Costume,  My Blog,  Patterns,  Sewing

Thoughts on McCall’s M7965- Potential Fit Issues, Underthings, & More

Hi everyone! It’s been way too long since I talked about sewing anything. I talked about my sewing break in my post here, but since that post the only thing I had time to make was a scarf I’m knitting. It makes me annoyed that I don’t have anything sewing related to talk about so I wanted to fix that by talking about a pattern I’m debating on making: McCall’s M7965.

I want to make it for a YouTube video, but I’m unsure if I’ll have the time to make it and record at the same time. Because of this, I wanted to talk about this pattern and my thoughts about it before I actually dive into constructing the dress.

If you never heard of M7965, it is a costume pattern that creates a 18th century inspired dress and bodice.

I say 18th century inspired dress because there are some historical inaccuracies that make it more costume than historical costume. Despite this, McCall’s did, in my opinion, a great job in creating a really nice 18th century style costume pattern that is complicated enough for beginner sewers to have problems while not diving into the world of historical sewing.

That being said, in an attempt to create a pattern like this one, there are a few chances for fit issues. One of those issues deals with the placement of the waistline.

Waistlines in sewing patterns and clothes in general is a constant frustration for me. My waist is longer and my torso is curvier than pattern makers and clothing manufacturers accommodate for. Because of this, I always make sure the pattern I’m using will look good on someone with my torso or is a pattern I can adjust to fit my torso. Some historically accurate dress styles are not best suited for my torso because the bodice can cut a person off at a weird part of their waist, making the torso look shorter and unflattering.

After looking at M7965, I have worry and concern about where the bodice hits on the body. The dress in photographs looked good on the model, but that isn’t always the case. When I do sit down and make the dress, I will make a muslin, or test bodice, to see if it will fit me right, if I need to lengthen it, and where I will need to lengthen it at.

Since I have yet to sit down and make the pattern, I don’t know how the pattern pieces will fit together or very much about the pattern’s construction. Even though I don’t know how the pattern will work, I do know that I will make two especial parts of the costume that are not included in the pattern: A bum roll and underskirt.

I’m very confused about why McCall’s did not include a bum roll or an underskirt. An underskirt is an essential part of the costume and one is pictured in the reference photographs of the costume.


Still, McCall’s did not include one in the pattern. Why? I don’t know. But I do know that for anyone less knowledgeable on how to make historical 18th century costumes will have no idea how to make one from scratch and will depend on the pattern to guide them. So, it’s just weird to make a pattern and leave out that part of the outfit without explanation.

Another issue I have with the pattern is there is no bum roll. If you are unfamiliar with 18th century costumes, a bum roll acts like a petticoat and causes the skirt to stick out in a particular way. In this picture from McCall’s website, you can see the dress made for the pattern photographs has a bum roll under the skirt making it stick out.

The costume cannot be worn as designed without a bum roll. Even on the pattern says it is to be worn with a bum roll, which can be purchased.

If someone making this pattern did not want to wear a bum roll under the skirt, then the skirt pattern will need to be modified to make the skirt hang nicely without needing support to stick out.

If anyone is looking into making this pattern for themselves and want a pattern to make a bum roll or underskirt, I highly suggest looking at The American Duchess’s costume patterns for Simplicity. They have a bum roll pattern, Simplicity 8162…

And one 18th century dress patterns that include underskirt patterns with them. It is Simplicity 8161…

If you want to use a McCall’s brand pattern for an underskirt, I suggest McCall’s M7916…


And 7764…

All three patterns are part of McCall’s collaboration with TV series Outlander and are designed to be worn with a bum roll.

Unfortunately, McCall’s do not have a bum roll pattern. So, in order to make your own bum roll pattern, you will need to use The American Duchess pattern to create one.

Well, that’s all for now! I hope this post helps someone who is looking into making the costume themselves! Thank you for reading!

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