Monday, January 21, 2013

McCall 3820: The 'Scottie' Dress

I am super excited for my first 1940 make of 2013!  Let me introduce you to McCall 3820...
This dress is so simple to put together that we can recommend it for beginners.  the pockets fill up the entire side gores, their corners turn back.  5 sizes, 12 to 20.  45 cents. 
-from the August 1940 McCall Style News 

Blousing is the new word.  Most dresses now have a certain amount of it, all around or just in back.  It is all-around blousing for the rust dress.  This is a "young lady" frock, one that juniors can wear as well as adults.
-from the August 1940 McCall's magazine 


While this dress was indeed simple to put together, the amount of fun details on the dress make it seem more advanced.  The blouse is gathered both at the neckline but also at the waist front.  A set-in belt is sewn in on the waistline and the skirt and waist front are attached to this belt by lapped seams.  I made the plain front version of the skirt, though the gathered one on version A is also very cute.


I graded this pattern up by 2 inches all around with the exception of the sleeves which I left at a B32 size.  The great thing about grading up a multi-gored skirt is that all you had to do is add a bit to each seam allowance!  Likewise, I added 1 inch overall to the blouse front and lengthened it about 1/2 inch and added just under an inch to the back (my back is narrower).  I added the extra width in four places across the bodice front (for 1/4 inch in each section).  It makes it easier to grade a pattern when there is a lot of gathers because you can just draw up the gathers more or less depending on what you need.


The back is fairly plain.  The dress closes by a side zipper and a back neck opening.  I used the three-quarter sleeves for this dress.  They have a bit of gathering at the sleeve cap and are simply hemmed at the bottom of the sleeve.  I had to insert both sleeves twice because I attached them inside out the first time (oops!).  I even tried it on after I had basted the sleeves, determining that it looked good and then proceeded to stitch them up!  Only after going to try it on again did I realize that the sleeves were on inside out!  I blame the black fabric that looks the same from the inside as the outside and the fact that the seam was on the underside of the arm.  Let's just say, I was very happy to get them back in the right way! 


The best part of the dress was playing with the collar and pocket flap details.  I got this adorable remnant of scottie dog fabric at the Urban Eccentric vintage store when I was in the States.  I had about a half a meter.  I carefully cut out the collar so that the Scottie dogs were roughly in the center of each collar.  I also cut out the pocket flaps in the same manner.  When I was constructing the pockets, I had a moment of panic when I thought my Scottie dogs would be upside down.  So I cut out another set of pocket flaps.  Turns out I was right the first time (lol) and they were in the right direction!

I found these Scottie dog buttons at Mandor's Fabric in Glasgow (which is also where I picked up the black wool/viscose fabric).  Aren't they adorable?  I also got these Scottie dog shoes from David for Christmas.  I LOVE THEM.  I don't think I've fallen in love with a pair of shoes so much (except maybe my Ness shoes) as I have with these ones.  They are from Irregular Choice, a funky online shoe company based in the UK, and they have the perfect heel size for me.  They are so comfortable too!  I might have to save up for another pair!

This illustration is from the August 1940 McCall's magazine:


I also tried out the outfit with one of my favourite hats that I got awhile back from the Vintage Baroness herself (this is her etsy shop).  It's a lovely black hat with a striking red feather!  Definitely fits in with the 1940 look!  


Overall, I give the pattern a four out of five stars but give the Scottie dress ensemble a solid five stars! I think I am going to wear this one A LOT!

By the way, ever wonder what a Scottie dog is called in Scotland?  Turns out that Scots most commonly call them by the breed names (black ones are the Scottish Terriers and the white ones are West Highland Terriers), but they also use the moniker 'Scottie' dog here!  As I'm delving into the year 1940 more, I'm discovering there was a love for all things Scottish!  Looks like I'm well placed :) 

66 comments:

  1. Super cute!!! Great dress and even greater once you have spotted the detail. Too cute!!!

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  2. Oh my goodness, that has got to be the cutest thing I've seen in a long time!!  I love the pattern and I love your little touches that have really made it your own.  It suits you perfectly.  Now, I'm not a dog person, but I do have a bit of a soft spot for Scottie dogs (Westies in particular :) )

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    1. Thanks Jenny! Aren't Westies just the cutest? I was secretly hoping we'd run into one while we were taking the pictures! :-)

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  3. Lovely! The Scottie Dogs are so cute!

