McCalls 8141 dress guaranteed to make him smile

Couple at restaurant woman wearing Mccalls 8141 view C in silver satin

Anniversaries are special. That’s why I made McCalls 8141. It’s our silver anniversary, so I created a silver dress. Oh, I am happy to celebrate this 25th anniversary in #AstorMcCalls. I’ve been making a dress for the last few years to celebrate my wedding anniversary. Honestly, it’s a super long, drawn-out story about how that became a tradition. And that’s an entire blog post in itself. I’m not exactly sure where or when the tradition of me making a dress to celebrate our pivotal annual moment came from, but 25 years later, it is expected and anticipated by friends and family.  

The Anniversary Story for McCalls 8141

We were married young-ish. And when our friends were deciding to tie the knot or had lived together, had babies, and traveled together, we had been married a decade or more. As time went on, the making of the dress became a symbol of our enduring, loving existence. Last year, I made an overlay Simplicity dress, Simplicity 8545, with green rosettes. Fast forward to today, one year later, rosettes are a fashion thing. This time, I went for a more straightforward yet classy silhouette with McCalls 8141.  

What is a silver anniversary?

The silver anniversary is celebrated after 25 years of marriage. Silver is commonly associated with the 25th-anniversary milestone because of its remarkable qualities that symbolize the strength, resilience, and longevity of a couple’s marriage. The precious metal’s durability and luster reflect the enduring nature of a relationship that has withstood the test of time. The tradition of celebrating the 25th anniversary with silver is thought to have originated in medieval Germany, where wives were often presented with a magnificent silver wreath as a symbol of their enduring love and commitment after completing 25 years of marriage.

Let’s get into the silver anniversary and this dress for all occasions.  

Sewing Pattern Features of Astor McCalls

A dress with all the feels, M8141 has three views.

  1. View B: Long sleeves, high neck w/o pussybow
  2. View A: Puff sleeves, high neck with pussy-bow + shorter flared skirt
  3. View C: No sleeves, high neck, no bow and a straight skirt

With this pattern, you definitely have options. You could combine or pattern-mash any of those pattern elements together to create a unique version of McCalls 8141.

Usually, I don’t do this, but I let my husband choose the sewing view for McCalls 8141 despite our anniversary being in February. He chose View C with no sleeves. Wildly, I also let him choose his favorite hairstyle for me. He never says anything about the seemingly random constant hair changes I go through, so I figured it was his one time to express what he wanted. View C it is in 44-degree weather. I looked a little crazy, but oh well. 

Silver Fabric for McCalls 8141

After hemming and hawing quite a bit about the dress and, of course, the color, I leaned into silver full throttle. I wanted to look back and remember this moment in time, in history, for us. Besides, we lived through the COVID-19 pandemic, the 911 attacks, Y2K, Princess Diana’s death, two US presidential impeachments, and several personal and family battles. This moment deserved to be celebrated in silver in complete solidarity. 

I was on the hunt for silver fabric. In particular, I wanted a silver fabric with a little bit of sheen, something fancy to fit the occasion. That’s when I saw it. I was returning from a brief little Orlando trip, and I always stop by the Fabric Super Store in Maitland, Florida. They have a good selection of garment fabrics, though I would argue that over the years of my shopping there, more and more fabrics are 100% cotton and geared toward quilters.

The fabric I chose was in the special occasion section and has little to no stretch but gives on bias. It is a high-quality polyester in the satin family and doesn’t snag easily. For the lining for McCalls 8141, I chose a complimentary fabric with no sheen and no stretch.

Petite Challenges with McCalls 8141

Let’s get into making this petite-worthy! I would love to say that I made every petite adjustment I should have made, but I didn’t! Nope, the one fail was the bodice. If you are making this dress and you are under 5’4”, make bodice adjustments. Three adjustments in particular are essential:

1) Bodice/Midriff length, 2) Skirt length adjustments, and 3) the armhole depth.

My bodice with the midriff is undesirably longer than my torso. I do get a little bunching at the waist that is not appreciated. When I make it again, I will remove about an inch to tighten the fit.

The armhole depth is monstrous. Again, I felt like my boobs were waving to fans on the outside. If this is you, make a side seam and/or depth adjustment to the paper pattern BEFORE you sew it. 

Also, if you are making McCalls 8141 and are styling it for a petite frame, I advise removing several inches from the skirt. I removed over five inches, and it is still quite long but perfect with a heel or tall shoe.  

Closures for M8141

Warning! This dress has a peculiar back closure. Yup, the zipper comes to the waist, and the bodice is sort of free-floating. Someone thought putting a hook and eye closure at the top of McCalls 8141 would be dandy. Bad idea, seriously, no. Who designed that? It is way too much fabric, and any woman getting dressed alone would hate putting this on, so I put a big fancy button there. Other makers have added buttons or other closures to the back, which makes sense.

Final thoughts on Astor McCalls/McCalls 8141

McCalls 8141 is a solid pattern. You can create a mini collection of extraordinary dresses with this pattern. Just remember to do some pattern work with the bodice and length for the perfect fit. 

What about you? Have you made McCalls 8141? Do you have any tips to share? 

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