A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

Heart Gingham Dress: McCall's 7543 Review

Hello everyone! Today's post will be about an off-the-shoulder dress I made this past spring using McCall's 7543. I used a cotton black and white gingham and added hearts punched out of Cricut vinyl. This pattern has been very popular for the last year or so, so it was nice to finally try the pattern out.


Both gingham and off-the-shoulder dresses have been everywhere lately. Pattern companies have definitely followed suit and created a multitude of off-the-shoulder and asymmetric tops. The dresses pictured above were the looks I took my primary inspiration from in making this dress.

The Pattern

I used McCall's 7543 to make this dress. Many people have used this pattern successfully, so I was excited to give it a go. It's nice when pattern companies produce patterns that are really on trend and in fashion.

I made the longer version of the dress with short sleeves. The only real design change I made was to extend the casing at the top of the dress a few inches to make a ruffle around the top of the dress. I also chose not to topstitch down the pockets, as advised by the pattern instructions.

Click here for the official pattern information from McCall's! 

When I purchased this pattern, I mistakenly bought the XS-M size rather than the L-XXL size range. I could tell the medium might be a little small, so I decided to cut about a half size larger than the medium. In retrospect, I think the dress would look better if I had just fully committed to making a size large. I didn't make a muslin mock up for this project, so I'm okay with the results!


Creating the heart gingham print was by far the most exhaustive and frustrating part of this project. In order to do this, I punched hearts out of Cricut vinyl and ironed them on to the white parts of the gingham print. Also, as in the last project in which I used the vinyl, it's important to remember to use 100% cotton as well as a thick punch that is strong enough to cut through the vinyl.

Initially, I started out by applying the hearts to the gingham before cutting the pattern out. I should've applied the hearts after, because some of the hearts get wasted as scrap fabric. For some reason, I thought doing it beforehand would make it easier to cut.

But, overall, it would have been much more efficient to print a Spoonflower print of a heart gingham fabric. This method probably would have been more secure as well. By the time I punched enough hearts out of vinyl, I had to purchase several rolls of Cricut vinyl, so this project was not as cost effective as it could have been.

What I would change

As mentioned above, I would've cut a size large, so the dress would fit more loosely. I also would have altered the armhole to fit a little lower to prevent it from riding up; of course, this might've been fixed by simply sewing a larger size. Even if the dress looked a little too loose, more elastic could've been added. And I think a scrunched up look with more elastic would look nice. Ultimately, these problems haven't prevented me from wearing the dress, but I would fix them if I made this pattern again. 

Also, I would've done something different in regards to the fabric, but at least I'm finished with it now.


Here are some more pictures of the final look!

In summation, this dress is far from perfect, but it's good enough to wear from time to time. Even though I don't love it as much as I wish I did, at least I ended up with a wearable finished result that matches my personal style. If I use this pattern again in the future, I will definitely make some of the changes discussed above.

Thanks so much for reading! Look forward to some new posts coming up soon! I'm currently trying to post at least twice a month, but I hope to post more for Halloween! 

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