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  4. Love that entire outfit, head to toe!!

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  5. All the little Scottie dog details are SO adorable! Those shoes are fab too - I've been eyeing them up for months.

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

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  6. I love those Scottie dogs! They really lift what would otherwise be quite a serious dress and give it a lovely touch of lightness and whimsy. That is a really lovely dress. And the shoes!

    One down. How many is that still to go?

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  7. How cute is that scottie dog fabric!  And the buttons!  I love this dress it's so simple and fun.

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  8. Wow !  I love your new outfit and I am so impressed with your sewing skill.  I make children's clothes and enjoy embroidery and smocking.  I have never made anything complicated for myself.  I am in awe!  Oh, and I adore your shoes, too!

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  9. That is INSANELY cute. Your fit is so perfect. And the collar....LOVE!

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  10. I fall in love with your dress and Scottie staff%)) 

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  11. Alyssa OpishinskiJanuary 21, 2013 1:53 PM

    Oh man, I loved clothes with Scottie motifs on them as a child. I even had a "scottie love" sweater, although we never owned a scottie dog! Your dress/overall outfit is so charming!

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  12. such a great dress! and i adore the scottie dog details and shoes!

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  13. This looks fantastic! I love the gathers on the bodice, and of course the scotties!

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  14. Gailannthompson51January 21, 2013 2:47 PM

    I regularly read several sewing/knitting/fashion blogs.  If I had to chose just one, I think you'd win.  I hate to miss an episode.  Thank you

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  15. Debi, the dress is lovely!  Did you mention what fabric you used?  I'm curious.  It drapes beautifully.

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  16. The dress is stunning Debi! I love it!

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  17. I love this dress, and so does my Scottie dog, Havoc who is currently snoozing on the sofa, snoring rather loudly!

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  18. I love the dress, and so does my Scottish Terrier, Havoc :-).

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  19. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 4:51 PM

    Thanks Peter!  It's a viscose/wool blend.  It feels a bit like brushed cotton to the touch but is more substantial and drapes quite well!  I absolutely LOVE it!

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  20. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 4:51 PM

     Thank you SO MUCH! You've brought a big smile to my face--what a lovely comment!!!

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  21. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 4:52 PM

     Thanks Nathalie! don't even ask how many are still left...hehehehe...A LOT :) 

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  22. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 4:53 PM

     Thanks Charlotte! the shoes are GREAT! Definitely very comfortable too!

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  23. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 4:53 PM

     Thanks Jenny! Aren't Westies the cutest?

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  24. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 4:54 PM

     I've always been in love with Scottie dogs...oh, and anything with cats on them...  :-)

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  25. Debi- this outfit is fabulous :)  Those Scottie dogs give the best sense of whimsy to the dress, and the whole ensemble is just FUN!
    LOVE it!

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  26. Ahhh, this dress is so cute!  Love the little Scottie details!  Adorable!

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  27. I love the style of your dress and the Scottie details!  Those are the cutest buttons and awesome shoes. It looks like even the soles are colorful!  I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble determining what will be right side up on some pieces once they are sewn :)  A beautiful start to the McCall project!

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  28. Oh this looks so lovely - I love the pockets! Simply gorgeous.

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  29. Debi, this dress is adorable, I think the way you fabricated it is so typical of the time, shoes too. Great job!

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  30. Great use for remnant fabric!   A great reminder to hang on to those bits and pieces.
    Gorgeous ensemble!

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  31. Fantastic! You did such a wonderful job. I love the way you've styled the outfit :)

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  32. I've always been a fan of Scottie motifs. What a cute dress and how cool that you found an illustration of it, as well! McCall's was definitely one of the best women's magazines of the period. I wish magazines were as much fun now...

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  33. Love the dress, it suits you beautifully! And, what an inspired backdrop for your photos! I love that "mezzanine" layer above Victoria Street - it's so typically Edinburgh!

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  34. Wow! That is a lovely dress! And I had to comment, I have those shoes too! My wedding shoes were Irregular Choice as well, uch a statement piece!

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  35. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 10:35 PM

    Isn't it great! I absolutely love that little 'nook' :)

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  36. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 10:35 PM

    I agree that the McCall's magazines were fabulous! You are inspiring me to try out a few of the recipes from my 1940 magazines as well!  I am loving your 'Life this week' series!

