Day 1: The Hack-A-Top Dress

pattern hacking dress McCall's M6078 makingtheflame

It all started quite innocently last year. It was summer, I wanted a dress, but I wasn’t feeling any of my dress patterns. I was feeling my TNT, McCall’s M6078, because it’s the easiest, most fabric economical pattern ever. Dead easy. No zippers, buttons, nada. So I pulled it out.

M6078, Misses' Tops

Normally, when you think of converting a top to a dress pattern, you simply lengthen and widen the hem. But that doesn’t really work with M6078. Instead, I hacked the top and whacked it onto my self-drafted knit pencil skirt pattern:

M6078 Hack-A-Top pattern hacking dress McCall's M6078 makingtheflame

And that was it! I am pretty bad about truing the waistline seams for accuracy, but this one turned out well enough. I simply cut and sewed top and bottom and then joined them at the waist, where I made a waist casing. Out of curiosity, I top stitched the casing toward the skirt. UGH! Never do this. It feels weird and makes the dress hit weird on your body. But hey, that’s what I wanted to find out — why instructions always say to topstitch the casing toward the bodice.

pattern hacking dress McCall's M6078 makingtheflame
Second shoot–better?

I actually shot this dress last year, but I re-shot it this year in an attempt to follow along with the Better Photos Project. I gotta say, all this info about taking better photos is really helpful! But it’s also paralyzing, for me personally. I feel like if my photos are not razor sharp, crystal clear, and beautifully located, I shouldn’t take any. Which makes it impossible to share all the sewing I’ve been doing with all of you!!

pattern hacking dress McCall's M6078 makingtheflame
Inside is the new outside.

But it so happened that I got the house to myself just as I was screwing up my nerve to take outdoor photos. And by screwing up my nerve, I mean futzing around with my camera bag, chock full of anxiety.

pattern hacking dress McCall's M6078 makingtheflame

Finally, I said to heck with it! An empty house and a sunny window would have to suffice. I know these photos are not better or even that great, but you can see what I made and that’s the most important thing.

pattern hacking dress McCall's M6078 makingtheflame

Frankly, I’m not comfortable taking photos outside. Here and there I’ll try taking photos outdoors, but in the interest in sharing I think I’ll just give you all what I can! Even if it’s indoors and my lens sucks. :-p

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  1. This is gorgeous! I love the fabric and the design. I see another poster mentioned Vogue 1250, but I like your dress better. I made 1250, and the draping folds fall really low and look awkward on me. Great job!

    1. Hi Bike! Thanks for the kind words. I may have had to slightly stretch one side of the fabric when sewing the waist together, since I didn’t true the waist seam before cutting the fabric. (Naughty, I know!) Also, there’s elastic in the waist that gathers up the fabric.

  2. It’s so cute!!! And the fabric is just gorgeous.

    I’m glad you always post pics. I too feel sad when people say they don’t blog because of photos.

    Sure I sometimes wish I had a camera still (it broke), but I just use my iPhone!!! Lol!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! You know, I think iPhones take amazing photos — I’m too cheap to switch, but I definitely envy that you can take good enough photos for your blog with your handy dandy phone!!

  3. Love the dress and the fabric as well. There are so many sewing blogs and Instagramers out there but each of you bring something different and unique to the table. I follow because you are so down to earth and well because you are. Keep being you and do what you’re most comfortable with.

  4. What a great dress! It reminds me a lot of the Colette Myrtle, except I had the worst time fitting that dress the way I wanted it. I’m so glad that you took these pics wherever you felt comfortable, instead of not taking them at all. Part of the reason that I wanted to do the better Pictures Project is that it kills me to hear people say “I don’t feel good in front of the camera, so i don’t blog my makes.” I definitely never meant to pile on the pressure that every picture should be perfect! Ain’t no one got time for that. I’ll even admit that I sometimes unfollow people who have nothing but perfect, ethereal glamor shots of their makes, because it seems so unattainable. I assure you, I’ve got my fair share of “standing by a wall inside” pics (as you’ll see in my post on Tuesday), and no one ever seems to mind.
    I’m looking forward to your week of posts!

    1. Thank you! I think it’s *exactly* the Colette Myrtle, wow! I admit that I stopped checking out Colette patterns some time ago, so I’m not as hip to the new releases. Bummer the fit was off for you, though, it’s a really comfy dress design.

      I know what you mean about feeling sad when people won’t blog because they don’t feel photogenic–especially for larger ladies, that’s a common sentiment. It’s why I blog and take photos! :) But I’m such a perfectionist: if I can’t be the best, I won’t play the game, which is a terrible attitude. :-p Trying to break out of that….and know what you mean about being turned off by ‘glamour’ photos on blogs! I love your photos and look forward to your Tuesday post. :)

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