Pauline Trigere Dress-McCalls 8894 – from stash and upcycled zip

I finished this dress a few weeks ago and love it.  I didn’t post it till today, as I was trying to get the others finished before as it would be too tempting to leave them as they were (red dress).  

pauline trigere - mc calls 8894


I was a bit frustrated after none of my three dresses turned out to be ready for Christmas day I ended up wearing the sweater dress I didn’t want to wear, and I ended up pulling at it all day (it never sits right)!, so a dig into stash was in order to get a dress made for my ‘Second Christmas’ (which is the few days I spend with my sister in Dublin after the 25th but before the 6th January) and hope I could stretch this  double knit to a Pauline Trigere Dress (I did and there is even a piece left over).  I had been looking to adapt this pattern for an upcycle a while back and it was a bit complex looking so it went back into envelope.

It was probably just as well I didn’t think too deeply on it, and just cut it out and sewed, as it was a tricky one.  The first one was putting on the facing, and then applying collar (the facing is put on, and basted in place, the collar is sewn on the front and the stitching line is about 2 inches down from the neckline underneath) – everything seemed to be foreign territory but I kept going and luckily choosing double knit, meant there were no seam finishes to worry about.  When it came to putting it all together in the end, I made up the lining first, and figured it out from that.  The sewing of the dress itself is a bit rushed but I am very pleased with the dress and if I had to do it again, it would be far easier – and I would probably sew it a lot neater!  One or two steps of easing, could have been skipped due to my using double knit, but I didn’t take the chance, and I should have done the gusset ‘my way’ as I seemed not to ‘get’ the instruction sheet.  I made the dress shorter than the pattern.  I did make it to pattern to see what it was like, and it was very (incredibly) dowdy, so I shortened it by 8 inches or so, to an two inches above knee.  I used an 8inch zip from my zip collection (all zips put into a box when I take upcycles apart) and its a grey colour but not too noticable.  I could not find a zip to match fabric so this concealed zip will do fine.

pauline trigere - mc calls 8894


I love the dress – and even though the sewing is shamelessly rushed, I am quite happy to overlook that.  The pockets are a bonus, and the dress in incredibly comfortable and personally I think flattering.  I did have to take about an inch from the back seam as it the fit of this pattern was very generous – and if I ever see the right fabric, I would try this dress again.  The turtle neck is lovely but I have to be careful when I wear a cardigan (we have a cold house) over it as the back collar sticks up, so its a case of making sure the cardigan is not pulled over.  It works well with a favourite patterned baselayer that hasn’t been worn in a while and it works well with my boots – should have made this dress first!

butterick 5603 – the go-to dress

butterick 5603

This has really got to be the ‘go -to’ to dress.  I have seen it made up on other blogs and all styles and sizes are lovely.  My preferred variations are on the Julia Bobbins blog, and she also has an enviable figure and each version is stunning on her.  I was thinking of trying one of her adaptions, but I thought I best to just make it up as-is first, and then see if the straighter skirt would suit later.  I really like the waist definition on this pattern, it just flows beautifully.  I have a bit of a pet-hate with some waist seams on ready-to-wear dresses, they don’t suit a lot of people, regardless of age or shape, and if you have a long or short back, or sway back, they will sit all wrong. 

butterick 5603 - the go to dress


I had made a version (or toile) of the dress from a bed sheet, and the shape so so so  flattering  – this version is a bit bland and probably trim etc could lift it, I don’t think I will be trimming it, and have figured it could make a swanky set of PJs.  The shape of the dress was sufficiently fab for me to be on the look out for some fabric  because I really like the wider skirt .  There was no way was I going to get the cut from an upcycle, so I got some grossgrain on a mark-down (and later found flaws – ick) and went with that.  Its cotton grossgrain, so has a lot of body and limited give on the straight and too much on the bias.  I thought I would try bodice A as I like boat-neck, but I didn’t like it for this dress, and there was enough fabric for Bodice B.  I think if I was using bodice A again, I would also omit the v back – and not because it was a messy facing to do either!)

butterick 5603 - the go to dress


Everything was pretty straightforward, although I think the bodice could have done with a better form of facing than lining in this instance, but its minor. I used the flash on the camera for two of the photos so the fabric looks a bit glossier than it is. My partner, James, thinks the bows look fiddly/silly, but I love them! I feel a bit like a walking 1950’s pattern illustration wearing the dress, so that can’t be a bad thing either.  Anyway, as the orange Pauline dress made its way to a friends wardrobe, this is my christmas party dress…….. and I am well happy!