Review: McCall's 7085 | Neoprene Jersey and Mesh Sheath Dress!

7:00 AM

McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
I've been obsessing over neoprene fabric for a while now.  And it seems like the more obsessive I became, the better the fabric is now.  Neoprene isn't as thick and stiff as it was a few years ago.  These new and improved lighter weight "neoprene-like" fabrics are a dream to sew with and perfect for structured garments.  Which is why I picked this black/ivory abstract neoprene jersey.  Talk about hard to get!  I stalked this fabric for weeks.  It sold out and all of a sudden it was back!  
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
I knew it would be the perfect fabric for this dress.  See, it all started back with this one:
I tried this Elie Tahari dress on in a fitting room and fell completely in love with it.  But the $428 price tag made me weep.  I examined the dress inside and out and immediately made up my mind that I would be making my own version.  And I was pleased as punch when my neoprene jersey arrived because it was exactly the same type of fabric as my inspiration dress!
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
For my pattern, I chose McCall's 7085.  This pattern was perfect, down to every single dart!  I used view A, which is just two pieces -- the front and back.
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
I cut the size 12.  Since my garment is not hemmed, I only had to add 2 inches to the length.  
Lapped Darts on McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
All of the darts are sewn lapped.  And the side seams are also lapped.  This is a new-to-me detail that I snatched from my inspiration garment.  I guess I very rarely make anything that uses fabric that doesn't ravel and doesn't require additional measures for seam finishing.  It looks simple, but it took a lot of meticulous effort to achieve this effortless look.
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
The body of the dress is basically cut as a one-shoulder style, topped with this Italian Black Diamond Nylon Mesh Netting.  This was my first time working with mesh and I didn't know what to expect.  This mesh was not as coarse as the mesh on the inspiration dress, but it still turned out well.   I've never done any type of applique sewing.  Again, a new step for me.  But I think it turned out well.  
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
I finished the neckline with a satin 1/4" double fold seam binding.  And just did a rolled hem for the armhole.  The first time I tried it, I bound the armhole too.  Since the other armhole is the unfinished neoprene jersey, there was a noticeable difference to me.  It didn't feel right.  So the rolled hem added an unfinished feel to that side.
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
Mesh is very unforgiving if you make an error.  If you try to pick a stitch loose?  Good luck with that.  I butchered the mesh the first go round and had to remove it and do it over.  Not fun removing zig zag stitches from neoprene jersey either.  But I must take a moment and pat myself on the back and dust the dirt off my shoulder for matching that print down the back!
McCall's Pattern 7085 - Neoprene & Mesh Sheath Dress - Erica B.'s DIY Style!  All fabric from Mood Fabrics.com
The mesh is also added to the bottom in an asymmetrical cutout way.  And the hemline is left unfinished.  This was a fun dress to make.  It did take a little longer than I anticipated.  But it allowed me to release some pent-up creative energy that I had unfortunately been repressing for a while!

You Might Also Like

82 comments

  1. Fantastic dress! I love the look of the seams and darts, they were worth the effort. Thanks for all the close ups of your new techniques, very cool!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gorgeous! And better than the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's truly a work of art and a labor of love. I think we get a sense of fulfillment went we create a piece rather than buying it. I never thought of neoprene for a dress but it looks great. I'll keep it in mind as I advance my skill set. I'm a newbie so I take my time with everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meticulous work always pays off! Thanks Kenyatta!

      Delete
  4. Wow the dress is gorgeous and it suits you very well! I have never seen lapped seams and darts but it is a beautiful detail and it will probably make the seams less bulky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were new to me as well! Thanks Nathalie!

      Delete
  5. I like yours better. I like your fabric better for sure. And your eye for detail and craftsmanship is as always, on point. I didn’t think I’d like that neoprene fabric. I thought it would be hot, and I’m having hot flashes these days, so no. But I bought a couple of blouses last summer and it’s not hot at all. Just lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a very drapey neoprene jersey. Almost the weight of a double knit. Thanks Roslyn!

      Delete
  6. You slayed this dress Erica, simply gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh wow! I love it!!! Why spend $428 when you make make it yourself for much less??!!! And still look fabulous! Great job! Keep inspiring!

    ~Chinelo~
    www.mystyleoasis.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like yours better too - so edgy! That print is the business.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh Erica! Gorgeous as usual! Great knock off! I too jumped on the neoprene band wagon! Such amazing fabric! I'm intrigued by the lapped darts and side seams! Must try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm always on the search for great neoprene! Thanks Paulinakoss!

      Delete
  10. That is one gorgeous dress - and you look amazing in it. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fabulous to the 10th power! Totally agreed, why spend the $$$ when you can create it just as fabulous or better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that's right Alethia! Thanks!

      Delete
  12. Amazing dress! I'm sure you'll get a lot of use from it in the upcoming graduation season. You look stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure I will! Thanks Julie!

      Delete
  13. Elie Ta-WHO? I'd pay $500 for that Erica Bunker dress. Girl I just peeped the look on Facebook and had to check out the details. This is such a great dress! And I totally agree, it does look better than the inspiration. This is why I love to sew. Cudos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! This is why we sew! Thanks Metropolitan Frock!

