Fit & Flare Maxi Dresses are really my jam and now that Spring is near, it’s MAXI TIME!  And this Laura Ashley design has taken her place on a hanger in my closet. Let’s get into the details.


Pattern Information

McCall’s 7834 is a semi-fitted button front dress with length variations and an elasticized back waist. It also has collar, sleeve, and skirt variations. With four different versions to choose from, I sewed View D with a contrasting tie, cuffs, skirt, and lower ruffle. Unfortunately, this pattern is no longer in print, so it’s not available on the website. If you do have the pattern in your collection, it’s a great one. I had fun making the dress.


The pattern was rated as EASY by the company, and while that is definitely true for me as an ADVANCED level sewist, I don’t recommend it for new beginners. If you have experience with inserting collars, collar stands, button plackets and sleeve cuffs, then you should be able to complete the project. If you don’t know how to sew or are looking for a refresher because it’s been a long time since you learned, check out my Online Sewing Course for New Beginners.


There are three layers of ruffles on Views C and D. Therefore, lots of basting stitches and gathering are included in the construction of this dress. While it’s not difficult, it is certainly time consuming. I’m not gonna lie. I dread lots of gathering. But if the dress captures my attention in a big way, I will do the work. I usually have to mentally prepare myself for the task though. Hahaha! Let me tell you, this dress was totally worth all the gathering.


Fabric Information

I’ve had McCall’s 7834 in my collection for a very long time, waiting to run across the perfect fabric to bring my vision to life. I actually ordered fabric several years ago from an online store to make the dress. Unfortunately, the company cut the fabric really weird and it wasn’t nearly enough. After I pre-treated the fabric, it was clear that I wouldn’t have enough to make the dress, and I was disappointed. But I’m so happy now, because the fabric I chose this time is much better, both in beauty and quality.


I purchased my fabric from Core Fabrics, the sister company to Closet Core Patterns. The fabric I used for the bodice, sleeves, collar, and middle tier of ruffles is Art Deco CORNER PRINT VISCOSE DOBBY in the color combination of Charcoal/Cream/Tan. It has little dots throughout that give it a bit of textured interest. The dots are not raised so that you feel them, but you can see them close up.

My choice for the two contrasting tiers, sleeve cuffs, and neck tie, was the OP ART GEO PRINT VISCOSE DOBBY, also in the colors Charcoal/Cream/Tan. It has the same dots throughout and is an excellent complement to the corner print design. Both fabrics are VERY lightweight with a decent amount of drape for the skirt portion of the dress.

I absolutely love it when I can find fabrics that complement each other for projects such as this one. Core Fabrics sources some of the best quality textiles and the way they pair fabrics together in the store makes it much easier for consumers to pair fabrics and envision their finished garments. I am not affiliated with the company and receive no compensation for sharing my views. This is my own opinion. Here are some closeup photos of the dress.


Inside the Garment

I used my BABY LOCK SOPRANO to sew all the seams, BABY LOCK VIBRANT to finish the seam allowances, and BABY LOCK EUPHORIA to hem the bottom tier. Usually, I match the thread in all the sewing machines. However, since the serger was already threaded with white thread, I left it, even through I used black thread in the other two machines. The back side of the fabric has a white-ish finish, so the white thread worked just fine. Now, let’s take a look at some photos inside of the dress.


Notions Information

The pattern calls for 1/4″ ELASTIC for the back waist, and 1/2″ BUTTONS for all four views. The requirement is eleven buttons for View A, six for View B, and ten for Views C and D.

Alterations Information

I merged between cutting lines to get the fit I desired for my body. I cut a size six for the bodice and merged to an eight at the bottom edge. Then I cut a size 10 for all three tiers of ruffles because I wanted lots of fullness. Since my biceps are fuller, I cut a size 10 on the sleeve but merged to a size 8 at the sleeve cap to prevent excess fullness in that area. I didn’t want to form folds and ruffles on the sleeve insertion. To make a bit more room in the armhole opening, I sewed a 3/8″ seam allowance instead of 5/8″ and the sleeve fit in nicely. 


If I were to make the dress again, I would lengthen the sleeves because they are too short for my liking. I prefer the sleeves to reach my wrist bone when my elbow is at a 90º angle. You can see in the photo below how the sleeves rise above the wrists.


I cut my fabric on a single layer to match the patterns. After cutting around three sides of the ruffle on the first skirt tier, I accidentally cut on the fourth side before flipping the pattern piece over. I didn’t have a lot of fabric to correct the issue. Therefore, I cut another piece and added seam allowance to piece the two together, creating one full piece. For this reason, I have an extra seam which isn’t a big deal since my fabric has a printed design. I think the side split on the skirt looks cute, but I omitted it on my dress because I didn’t want it.


Styling Options

I made this dress to wear to church on Easter Sunday. But when I woke up that morning, I changed my mind. We had dark, cloudy skies, so my mood was for bright, vibrant colors. Therefore, I pulled out THIS DRESS that I had made previously and hadn’t worn yet. Since the fabric is pretty busy, I kept accessories simple. I wore a pair of black, open-toe pumps, gold stud earrings, gold bracelet and ring. Finally, I finished the look with my black crossbody bag, worn on my shoulder. In the photos, I’m wearing a pair of black and white sandals. But I wore the dress to church this past Sunday with black pumps.


I love the neck tie with the dress. However, if you don’t like wearing things around your neck, you can omit the tie and wear the top buttons open. I think I will wear the buttons open next time.


What do you think?

I would love to hear your feedback. Scroll to the very bottom of this page to leave a comment.

