McCall’s 7989: I Heart the 90’s

Hooray! I managed to sneak in one last vibrantly colored April Stash Bust before the end of the month (being on the West Coast of the United States, it is still April here, for a few hours at least).

Heart Dress Front 2


The pattern is a slip-dress from a 1995 copyrighted McCall’s (7989) pattern. I couldn’t use my original pattern from my teen years because I’m not the same size I was when I was 15 (though I do still have my original pattern in my stash). I ended up buying a larger size pattern from an Etsy seller. I suppose I could have gone for the authentic slip-dress look and worn my Dr. Marten’s, but I like how this dress pairs with my Barbie pink heels.

CLOTHING PATTERN 1995 McCALLS 7989 Size 16 18 20 Womens Dress 4-oz

I think I had less than 1 1/2 yards of fabric to work with, but I don’t wear above-the-knee dresses or skirts, so it usually takes more fabric than that to make up a dress for me. I just managed to eke this one out of what I had. The skirt is cut just a tiny bit slimmer than the pattern and I added back ties.

Heart Dress Back


I did an FBA and adjusted the side seams to fit my circumference proportions since I’m not as hourglassed shaped in the midsection as the pattern is.

The fabric is rayon challis from my stash. I absolutely love this fabric, but originally had intended it for something for Guinevere. I have another piece of challis she can have later, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wear all these brightly colored hearts. They so make me think of the sweatshirts I or my friends had as kids except that as a kid, brightly colored hearts were applied with puffy fabric paint. I was worried about VPL’s and general show-throughness from the light-colored background of the fabric, especially in sunlight since this is meant to be a summer dress. I didn’t want it to be one of those garments that needs several slips underneath to be modest, so I underlined the entire thing in white cotton batiste, also from my stash. The crispness of the batiste does take away from the draping properties of the challis, but also keeps it from clinging and is nicely breathable for summer.

There is so much contrast between the light/dark/bright colors of this fabric that I also had some trepidation that the print would show through on things like darts or facings. That was the biggest reason I did an underlining instead of a lining. For the facings, I ended up using just the batiste without the challis, mainly so it wouldn’t show through. I wouldn’t have had enough challis for facings even if I’d wanted to make it up that way.

What’s that you say? I can stay in the Challis Chalet until Midnight? Hot Dog! Wait, there’s an umbrella in the blog button. Let me get mine.


Heart Dress Getting Umbrella



Heart Dress with Umbrella 2


Stash busting stats: 13/25


Any challis sewing in your summer plans?





8 responses to “McCall’s 7989: I Heart the 90’s”

  1. liza jane Avatar

    I used to rock those slip dresses with tee shirt underneath. I love it! Rayon challis is one of my favorite fabrics. Bet it feels wonderful on.

  2. Lynn Avatar

    I love the fabric!

    Where on Earth do you find cotton batiste? All I can find are cotton/poly blends

    1. Cari Homemaker Avatar

      The batiste for this dress was out of my stash, so I may have found it 10 or 15 years ago. More recently I’m fairly sure I’ve seen batiste on marked as all-cotton. Poly-cotton broadcloth I could see making a case for having a use for, but who on earth would want poly in their batiste?

  3. Cation Designs Avatar

    Gorgeous! I totally had those giant heart prints when I was younger too! I love the way you’ve styled the dress with your umbrella and pink heels. And fortunately for you, I’m on the West Coast too, so April lasts until 11:59 PST!

  4. ShanniLoves... Avatar

    Loving that print!! Cute dress.

  5. nothy Avatar

    I found your new domain! Yeah! Congrats on taking the step. It is something I plan to do at some point…I love the fabric and I used to wear slip dresses with doc martens too. I still miss my plaid doc martens

  6. Penny Avatar

    Beautiful! I love the fabric and that dress is wonderful!

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