      Delete
  14. Love the dress ..... amazing! I love the insight you give on the construction of your garments.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fabulous. I like it better than the inspiration dress.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Question.... could you have used a nude zipper under that sheer fabric? I have some sheer fabric and I'm crazy curious.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if you're lucky enough to find a true "nude" colored zipper, the zipper tape is against the body. The seam allowance is what is showing through the transparency of the mesh. It really wouldn't make much of a difference.

      Thanks for your question Penelope!

      Delete
  17. It's absolutely stunning Erica and way better than the inspiration dress!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! This is another fine example of you knowing "your" style! You look gorgeous. That is one remarkable and awesome dress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Belle! That's from years of playing in dressing rooms!

      Delete
  19. Your dress is absolutely beautiful, thanks for informative tips. I know what to expect now when sewing with neoprene and mesh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Etta!

      Delete
  20. Your dress is stunning! I really love your choice of fabric!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Gorgeous dress! You look fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  22. WOW!!!! You make a lot of stylish things, but this takes the cake, hands down! You look AMAZING!!! And I think the black and white is a lot cleaner and more dynamic than the floral print inspiration dress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was originally looking for floral print neoprene, but I am absolutely delighted with this bold abstract print. I think it's more "me"! Thanks makingtheflame!

      Delete
  23. this dress is our of control! OUT OF CONTROL!!! I seriously said those words out loud (yes, in public) when your pics came across my feed earlier this week. had to stop in and say as much in person. amazing work, Erica.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Thanks so much sewstylist!

      Delete
  24. I hadn't been by the blog in a couple months and WOW you look AMAZING. Your hard work has definitely paid off. WOW !

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, so creative and innovative :) I love the mesh! That dress turned out so awsome! You did a good job :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Perfect in every way. So pretty

    ReplyDelete
  27. Excellent copy of the inspiration dress! I'm sure yours will now be the inspiration for others :) Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Gorgeous! Love the dress and love all the views of the details, you look great!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Perfection! And you look super-hot. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey Erica;

    This looks wonderful on you. The cut outs give your curves an extra boost. Legs are looking good as well. Good work.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Erica, I'm speechless, this is just too fabulous!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yassss! You did your thing with this one. Great version of the Tahari dress. I love the whole look.

    ReplyDelete
  33. By the way I always thought you looked great. Your style is always on point. Your skills are amazing when I get in the mood to sew something I always come by your blog to see what stylish new garment you've made so that I can try to copy it. Lol with mixed results.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so awesome! Thanks so much!

      Delete
  34. Fantastic dress.....thank you for sharing your sewing high's and low's. It helps me to see that sewing is a constant learning experience.

    http://sewloveable.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. So beautiful. Yours is a great knock off of Elli Tahari.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wow! I can see why you stalked that gorgeous fabric, but what you did with it takes it to a whole other level - fantastic dress!

    ReplyDelete
  37. You did a great job recreating the look! Good for your for picking out zig zag stiches, I RARELY do! I am not eeeeeven about to be bothered! Unless it's completely hosed, I leave it! Hehehe

    www.StyleSewMe.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was truly jacked up! They HAD to come out! Thanks Eryn!

      Delete
  38. I am loving the recreation even more than the inspo dress! I would love if this fabric wasn't sold out! Lol. You are surely becoming MY favorite sewing blogger right now. Especially this year! And I've been reading you for ages. Thanks for the tips on lapped seams and the mesh appliqué. I really want to try both techniques because my local fabric store ( Jomar ) had all the neoprene jerseys in January and February that I'm Just getting to sewing. Keep inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Hannah!

      Delete
  39. Erica,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for helping me to get my sewing mojo back. You've shown me that I can still be fabulous at 56, after all I'm a Glam-Mom now (LOL). The greatest attribute you offer your fans is your honesty and sincerity; you've shown us that all of your projects are not successes and I thank you for being "real".

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love everything about this. I actually prefer your fabric print too:)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Erika, I think "neoprene"-like knits are still new enough that good advice on this fabric is hard to find in the blogosphere. I'm in the middle of a sheath dress and debating whether to line it. I've been lining all my ITY knit dresses with a light weight power mesh (often seen in swimsuits) because I think the lining smooths things out (vs. a slip, which seems silly to wear under a patio/ lounge dress). Do you have an opinion on lining scuba knits? I figure it can't hurt... But maybe there is a reason not to line? Would love your thoughts. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For this Neoprene jersey, I found that the fabric has a heavy enough hand to where I didn't feel the need to line it. In my opinion, they are far less like ITY and more comparable to a high quality ponte knit. Unless you're using a Spanx-like power knit, I don't see how a swimsuit lining would be beneficial to smoothing. I hope this helps!

      Delete
  42. Beautiful! How did you get those bottom edges so straight. Rotary or scissors or some secret? And without a hem did you have to recut the "hem" after assembly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks? I used a rotary cutter and no I didn't.

      Delete

Popular Posts