Thank you for stopping by today! 💕

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This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. kirstine

    Hi Anita, I found you because I was looking for this pattern. It is such a beautiful dress and you look amazing. Do you have a copy of the pattern, that I can buy from you? ❤️ kirstine

  2. Anita S

    I just love that Maxi Dress.. The fabric is stunning and your sewing is perfection. Very flawless.

  3. Delores


  4. De

    Anita, you wear maxi length dresses exceptionally well. This contrasting print combo looks stunning. I admire how your sews are used for multiple events – church, meetings, outings with family and friends, etc. This definitely a good strategy for expanding your wardrobe. You look great and I appreciate you sharing it.

  5. Jaenine Craig

    Love it. Excellent job! You inspire me. Once my class is over, it is sewing time in this house.

  6. Gwendolyn Styles

    Hello Anita! you do fabulous sewing, do you manage your sewing time?

  7. Kimberley E Oliver

    You are a stunning little model for your creations, Anita!

  8. Samantha

    The combination of the fabrics is very nice and thank you for showing the inside of the garment too.

  9. Maureen

    I LOVE this pattern and fabric. It is so flattering on you. I know you would lengthen the sleeves but the way it is gives you room to add some gorgeous wristlets. Thanks for sharing this piece of amazingness!

    1. Anita Morris

      That’s a really good point, Maureen! Adding extra bracelets.

  10. Maryadkinson

    It is nice I’ve been sewing since 12 years old it look like some heavy sewing .beautiful style.

  11. Melissa

    That looks so beautiful on you! I appreciate how you show the inside of the garment too, that is lovely to see.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Melissa! I’m so glad the you appreciate seeing the inside of the garments. Thank you for your feedback. It helps me when creating content here.

  12. Bernice

    Gorgeous!! Love both prints, which complement each other very well. Job well done.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, Bernice. The fabrics are what made the dress amazing.

  13. Evelyn

    Hi Anita your dress is gorgeous and as always you look stunning in it I love how you have shown us all the details My goal is to become as good at sewing as you are with lots of practice. I’m now able to walk with a crutch after 4 mths but still in my boot so with a bit of luck not much longer and I can get back to my sewing machine I am I suppose more an advanced beginner so this would be a little more complicated but looking forward to your sew along and I can go back to it when I’m ready . I love your style and such an inspiration to base my outfits on Thankyou ❤️😘🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

    1. Anita Morris

      Evelyn, you’ve made my heart smile. I’m so happy that you’re almost there to being able to sew again. and I love that you understand the need to practice on more beginner projects before jumping into more advanced ones. This is wise, and yes the dress in involved for a beginner. I’m very happy to have you here and I’m cheering for your full recovery.

      1. Sasha

        The fabric is beautiful, and the fit is absolutely perfect. Awesome, Anita.

  14. Nancy

    Anita, I’d of never thought to sew a L A dress in such a modern print but once again you did it and it’s just so amazing! I’m more of a flowery gal but I love this on you. You sew so very nice and your fit is always right on! I’m with you, this dress wouldn’t have been the right one for Easter. Your burgundy print double knit was the one! You are such an elegant looking lady! Thank you for recovery prayers too, my knee surgery recovery is slow,,, but steady. So glad I had the right one replaced 6+yrs ago and I thought I was ready for this one. It’s a very painful surgery but had to have it done. I was out of steam ,,, time to get it replaced. Can’t wait until I can sew again,,, hoping in a few weeks. Usually, whatever activity you can do is ok. So I’m ready! Take care, you are a real inspiration.
    Happy sewing!!! Nancy from Fort Wayne, IN ps. (Drab, cool day here, rainy off n on. Good day to sew if I could so I’ll read instead.)

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Nancy! I’m glad to hear you are recovering from the surgery. You’ll be back on your sewing machine one day. Until then, enjoy your rest and happy reading.

  15. BJ

    Delightful fabric design — mixed media! Love it…

  16. Jill

    Wow, Anita, you look stunning – this dress is absolutely beautiful! The contrasting patterns work so very well together as they contain the same colours and that tie neck just sets everything off perfectly. I hear what you say about the sleeves, but I honestly don’t think they look too short at all, so please don’t let that put you off the dress. A wonderful, modern look. Very well done!
    Kindest regards, Jill xx

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, Jill! I’m still wearing the dress with the short sleeves and I love it.

      1. Caroll

        Hi Anita,
        I absolutely love the contrasting fabric! It was definitely a great match for the fabric and pattern. Bravo 👏 👏!

  17. Beverly

    This dress is beautiful love the fabric

  18. Princess Armstrong

    Anita thank you for sharing this project. This is absolutely gorgeous!!! You’re definitely a pro at what you do and I can’t wait to start some of these projects 🙌

    1. Anita Morris

      You’re welcome, Princess! I’m glad you like the dress. Have fun with your projects.

  19. Cornelia

    It’s beautiful. I agree on the sleeves. I noticed that right away, so was glad that you mentioned it. Unless, of course, you’d wanted them shorter.
    I can imagine wearing this dress on a nice walk, the dancing movement in a light breeze has to be phenomenal!
    You wear it elegantly as usual. ~cw

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, Cornelia! I wore the dress to a meeting today without the neck tie and I love it so much. The movement is just beautiful.

  20. Trish

    I love the fabric combo. Beautiful as usual!

  21. Melinda Chateauvert

    Who woulda thought a Laura Ashley pattern could be made so modern!? Brilliant.

  22. Marsha Joy Callahan

    This dress is so beautiful. I don’t think you’ve done a piece that isn’t. It really shows in your work, you love what you do.
    Thank you for always sharing.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yes, Marsha! I absolutely love what I do. Thank you so much.