McCalls,  Ready To Wear Fast,  Sewing With A Plan,  Wardrobe Builder

McCalls 2401 – Tried and True

Hello all,

A few years ago, McCalls put out M2401 which on the surface is a run of the mill sheath pattern.  A front, cut on the fold with darts at the bust and down the abdomen, two darted back pieces, and sleeves…or not.

Where the clever folks at McCalls really did us a good turn was with the number of options and combinations that they put into the one envelope.  Have a look:

McCalls M2401

Ultimately, there are four sleeve variations; cap, mid, full or none.  You have a choice of V neck, round or square.

I have made this dress a few times now and each one looks very different from the other as dictated by choice of fabric.  Glencheck with mid length sleeves for work, navy crepe with lace overlay for a wedding – you get the idea.

Most recently however, and in my efforts to build basics into my wardrobe, I pulled this pattern out of my files again and made a sleeveless V neck version in a medium weight black knit.



Because I now had some stretch to play with along with a large neck opening, there was no need for a zipper.  Of course, if this was a formal dress or one made with a woven, the zip would absolutely be required.

I pulled the centre darts in on both the front and back pieces more than the pattern calls for, and you can see here that I could have done so even more.



So overall…a bit of a yawn, right?  Good staple for the closet but not something that I would likely wear, as is.  This is my worry – that in choosing to focus (partly) on basics I am ultimately going to end up assembling a wardrobe of uniforms.  It is for this reason that I know there is a need to interject some pattern, colour and fun into my overall plan.



Now this is the ticket.  A belt and something to make it pop.  This is the look that I am going for.

The fuscia cardigan is McCalls 6996 that I made earlier this year.  You can read about it here.



Now I have an outfit that is pulled together.  This works for me.

As a side note, this pattern is still in production.  A couple of points about it:

  • Like many of the Big 4, I find this does run larger than the finished measurements suggest.  There are vertical darts in the front and back to assist you in creating the best fit for yourself.
  • The skirt could stand to be pegged a little more for a shapely fit.  Again, there is plenty of room to play around the side seams to customize it to your liking and comfort.

But again, it is a good basic sheath that has options baked in, allowing for some easy customization.

So – It’s Victoria Day weekend coming up here in Canada.  Yay – a three day weekend!

And I think it is a good idea to put my wardrobe builder mentality aside for a few days and stretch my skills a little.  Stay tuned…

Bye for now,



  • Laura Casey

    Oh wow, did you make this dress sing! I always liked dresses when I worked, because you could throw it on, add some accessories and your good to go. But I absolutely LOVE it with your magenta sweater knit and belt…..the sweater takes 10 to 15 lbs off you! Very pulled together look. Have fun this week-end!

  • Andrea

    Thanks Laura, I’m glad you said that. The dress on its own is plain jane and rather shapeless. It could use some additional fitting within the darts I think. But with the belt and cardigan, the outfit is made. And I agree with you. There is something to be said about pull on and go.

  • Sandra Baumgartner

    I just saw this dress made in a black & white geometric print with contrasting short sleeve and hem band. It looks fantastic. Her dress looks very different from yours because of the geometric print. This is a very classic pattern and I love the neck options. I agree with you – adding the belt and the magnenta knit sweater really pulls the outfit together. Good work and keep making this pattern in other fabrics/colours and possibly prints/textures.

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