You can’t really tell from the photos as I was trying to look glamorous, but I am totally over the moon with my finished Age of Adaline dress project! I honestly can’t remember what I was thinking I could pull this project off. I mean, it has been over 15 years that I touched a sewing machine. And it was all pretty basic following the pattern as I sewed summer dresses, tops and shorts.
With this project I did some major alterations to the basic pattern, choosing some hard to work with fabric on top. And then my sewing machines busted on me. And then you would’t believe it, my mom’s sewing machine that I used as a back up let me down too! So I ended up buying a new machine to finish my project. So far for saving money on dresses by sewing…
I wrote a general pattern review for the McCalls M7047 dress pattern that I used as a base pattern. And I tried to sum up what I did to end up with my Age of Adeline dress. And now, I need a drink.
General pattern review
Fabric used: stretch velvet; lightweight jersey lining.
Pattern sizing: I chose 12, but I ended up taking it in almost 2 sizes. Maybe it’s the pattern, maybe it’s me. I like my knitted dresses to fit snug. Super snug.
Pattern Description: The pattern offers a lot of options with 2 skirts in two length, with an extra option on the full skirt to add a slight train. The bodice has a wide collar in the front, and tree different option in the back: a high wide neck, a plunging back with draped collar and a mock wrap. There also a choice of three kinds of sleeves: a cap sleeve, a 3/4 sleeve and a fitting full sleeve. As a cherry on top, you can add a peplum as well.
I chose the full skirt option with train, and actually ended up altering the entire bodice.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
As a result of wanting to remake the red velvet Gucci dress that Blake Lively wore in the Age of Adaline, of course it didn’t.
Were the instructions easy to follow? In theory, yes. But I bit off more than I could chew with al the alterations. So adding the lining was a b.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn’t like the sizing, as it was to wide for my feel. I also felt that the shoulders were drawn a bit too wide. It saved fabric and thus money to cut the lining at the knee, but I like a full lining better.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I shortened the bodice an inch for my short waist. I also shortened the skirt at the knee with 2 inches for my 5’5” height, but I forgot about my heels. So next time, I would shorten at the knee to allow for the mermaid draping and add the 2 inches at the bottom.
All my Age of Adaline dress alterations you can find below.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I guess I would. It’s a great basic pattern for black tie/prom gowns. I thought of many versions already:
- A mint green satin Madeleine/Spectre dress: full skirt with train, altered version of plunging back with collar
- A blue sparkly Mystique-style gown: full skirt with train; full sleeve; alter neckline to crew neck.
- A faux suede Pocahontas dress: short skirt with altered plunging back
- And probably many more!
Based on my Age of Adaline dress I’m not too keen to recommend the pattern to anyone yet. But again, that might be more because of my too ambitious alterations, my novice sewing skills and my fabric choice.
Age of Adaline alterations
Crew line: The first alteration I made was drawing a crew line to the bodice pattern parts.
Key-hole neck line: On the front bodice, the key-hole neckline is one of the most striking features. I marked 5 inches from the top of the neck line an drew a line of 1/4 inch from where the fabric fold would be.
Side cut-outs: 2 inches under the bust, I started the top of the triangle of the side cut-out. I made the cut-out so deep that the tip of the cut-out came under the middle of my breast, and ended the lowest end of the triangle at waist-height.
Back-less back bodice: following the line of the top half of the side-cut out, I cut out the top half of the back bodice into a diamond shape. From the back skirt part, I copied the diamond shape, making sure it wouldn’t cut too deep into my back. It’s supposes to be a backless dress, not a bottomless one!
Embellishing pleats: I set the sleeves in with more exaggerating pleats, as I thought the original dress had puffed sleeves. I took in the shoulder with two pleats making them look like ridges. At the neckline, I added darts.
Finishings: I found this lovely black beaded trimming. It is set at the edge of back bodice and skirt, alongside the side-cut outs and crosses under the bust. It is beautiful and really makes my dress look like Blake Lively’s in Age of Adaline. But is an absolute b to put on.
So there it is! Now let’s sit back and have an other drink. I know I deserved it.
xoxo – Irene.