McCalls 4289

This is one of the patterns my sister found for me in an op-shop and I was instantly drawn to it.

mcCalls 4289

I love the neckline and the loose flowiness of the dress, BUT, I did worry about its rather youthful look. Mutton and lamb comes to mind a bit!

Anyway, I made it a few weeks ago and today the sun shone for about a minute so I wore it to work and hoped I wouldn’t freeze (I did take a coat with me!).


I used a light cotton knit sourced from Potter’s last year and this proved to be the perfect weight.

The pattern is a size 10, 83cm bust, so I did a muslin to check whether it would fit. I moved the darts a bit and raised the neckline which is very low. Once made, I realised that the original sizing would have fitted perfectly in such stretchy fabric, and I think my raised neckline is somehow lower than the original – doh!

The sleeves are also gathered, which was the fashion in the ’70s. I thought about smoothing them out, and then decided not to. Archie (aka the fashion police) tells me that the sleeves and the neckline do date the design, but otherwise he approves! Before I made the decision to keep the gathers I did a bit of research and found several designers introducing gathered sleeves:

The green and white checked suit is Louis Vuitton (,

sleeve detail





I decided to bring the tie back round to the front to avoid the apron-like look of tying it at the back



I’m a bit concerned about the hem in this picture, but I think I was swinging it around which makes it look a bit uneven. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Here it is with the tie done up at the back – actually, I think I like this better at the front, but not so sure about the back. It might be my scruffy bow!


This is me trying, in vain, to show the neckline.


Dodgy sewist’s pattern review of  McCall’s 4289 published in 1974:

Pattern Description: (none on the packet, so making this up) Miss petite dress or top for unbonded stretchable knits. This is an A-line shift dress with a sash that wraps round the body to give some shape. There are two sleeves: a long fitted sleeve and a short bell-shaped sleeve

Pattern Sizing: 10. 32.5 or 83cm

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? This is a vintage pattern with no instructions included. However, it was pretty self-explanatory

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the neckline, the soft drape of the dress and the ease of wearing

Fabric Used: Cotton Knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I decided to lower the darts and raise the neckline. Both of these interventions proved unnecessary given the stretchiness of the fabric used.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I have already made it again, this time with the short sleeves. I can’t actually recommend it because I’m not sure whether the pattern is available. If it is – buy it!

Conclusion: This is a simple dress to make and to wear. I think I will wear it often in spring and cooler summer days.

Global Corporate Challenge

Yesterday was officially the last day (fireworks going off in head!). No more lumps under my clothing or attached to my boots. No more stressing about losing the pedometer in places not to be mentioned. I injured myself at the weekend and couldn’t give it a fantastic last burst, so finished up with just under my target average of 24,000 steps per day (23,878 to be precise). I was disappointed for about 30 seconds and then got a grip!

I did win a trophy for meeting my stage 3 step target (not sure where stage 4 went – oh well), and a Coach’s Award for putting in my steps every day – no big deal, but will include trophies for the record.


Reflecting on my 7th year of doing this (with last year off for bad behaviour), I am now making a commitment to never doing it again! I really don’t like the fact that I am constantly thinking about how many steps I’ve done and how many I need to do. Also, the fact that there were several nights when we had to walk in really inclement weather to maintain that average (Mark was in a team as well). Having said that, I will maintain the walking when I can. I notice that if I do 20,000 steps a day and don’t eat bread, I don’t put on any weight irrespective of what else I eat  (meaning lots of cake that my husband insists on baking!).

It looks as though my team – undeFEETed – came in the top 7000 teams in the world. This seems disgraceful, but there are about 50,000 teams competing, so not too shabby. What is completely galling is that Mark’s team beat mine – I want a recount!


6 thoughts on “McCalls 4289

  1. Your dress looks lovely and I like the colour. Don’t worry about the puffy sleeves, they look lovely on a youthful figure like yours. Congratulations on your achievements in the corporate challenge. Targeting 20,000 steps per day is no mean feat and there are a lot of people not able to do that – me included 🙂

  2. Love the colour and the shape, I threw out all my vintage patterns thinking I’d never want to wear those shapes again, I will look around our charity shops to see if I can find some for you.

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