McCall's 7531 Pattern Review

I am always searching for great business attire.  Seriously, thanks to my figure (full bust on a smaller than industry standard frame) it is hard for this attorney to find a dress that fits well but is not too short or too tight in the bust area.  I also hate trying on clothes, and since I don't like to return things I usually have to try on everything before I purchase it. Really, I dislike it so much that I have purchased 95% of my business attire from one store for the past two years to cut down on fitting room visits.  However, these past few months I have noticed that when I purchase clothes from this store, in the size I have always purchased my clothes in,  it tends to be entirely too tight in the bust area or too short.  If I have to go back to trying on everything before I purchase it that completely defeats the purpose of me spending my money with one store (and trust me it's the store because I haven't grown in about two years).   

As a result of this betrayal, I have challenged myself to sew at least one garment each month that I would consider business attire.  I gave McCall's 7531 pattern a spin this month and let me just say that this may become a tried and true (TNT) pattern.  This is another great beginner's, three piece pattern.   I did have to make a few minor modifications (discussed in the pattern review below) for the dress to fit my style.  I decided to try this pattern out using polka dot scuba knit fabric from my recent fabric haul that can be found here at!  This is my first scuba knit project and I really like its weight and texture.  I am glad to report the dress, as expected, fit, look, and feels great! 

Pattern: M7531

Pattern Description: Easy to sew knit pullover dress with length, sleeve, and neckline variation. 

Pattern Sizing:


I cut View D, size medium. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done? Yes. 

Where the instructions easy to follow? Yes, it was.  

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern is great for a beginner.  The instructions contain a lot of detail regarding sewing with knits.  I didn't care for the method for inserting the sleeve and I think I will do a different method next time.

Fabric Used: Scuba Knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  After sewing the side seams together I found the fit to be really loose in the area under my bust down to my hip, so I took the side seams in significantly (I identified the section in a photo below).  I also removed 2 inches from the hem of the dress because I didn't like the length when I tried it on.   I traced the short sleeve pattern and extended it by a few inches.  Although I cut out the size medium dress pattern, I cut out the size small sleeve pattern.    

Would you sew it again?  Yes 

Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, it is an easy sew and I think it is a great beginner's pattern.