MCCALL'S 7531 SLEEVE HACK & BELT
Taking a very simple pattern, adding two designer features, and styling the finished garment with your favorite accessories is a recipe for a POWER DRESS! Oh my goodness!!! When I finished this McCall’s 7531 Sleeve Hack & Belt, all I could do was clap my hands. Another vision brought to life! YES!
Unfortunately, McCall’s 7531 is out of print. The equivalent, McCall’s 6886, is also out-of-print. Honestly, I didn’t think they would ever remove these patterns from the line-up because they were wildly popular. However, I’m guessing they’ll put out another one to replace them. I sure hope so, because McCall’s 7531 is probably my all time favorite. I’ve sewn it at least 8 times, maybe 10.
McCall’s 7531 is a fitted knit dress with length, neckline, and sleeve variations. Views C & D have a back slit opening. It’s a beginner-friendly, “Learn to Sew for Fun” pattern. If you have it in your collection and are interested in making one for yourself, I have a Sew Along Video on my YouTube channel for beginners. The Sew Along does not include the sleeve hack and belt.
This has been my “Go-To-Pattern” whenever I want to sew a Bodycon Dress. I’ve sewn it with various types of knit fabric, including stretch sequins. The simple design makes it the perfect pattern to practice matching stripes, plaids, and other prints.
Inside the Garment
I used my Baby Lock Zeal sewing machine to sew the main seams, using a Narrow Zig Zag Stitch (2.5 length; 0.5 width). To finish the seam allowances, I used the Baby Lock Vibrant Serger. It’s not necessary to finish seams on knit garments because the fabric doesn’t fray. However, I like the look, so I always finish the seams. For the hems on the neckline and bottom of the dress, I used a Zig Zag Stitch, sewing close to the raw edge. You can sew the entire garment with a Serger. Now, let’s take a look at the inside of the dress.
I used the leftover fabric from the Allie Olson Hive & Weaver outfit I made recently. You can see that project HERE. McCall’s 7531 calls for 2-Way Stretch Knit Fabrics. When I first laid eyes on this Olive Cable Sweater Knit from my local JoAnn Fabrics, I fell in love instantly, so I purchased extra. I’m so glad I did because I had just enough to pull off this beautiful pattern hack.
This pattern doesn’t require any notions beyond thread. However, if you’re using a knit fabric with lots of stretch, I recommend stabilizing the shoulder areas with stay tape, clear elastic, or interfacing, so that they don’t stretch out of shape. I used a Covered Belt Buckle Kit that I ordered from Mood Fabrics for the belt. The Self Covered Buttons were purchased at my local JoAnn Fabrics.
This is one of my TNT (Tried and True) Patterns. If you’re new to sewing, a TNT is a pattern that you have altered to fit your body. I omitted the back slit opening and added a sleeve cuff and belt to take it up a notch. For the sleeve cuffs, I used New Look 6000 (Out-of-Print). The belt was sewn using a pattern piece from Vogue 1950.
I had fun playing with shoes and purses for styling . I wore a beautiful green brooch that gave the dress a vintage flair. Because the brooch makes such a classic statement, I kept the other jewelry simple. I wore a small pair of rhinestone stud earrings, a simple bracelet and ring. The beautiful olive color lends itself to various shoe options, so let’s take a look at some of my styling choices.
Styling Option 1
For this first look, I wore a pair of animal print shoes with a matching clutch purse that I made years ago. If you’d like to make your own clutch, check out the DIY Clutch Sew Along Video on my YouTube channel.
Styling Option 2
The next look gives off a classic vibe. I styled the dress with a pair of Burgundy, patent leather pumps, and a Vintage Handbag that I’ve had for many years. I love this look so much. I can also see it with a scarf around the hair and a pair of sunglasses – Audrey Hepburn style.
Styling Option 3
You can never go wrong with black pumps. But when they have polka dots and a bow, it’s a special kind of extra. I paired the shoes with a cute little velvet clutch.
Styling Option 4
More animal print for the lady! This time I styled the dress with another animal print pump and a foldover clutch that I made a couple of years ago.
Styling Option 5 - No Belt
If you’re not a fan of wearing belts around your waist, the dress looks just as beautiful without one.
Wearing the Dress
I wore the dress last weekend to a local speaking engagement. Whenever I get hired to speak at Women’s Events, I want to look sharp because it makes me feel good. It was a 5 hour event and I was completely comfortable wearing the dress the entire time. I wore the white animal print shoes and they were comfortable too. I knew I would be standing a lot while signing books and taking photos with the guests. I took a pair of animal print flip flops to throw on during lunch break and at the end for packing up. I’ve included a couple of photos from the event.
Talking with the guests afterwards is my favorite part of speaking at events. I get to hear their feedback about how the message impacted their hearts. I am so honored to be chosen by God to empower women in the area of overcoming trials for the purpose of thriving in life, for His glory. If you’re ever in need of a Speaker for your Women’s Event, you can CONTACT ME HERE. If you would like to hear my story about overcoming two of the most devastating trials of my life and the 4 STEPS that I took to heal and thrive again, check out my book; STEP Into It, Overcoming Trials that Lead to Purpose.
What do you think?
Which shoe option do you like? 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! 💕
Don't Forget your Sewing Project Checklist
Did you know that I created a Sewing Project Checklist to help you stay organized while sewing your garments? If you missed the video where I shared 3 Steps to Time Saving Sewing for Beginners, check it out to learn how you can streamline your sewing process. Tap the link below to get a Free PDF copy of the Checklist.
Links to Products, Posts & Tutorials
Here are links to products, blog posts, and tutorials mentioned in this post.
- Pattern (Out-of-Print)
- Fabric Option
- Sewing Project Checklist
- Learn to SEW Course
- Baby Lock Soprano
- Baby Lock Vibrant
- Baby Lock Euphoria
(DISCLAIMER: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission on qualifying purchases. All opinions in this post are my own.).)