A Failed Win and a Successful Fail–Two Dresses Sinclair and McCalls

Pattern:  Sinclair Dakota Dress


Measurements at this time:

  • high bust 39 inches
  • bust 42 inches
  • waist 37 inches
  • hip 48.5 inches

I started sewing this 8/24/22 and finished the same day

Size: 16 for my bust/waist, and 18 for the hip

Options sewn: Standard Bodice, Tank, Scoop neck, and no pockets as the fabric is way to finicky

Sewn Before: Jan 2021 Butterfly Tunic


Adjustments:  I made 1/2-inch forward shoulder adjustment


Fabric:  Ok. This is totally my fault this dress doesn’t work. I couldn’t find a fabric in my stash that I liked that had enough yardage (2 yards I think) for this dress. I wanted to use something I liked but not something beloved because I hope my weight gain drops back to my normal soon. When I saw this one, I thought ooooh that’s pretty. It was in my ITY spot, and I grabbed it and went for it. It feels like an ITY. Well when I looked up the fabric in my Evernote database it is a SWIM fabric….. crud. Did I just make a dress out of swim fabric? Because at this point it was already made, too late.


I purchased this fabric from Fabric.com thru amazon back in June 2020 for $6.84/yard, 2 yards. It was called Fabric Merchants Swimwear Nylon Spandex Floral Garden Indigo/Blush; 80% Nylon/20% Lycra Spandex


ThoughtsThe shoulders and the bust are too big as you can see in the pictures. Is this a fabric problem or a sizing problem? Am I at the point where I need an FBA? I also don’t like the hem where it’s kind of a high low but kind of not – but then I looked at my other Dakota tunic, that I love, and see that the hem is the same so maybe that’s just how the pattern is. I love my other Dakota sewn Jan 21, 2021, but it’s made from double brushed Poly; that one is awesome. I don’t like this dress and how it looks and it’s probably my fault because of the swim fabric. So, I thought this was going to be a win because I loved my other Dakota but this was a fail.



Now here is the ironic part in this blogpost.  I thought the Dakota above would be a WIN because I sewed it before and loved it and it turned out to be a FAIL.  But the following dress I sewed way back in 2017 and didn’t like it, I called it a FAIL and now it is a WIN.  So ….. that is kind of funny.

Pattern: McCall’s M6957


Let’s bring back a dress from the past!  I initially sewed this in 2017, and blogged it in 2020.  I had originally ditched it half finished because it was too big and frumpy and I called it a fail. I need to change that assessment now.

My measurements at the time of initial cutting and sewing back in 2017: 37.5 bust, 31 waist, 45 hip; and my measurements now in 2022: 42 bust, 37 waist, 48.5 hip

these pics are from now, Sept 2022


Size used in 2017: 16 bust/waist, 20 hip


Date Sewn: June 2017 (yes, 2017. LOL this has been in my ufo pile for a long time. I was digging through my random UFO pile with Miss K one night in June and found this dress (minus a neckband and armbands because I never finished them or hemmed it).  I tried it on just to see – because I’ve gained so much weight and summer is darn hot here and I was desperate for dresses that fit. And it actually fit well!  Well enough for me to want to finish the dress and WEAR it! I was excited because it was a half finished dress so all I had to do was hem and neck and armbands and it was ready to wear.

Alterations: just grading out at the hip.


Fabric: a space dye knit with no real stretch, though it was listed as having ample stretch.  Its soft and flowy. Black/Grey Slubbed Jersey Knit 95% rayon 5% lycra.  Purchased from FashionFabricsclub in Aug 2016 for $3.95/yard.  I used 1.75 yards (it is 58” wide) – the pattern calls for 2 yards of 60” wide. Total: $6.91


Thoughts Now in 2022:  I love it. I really do love it. Now that I’ve gained a bunch of weight I think it fits perfectly.  My tastes have changed a bit too as my body shape has changed.  I like the fact that it doesn’t cling to the body or waist.  It is so comfortable to wear and I wore it 3 days straight after I finished it.  I lost the original neck/arm bands somewhere between 2017 and now so I used just plain black Double brushed Poly.  I love how it looks.


I asked my husband if I could wear it out in public as a dress and he said no. He said “you need a belt, there’s no waist” I told him I don’t want a belt, I have a giant thyroid belly right now and I like that it is flowy.  Some men have no idea on fashion. Haha!


SO, this dress is a win if you really size down – like 2 sizes.  I needed to gain 30lbs to have the dress look right on me in my original smaller size.


Here are my Original Thoughts on this dress back in in 2017 and again in June 2020 when I finally blogged the wretched thing

It’s too frumpy. It didn’t turn out like the pattern envelope at all.  It doesn’t look nipped in at the waist. It doesn’t hang with flare at the hip/skirt part.  It is not flattering.

I thought maybe I could save it for a nightgown but its not even cute enough for that!  There are weird folds where the center back seam is, near the bottom hem.  I can’t even find the bands to finish the arms and neck.

Pictures from 2020- pre surgery when I still didn’t like it.

mccalls 1mccalls 2

2017 original pictures when I was sizes smaller and no thyroid belly

f jun 3 2017 made mccalls m6957 total fail dress, blogged jun 28 2020 2f jun 3 2017 made mccalls m6957 total fail dress, blogged jun 28 2020 3

Thoughts in 2017 and 2020: This is a definite no for me. I’m probably not going to attempt the pattern again.  In fact, I lost the pieces to the pattern, which is rare for me.  Now in 2022? I love the dress!

So, to sum things up. A win pattern became a fail and a failed make became a win! It just makes me chuckle. I wish I never threw away or cut up or got rid of any of my previous makes. My weight changes so much with my  health that I’m bound to wear things at some point.  

Thanks for reading and Happy Sewing!



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