Nautical in Navy (McCall's 7832 part 1)

I have a fun set of posts planned for this week and next! I often remake patterns, but I rarely try to drastically change the style--I am (or was, I guess) a "buy it in every color" kind of girl. Recently, though, I purchased a vintage "Brunch Coat," which is a short housecoat that's basically halfway between a dress and a robe. I wanted to test the boundaries of this 1965 pattern and show the versatility of a pattern originally intended for a pretty obscure article of clothing, so this week you'll see it both as a robe and a proper dress!

Today is the dress version! Although I was inspired to purchase this pattern during my research for my Gal Meets Glam Collection post, I didn't love the mid-size floral she chose for her collared wrap dress. I took inspiration from the notched collar and "double-breasted" buttons and went nautical for mine, and I love it!

I know it's hard shopping for fabric online so I thought I'd pass along this find to you: all three of these fabrics for the two dresses (the twill for today's dress and the seersucker and terrycloth for Wednesday's robe) are by Fabric Finders. A few years ago, I was on the hunt for seersucker in 100% cotton and it was nearly impossible to find! A lot of it was poly/cotton blend and like... if I'm wearing seersucker, it's hot outside, if it's hot outside, why would I want polyester? Fabric Finders is sold at my local upscale sewing store (specializing in heirloom sewing and Berninas! also warning, worst webstore ever) and I got totally hooked on their fabrics. I've purchased their seersuckers in stores and online (you can find lots on etsy!) and used them to make a lot of things, most recently this yellow set, and also perhaps the most worn dress in my closet come summer. Since it's sold by a bunch of different sellers usually I can find a sale or shop around, and still know that the fabric I get will be high-quality. I had never purchased their terry or twill before and y'all, it's just as nice. The twill was especially surprising, I think--it's super soft and has the perfect perfect perfect amount of body and drape. (ps: if you like me have also spent hours of your life searching for the elusive 100% cotton gingham they have that too.)

It's been a while since I've sewn with a vintage pattern and making this dress really reminded me how much I love doing so. The fit is so good! This dress bodice has 8 darts: back shoulder, back and front waist, and side bust, and they help the dress lay so nicely over the body. The lines are lengthening and all the proportions are just so. The only thing I changed for fit was to shorten the bodice by one whole inch (using the nice measuring system printed onto the pattern pieces) and were I to make this again, make a slight small bust adjustment (I think it fits nicely but it looks a bit large in the bust when the wrap shifts around). Sadly, this exact pattern is no longer available on etsy (ya'll snapped it up when i linked to it on instagram) but there are lots of other collared wrap dresses/robes from the same era still available! Obviously I can't attest to how every pattern will fit but if you've never tried a vintage pattern I really suggest you try one out--they are so well designed and no harder to use than a modern big 4 pattern.

Check back next week for my new summer robe!


ps: fabric finders also has the most adorable embroidered fabric--can i pull off critter embroidery? hmm...

this post may contain affiliate links.


  1. Hi Allie. You have done a great job on this dress. To improve fit over bust you should check out bust dart placement/location tutorials. The bust darts should point to the bust apex but stop anything from 1/2"-2"+ short of apex. Your lower front bust darts look like they end above the apex instead of below it, creating unwanted bubbles of fabric. You need to adjust dart location before you worry about dart size.

    1. Yes, this is correct. I made no changes to this pattern besides waist length so the fit is not perfect. Future iterations will have bust adjustments made.

  2. I ADORE IT!!!!! And now I Need to make one, too! The fit is really amaing and I love the Buttons you used! It is much better than the Gal meets Glam Dress! (Also have you read some of the Reviews on her Dresses? I was a bit shocked, they all look quite nice but apparently the fit is not that fantastic!) xB

  3. I have a thrifted dress in my closet that looks like it was made from this pattern! Would you mind sharing the pattern number? I just have to check that out now!

  4. Oh my goodness, I have the same thoughts about gingham and seersucker. Why are they so hard to find in cotton?? Thanks for the pointer, and your dress is beautiful.

  5. This reminds me of when I was digging through my mother's pattern collection from the 50's and 60's as a teen and showed her a pattern I wanted to make for the winter ball. She pointed out that it was for a nightgown not a ballgown. (Could have fooled me) Lounging around the house wear back then was more elaborate than my wedding dress ended up being.



Back to Top