Skater Dress | McCalls 7079

I recently picked up McCalls 7079 to make my oldest daughter (12 yrs) a casual dress. I love that this pattern has several different style options, from plain to a little more girly. This will be a very versatile pattern to have around!


I let her pick out the combination she wanted, and she opted for short sleeves and a flared skirt. I was going to do the triangle back cutout, but decided to go with the plain back to check the fit first. Without the cutout she can easily pair this with leggings and cardigans for Fall.

The fabric I used is from Cali Fabrics. It’s a cotton/lycra and is perfect for this style. This was the first time I ordered from them, and I was pleased with the quick shipping and overall quality of the fabrics; I’ll definitely order from them in the future since they have such a large selection of knits. My only quibble with this fabric is that the black ink bled in places onto the white. I usually use a color catcher when washing fabrics like this, but I totally spaced. Overall, it’s not really noticeable, but something to note if you have this one in your stash.


She generally wears a 12/14 in girls sizes, but her measurements put her all over the place for this pattern. I decided to sew a straight size 12 since I didn’t need to be overly fussed about fitting. This seems to have worked out just fine—it fits well through the shoulders, and still has some ease through the waist. Now, she’s not really into letting me closely examine her to check the more fine points of fitting (and this print is really busy, obscuring any fit issues from the casual observer) but I think she could use a little extra length in the bodice front.


The sleeves have quite a bit of extra ease in the sleeve cap—more so than a knit tee requires—so I lowered the cap by about 3/8″ to remove some of it. Also, the sleeves have a 1″ hem allowance, which seems unusually deep, so I cut off 1/2″ and did my preferred 1/2″ hem.

The only other change I made was to the neckline. The instructions suggest that you double turn the neckline and top stitch in place (a 5/8″ hem allowance). I just really, really hate that type of finish, and looking at the few examples I found online, the neckline looks too wide to me. Changing nothing to the pattern, I simply added a 1/2″ neckband, sewn with a 1/4″ SA. With the neckband it looks more like a regular t-shirt neckline, and that’s really what we wanted anyway.


Sleeve cap and neckline preferences aside, this is a great pattern, and I’m sure I’ll be using it frequently. My girls love this style of dress, and it’s so fast to sew up. Most importantly, she immediately declared it her “favorite dress ever!” so. That’s a win.

—lisa g.


PATTERN: McCalls 7079
FABRIC: cotton/lycra from (available here)
SIZE: 12 (measurements for reference: 5’0″/32″/24.5″/31.5″)
MODS: added neckband
ALTERATIONS: lowered sleeve cap
NEXT TIME: add length to front bodice

24 thoughts on “Skater Dress | McCalls 7079

  1. Nora says:

    This looks wonderful and extremely versatile as you mentioned. I am curious about the neck finishing. Do you mean that you made a 1/2 inch bias tape and finished the neckline with this?

    • lisa g says:

      I did a standard tee shirt neck band, so I cut a strip 1.5″ wide, pressed it in half, then attached it with a 1/4″ SA. That gives the neckband a finished width of 1/2″. And thank you, I’m sure she’ll wear it a lot!

  2. Kathy Lynch says:

    Absolutely agree with you Lisa, regarding the neckline. Yours looks SO much better – well done! (And your daughter looks just lovely.) 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      As much as I’d rather add to my own wardrobe, I do really enjoy sewing for the kids. She’s always had a hard time finding clothes that suit her style (no frills or girly-ness!) and her frame, so often it’s a true necessity!

  3. Masha says:

    It’s really pretty. The fabric looks like it has a nice drape, too. I haven’t ordered from Cali Fabrics yet but I’ve browsed their site and the selection is so nice!

    • lisa g says:

      Thank you! The fabric has just the right amount of body to give the skirt a nice shape. I had browsed their selection many times and finally put in an order–so glad I did!

  4. teri dodds says:

    The dress looks so cute on her– especially paired with those cute red flats! I would have done the same thing with the neckline. I don’t like the turn and top stitch method, either. It’s so awesome that it’s her favorite dress, ever, too!

  5. chocolatebluenz says:

    The perfect dress for all ages. I don’t usually wear dresses but have just discovered this style and love the comfort of a knit. I make a neckband and attach with my serger then fold it to the inside and top stitch from the outside. Having seen my dress my mother (almost 80) wants a dress in this style too.

    • lisa g says:

      I like that neckline finish too! Looks nice and clean from the outside, and is much more sturdy than a turn and stitch. This is one of those dress styles that looks good on anyone, of any age!

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