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  37. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 10:35 PM

    Thanks so much! I enjoy little whimsical remnants of fabric.  I still have a 1/4 meter of this most adorable cat fabric from when I made my sister a set of placemats and matching napkins: http://fashionsfromthepast.blogspot.com/2010/03/no-real-kittens-were-harmed-in-making.html  I might have to find a similar use for that remnant of fabric!!!

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  38. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 10:36 PM

    Thanks Corrine! The way they matched everything is definitely one of my favourite aspects of the time period!  

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  39. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 10:37 PM

    Thanks so much! I'm hoping to do more embroidery and smocking.    I think embroidery can be very complicated!! One of the patterns from 1940 is an adorable little girl's smocked dress.  The pattern says it's perfect as your first smocking pattern.  So I'm definitely starting with that one :)

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  40. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 21, 2013 10:38 PM

    Thanks so much Shari!!!  I am definitely 'visually' challenged sometimes translating 2-d drawings into 3-d real-life sewing projects.  I can't tell you the amount of times I have sewn trouser legs on the wrong way or together! lol.

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  41. A so romantic and feminine dress that looks so good on you! I take this opportunity to wish you a year full of great projects starts for you to follow us sorpendiendo as other years, Dear Debi. You are adorable!!

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  42. I'm glad to hear it! I love that we're both exploring 1940 this year.

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  43. Yay!! I adore the Scottie dog dress and shoes - eek! So much cuteness! And the buttons?! Fabulous!!  I am so enjoying this project, Debi!

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  44. Wannabeseamstress/RebeccaJanuary 22, 2013 2:51 AM

    This dress is absolutely adorable! It is so much fun to sew your own stuff and be able to add little details like those that you would never find in most affordable RTW. 

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  45. You're such a vintage style enabler. Thank you.

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  46. Eeee! I love the Scotty print accents! Such a cute detail--and a great way to jazz up a black dress. The dress looks beautiful!

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  47. The dress, the shoes, the hat, the Scotties!!! It's all too perfect! I love it!
    What a great dress style. This is one of the ones that is so quintessentially 40s that I would have placed it a few years later, while some of the other patterns seem as though they could be earlier. You did pick a great year!
    I have some Scottie dog fabric that I've been hoarding for years, too fearful to cut into it. One of these years I'm going to have to take the plunge.

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  48. Loving the shoes and the scottie dog fabric. Looks adorable:)

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  49. Glad to see you put those buttons to good use - love the fabric too, what lovely touches to add to the dress.

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  50. Wow, it's a beautiful dress and I love the little Scottie details! Looks amazing on you, what a kick off to your project!

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  51. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 23, 2013 5:39 PM

    I know! It's so much fun!  We should think of a joint project...hmmmm....

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  52. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 23, 2013 5:39 PM

    Thank you so much Rosy!!  

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  53. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 23, 2013 5:40 PM

    Thanks Katrina! It was hard to cut into the Scottie dog fabric...luckily, I only needed to cut a small amount..lol!  I do love how the year 1940 has a lot of styles that appear in other years as well.  It's such a unique time style-wise!

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  54. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 23, 2013 5:41 PM

    Thanks Kerry! I was thinking of our meet-up when I sewed on the Scottie buttons :-)

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  55. Debi_myhappysewingplaceJanuary 23, 2013 5:41 PM

    Thanks Tors!!

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  56. Debi, your outfit is so charming and original, and you look lovely, you give me incentive to sew.

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  57. This looks fantastic!! Not that I'm surprised! you always make the best stuff! And, of course, your accessories are perfect!

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  58. Oh Debi, this is DIVINE!! The pockets, the collar, love, love, love!

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  59. Fabulous dress and the scotties are too cute!

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  60. Oh goodness me, this is adoooorrrable.  Love the collar and pockets!  

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  61. SO FABULOUS!  Love all the Scottie details - the pockets, the buttons, and those amazing shoes!!  A marvelous ensemble and make, my friend!

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  62. Absolutely wonderful!~ I've always loved the 40's styles, and the Scottie dress just makes me swoon! (Since my life was taken over by my own Scottie dog several years ago, they've become an obsession!) I inherited many old patterns from my Grandmother, and now I'm inspired to try my hand at them!

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  63. Love this type of project - also love all your Edinburgh photos; I was at uni there from 1991 - 1995 and have lots of very happy memories (of terrible nightclubs on Grassmarket and Cowgate, mostly....). The dress looks great in the setting too!

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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