skated.  It never really fit me well and it didn't "float" the way the pattern picture showed - the velvet either hung there twisted while I was spinning and got stuck.  I was nice and warm on the outdoor rinks!

The dark green wasn't impressive on the ice - it looked like a dusty black in all the pictures.

The kicker was that velvet was "dry clean only" and the bugle beads I had strung on the jumper lost all their color in the process.  I gave it to my sister for her dds' dress-up box, lol.
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Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 08:20:30 PM »
In the old days, the briefs under the skating dress were actually what we would call shorts.
Sometime in the 50's they looked an awful lot like granny panties in fabric to match the skirt.
Is the norm now thongs?  Those israeli ice dancers, the ladies out fit was creepy.
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Offline isakswings

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 11:54:50 PM »
Thinking about it, with your experience, you wouldn't need a pattern just for the petal skirt.  I remember thinking "Really?  I needed a pattern for these?"  Well, I did because the tack marks needed to match up, but that's just simple math.

Just make a one piece bodysuit - it didn't have a set-in skirt, but the petals were attached along that line, so you have to use tracing paper to mark it, but don't cut the bodysuit fabric. 

The short-skirted dress has around a dozen petals and they overlap each other as shown in the photo.  You could take the hip measurement, divide by 12, and you'll have the finished top width of the petals - add a little extra for seam/hem allowances.

The petals are wider at the top and come to a point at the bottom.  Use leftover tissue paper to draw out a shape like that, tapering to a point at a length that is hip-to-finished hem.  (Cover the butt, in other words!)

You do have to hem each petal along the curved edges.  I think turning the point was a pain on the machine, so I did it by hand to get it sharp.

Tack the petals in two layers along the line where you would ordinarily set in the skirt.  The petals point upward (right side of petal to right side of the dress) because you'll stitch along that line to attach the petals.  Press the petals down to cover the seam line; you might have to trim the seam.

I drew up a petal pattern tonight. I'm going to try it out with some extra fabric I have. I think I can make an underlying skirt and then sew the petals on to it. I think doing it like that would make it easier for me to attach it to a bodice. This is probably as clear as mud! LOL. :)

Offline isakswings

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 11:55:39 PM »
ooh, so right. Me in love with this one. Some light weight wool, a touch of braided trim and I would be dazzling.  ;D

Nice! :)

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2012, 06:55:59 AM »
I found this vintage pattern and I want it! The skirt variations are reason enough for me to want it. :) I have been wanting a petal skirt pattern and this pattern has one! Anyway... does anyone have experience with them and if so, did you like the pattern? My mom likes McCall patterns a lot...esp their older patterns so maybe this one would be ok? This seller has it in a size 8 which would fit dd's measurements.

http://www.bonanza.com/listings/Misses-Bodysuits-w-Neckline-Sleeve-Skirt-Variations-Pattern-12-McCall-s-7350/45694917

I made myself a skating dress with that pattern about 33 years ago!  I may still have the pattern... would have to look in the pattern box.

Offline treesprite

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2012, 07:11:35 AM »
The pattern is not there.  I think I gave the dress to another skater. It was red with petals, but I put puffy Renaissance-type sleeves on it.  I was only 17 when I made it.  I used to make wrap-around skating skirts for other skaters, including Philip Duhlebohn's mother... helped me pay for skating, because with 5 kids to take care of, my folks weren't putting a cent into ice skating.

Offline Clarice

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2012, 09:25:20 AM »
A couple of people have talked about the difficulty of hemming petals.  If you're using lycra or stretch mesh, there's absolutely no reason to do that - the fabric is not going to ravel.  In fact, I wouldn't hem, because it adds extra bulk.  I suppose you could finish the edges with a serger if you wanted, but that stitching will show and make them seem heavier.  I'd just leave them alone.

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2012, 10:28:16 AM »
The pattern fabric recommendations for those petal skirts are chiffon, georgette, organza, charmeuse, crepe, crepe de chine, and jersey.  All of those fabrics must be hemmed to stop them from raveling.  They can be serged instead, as I suggested.  When the pattern was new, sewers didn't have sergers at home.

I don't think lycra would work for that skirt - it's supposed to be light and floating.  Even the lightest lycra would hang too heavily.

I found this completed auction that shows the back of the envelope, with the fabric measurements and recommendations:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VTG-80-McCalls-7350-Bodysuit-Dance-Skate-Pattern-14-36-/290655628929?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43ac6cee81



I'm almost certain that I saw this pattern in a pattern book late last year and thought "Hey, I made that dress.  Yep, no zipper."  I'll bet it was in the McCall's Halloween costume book under a different pattern number, or it was reissued as a "Green Pepper" pattern, which is a cheap brand using reprints of vintage patterns.  I just bought one last month.
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Offline isakswings

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2012, 09:40:35 PM »
Hmmm... I was going to try the petals out of lycra. I also thought about trying a stetch mesh. I have noticed it seems to not unravel. I usually hem it. Might be fun to try a few different things to see how it works. Thanks for the picture of the back of the pattern. I appreciate it. I was curious about the measurements!

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Re: Has anyone ever used a McCalls skating dress pattern?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2012, 04:36:37 AM »
ooh, so right. Me in love with this one. Some light weight wool, a touch of braided trim and I would be dazzling.  ;D
Ooh - nice! I want that too!
Quote from: Figurespins
The first skating dress I made was a disaster.  It was a skating jumper/cheerleader outfit. 
I used to have that exact same pattern (well, I probably still do somewhere!)! I made a combination pattern from it - the pinafore skating costume, but with the long sleeves and v-neck from the cheerleader pattern. I made it from blue gabardine, and I think I only wore it skating once!  I also made the skirt without the pleats - which was worn skating more often. Of course that was when I was a teenager, had better legs, and was 25 kilos lighter!