McCall’s 7948 Pattern Review

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Perfect Beginner Sewing Pattern Sew Along

If you are liking the casual look of the current summer design filled with ruffles and easy wearability, you will love this McCall’s 7948 pattern. I chose to make version B which has more structure, versions C and D with the tiers would also be a lovely dress choice.

What we will cover in this sew-along:

  • Perfectly finished facings that don’t pop out
  • Pleats and gathers
  • Side pockets stitched into the empire waist seam
  • Button loop closure

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The Sew Along

Watch the step-by-step sew along video. McCall’s M7948 is the perfect pattern for beginner sewing. The sew along video offers instructions easy to follow for beginners along with adding some new techniques to your sewing pattern tool kit.

The Pattern

McCall's 7948 pattern

McCall’s 7948 is available at Minerva — Sorry, the pattern is no longer free.

The digital pattern requires you to print out the pieces and tape them together. If you are new to using pdf patterns you can view pdf assembly tips and tricks to get your down the right road.

If you don’t want to download, print, tape, and cut the pdf dress pattern, you can purchase your own copy of McCall’s M7948 at Minerva or Joanne‘s.

The Fabric

McCall's 7948 pattern

[Minerva Core Range Gingham]

As a Minerva Ambassador I chose this cheery yellow gingham fabric. While I love the fabric, it doesn’t like my steam iron so everything needed to be pressed with a press cloth. The gingham is also a little stiff, not giving the dress the light, floating feeling you would want. The pattern is more suitable for softer fabrics. The ruffle will drape nicer with a lightweight fabric.

It is also sheerer than you would expect which is or is not okay. For me — not so much, I need a slip.

You can read more about this cute gingham dress at Minerva – be sure to follow me there!

Pro Tip: This fabric is a little stiff, to soften it up wash the dress (or fabric) in a front load washer with a can of Coke-a-Cola. Not a joke — it really works — imagine what it does to your insides!

The Facings

McCall's 7948 pattern

[Facing, McCall’s M7948]

If you know me, you know I am not a fan of facings. But, in this instance I thought it would be good to demonstrate how to sew a beautiful facing with a clean finish that will stay in place. A flat lace trim finish would also be a lovely addition to the neckline.

If you would prefer a lining to finish off the neckline and offer more bodice coverage, you can explore how to make the design changes necessary by viewing the Butterick 5456 sew along – I love this casual summer dress.

The Pocket

The pocket is sewn into the waistband, which I love. It keeps the pocket from flopping around.

Button Closure Loop

McCall's 7948 pattern

[Button Closure Loop, McCall’s M7948]

This is a simple technique for hand sewing a button closure loop. The thread loop is a soft and delicate closure for this slit back bodice.

Pleated Skirt Vs Gathered Skirt

McCall's 7948 pattern

[Pleats, McCall’s M7948]

I opted for the pleated skirt in this version because I have been making so many gathered pieces. The sleeve detail adds a nod to the trendy gathering and the pleats give the dress a little more subdued style.

Ready To Wear

If you are loving the summer gingham trend, you can find lots of pretty options at Nordtroms.


That’s A Wrap

McCall's 7948 pattern

The pattern pieces for McCall’s M7948 go together without a hitch.

Dresses are a comfortable way to dress for summer, get your free McCall’s 7948 Pattern and start adding dresses to your closet.

Happy Sewing,



I love my Bernette 38 Sewing Machine. It is perfect for sewing beautiful garments. 

Make your garments better with my 21 Tips To Take Your DIY Garment From Homemade To High End

Do you love Sew Alongs and Sewing Tips and Tricks? My Youtube channel Barrett’s Custom Design is filled with great sewing techniques served up with a few laughs. 

My Sewing With Sandi Etsy Shop has over 500 hard to find women’s, men’s, and children’s patterns. You will find little girls’ bows, a few sewing notions, sewing kits, but mostly lots and lots of patterns.  You will find little girls’ bows, a few sewing notions, sewing kits, but mostly lots and lots of patterns. 

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