Yippee, I finished another fall/winter dress! I was immediately drawn to McCalls 5466 View B when it first came out earlier this fall. I've seen several beautiful versions of View A (the pencil skirt) but I'm a sucker for flowy skirts.
I'm not really quite sure how to describe the fabric I used. It's some sort of spongy brown tweed. I found it at G Street Fabrics in their remnants section for two dollars a yard. At that price, how could I not buy it? I did a burn test and concluded that it's made of polyester fibers. Whatever it is, it's incredibly soft, comfortable and has lovely drape.
I don't normally make muslins but for some reason I did with this dress. I'm glad I did! This pattern did not fit me right out of the envelope. I had to make several alterations to the bodice. First, the pattern as drafted is very narrow at the waist. I added about an inch at the waist so I could breath when it was zipped up. Next, I lowered the dart point so it ended three fourths of an inch below my bust point rather than right at it.
I also made several sleeve alterations. The sleeve as drafted has about three inches of ease and is very tight around the arm. I read in Power Sewing that most RTW garments only have an inch and a half of ease in the sleeve cap. With that in mind (and also because I stink at easing in sleeves) I took out an inch and a half from the sleeve cap and added an inch and a half to the arm band.
I think these simple alterations resulted in a great fitted garment. I am very happy with how this dress turned out. It's perfect for work paired with a cardigan and because of the short sleeves I'll be able to wear this into the spring. I'd recommend this pattern to others but I'd stress making a muslin first. I think I'm going to make muslins more often now!