McCalls 7187: A plaid transition dress for Fall


Yes, this dress is plaid and plaid does scream back-to-school and winter skirts. But don’t let my dress fool you. I have not given up on Summer!! After all, it’s only August. Sure, in a few weeks, the kids will be back in school, the warm air will have a crisp edge and we’ll have to start heating our houses again. But summer hasn’t thrown in the towel yet.

Still, my sewing projects are starting to shift. I’m reaching into my stash for heavier fabrics (reluctantly) with darker colors. I’m easing into this, though. After all, why let go of summer before we have to?


That’s why I decided to sew a transition dress. I won’t give up the hope that there are still warm days ahead, so the fabric is a light-weight cotton. But to make the dress fall-worthy, the colors of the plaid are dark; black, red, green and gold. And nothing shouts ‘fall’ quite as loudly as plaid. This one’s especially bold – a stand-up-and-get-noticed plaid.

The pattern I used is McCalls 7187, a new one that was included in the McCalls’ fall release.

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It’s a fit and flare style with some interesting options. You can cut the dress with a relatively simple, straight skirt, or you can add pleats or gathers to the side panels. The pattern envelope showed the dress in a plaid, a perfect option for my bold fabric.  I chose the straighter style, only because I didn’t have quite enough fabric for the gathered, fuller option and I wasn’t sure how the plaid would look on the gathered skirt.

The pattern went together like a dream. I always cut one size larger when I’m making a McCall’s pattern, since, on me, they seem to run small (at least that’s what I tell myself). This was the case with this pattern too. The fabric was so easy to work with and fabulous to sew! It’s a woven cotton that I purchased at Mill End Fabrics. It drapes nicely, which I’m guessing is a must for this dress.

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I cut the front inset on the bias as indicated, a fun option that makes the plaid pop. The inset looks tricky, since it has curved seams, which I expected to be absolute torture to get right. But the inset went in perfectly the first time. How about that?!  A shout-out to the pattern designer! Thank-you!

Other than the inset, the dress is was pretty straightforward. The pattern instructions made everything quite clear. All in all,  Actual Sewing Time on this plaid frock was about three hours (three episodes of Game of Thrones, LOL).


My only regret is that the dress isn’t lined, so my fabric tends to cling a bit to my legs from time to time. (Also, it was a bit windy when I shot the photos for this post which made the skirt go wonky.) I suppose you could line this dress though? But maybe the skirt would make that tricky? Not sure about that….

Are you sewing transition clothes? Or are you still focussed on summer?

Happy Sewing! And thanks for stopping by.

16 thoughts on “McCalls 7187: A plaid transition dress for Fall

  1. Interesting… I have that pattern… And a bunch of red plaid…hopefully enough… Because I plan on (hope to) make it up for the fall. While watching Game of Thrones. I’m on season two. Nice to see how it turns out – lovely – and the curved insert fits in well!

  2. SO glad to see this made up- I have been eyeing it but have not taken the plunge. Your fabric choice was perfect! I love that the inset has the lines and squares going in a different direction. Makes it eye catching! Nice work!

    1. Thanks! I think this pattern is destined to become one of my tried n’ trues! it fits well and has so many possibilities with the skirt variations and the front inset. I’ll be interested to see your version if you decide to go for it.

  3. I love the bias insert! It really does break up the plaid and create a great focal point. I’d love to make a jacket as a transition, and I have fabric to do it, but not much energy for it at the moment. Our summers tend to linger until one day, boom, snow. So planning transition pieces is always a little dicey. Pieces that you can layer are always a safe bet.

    1. Thanks! I agree – – I love that the insert is cut on the bias. It really makes the dress. A jacket seems like a good transition piece, especially if your summer comes to an abrupt halt, you’ll need layers! If you find the urge to proceed with your plan, I will be watching…I need inspiration! When it comes to layering, my wardrobe is a bit weak. I’ve been perusing the fall pattern releases of the big 4, looking for something new and interesting. But so far, nothing has caught my eye….I think I’ll check out the new Indie releases too.

      1. If you’re looking for jacket inspiration, literally any issue of Burdastyle is teeming with possibilities. They have so many great jackets in every issue, that I no longer buy issues on the basis of jacket patterns. I will never finish all of the Burda jackets I want to make in my lifetime!

      2. Great idea! I’ve got a few issues I should peruse. I want something that’s a bit cropped I think. Not sure though … Guess I’ll know it when I see it.

  4. This is lovely! Its so cute. I bought this pattern as soon as I saw but am yet to make it. I absolutely refuse to start making Fall clothes yet because I am still holding a torch for summer 😉 !

    1. Thanks! Yes, I may have jumped the gun a bit on fall, but I think it’s because for me, the summer has been too hot! It was 100 degrees here yesterday. This dress though, is remarkably lightweight, in spite of its appearance. It can take the heat too.

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