Gorgeous versions of the M7969 started appearing regularly on Instagram last year and I was influenced to add the pattern to my ‘make nine’ plans for 2021. The dress has continued to grow in popularity and is now very difficult to find in stock anywhere, so I’m glad I snapped up a paper copy from Jaycotts when I had the chance!
The dress is a very loose-fitting, pullover style with no fastenings, so it would be a good project for an advanced beginner. The pattern includes three different skirt lengths and four different sleeve variations, so you get a lot of options for the price of the pattern. I chose to make version A with the shorter, plain skirt and balloon-style sleeves. The bound cuffs and neckline are finished with a slip-stitch, so maybe give this one a miss if you’re not a fan of hand sewing!
I had originally planned to use a fabric from my stash for this dress, but a few weeks ago the lovely ladies at Atelier Jupe got in touch to see if I would like to try one of the fabrics from their new spring/summer range. I previously bought some Atelier Jupe viscose from Sew Me Sunshine to make my Frida dress and it is stunning – both the colours and quality – so of course, I said yes!
Atelier Jupe have seven designs of viscose and four different stretch cottons in their spring/summer range and choosing just one was a challenge – they are all beautiful! In the end I couldn’t resist the tropical palm leaves design – the greens and teals with coral pops is SO pretty and I knew it would be perfect for the M7969. If you haven’t worked with viscose before I would recommend starting with an Atelier Jupe fabric – they’re much more stable than other viscoses I have used, which means they don’t wriggle about everywhere when cutting out and they are well behaved when sewing.
Naturally when you’re making a garment with gifted fabric to promote a business, you want to do a good job of it, so I broke my ‘never toile’ rule and made a quick version of the bodice in some leftover crepe to check the fit. I made the size S after reading lots of reviews that suggested sizing down and the fit was actually pretty good. I made one adjustment, which was to widen the bodice pieces so that the wrap crosses over slightly higher up. This was suggested in a blog post by The Sara Project – she extended her pattern pieces by 3.5″, but I only extended mine by 2″ – luckily I remembered to extend my neckline binding piece too! This has worked really well to give me just a bit more coverage and security at the neckline and I know this will make me feel more comfortable and confident in the dress.
The only other alteration I made was to add 2.5″ in length to the skirt as I was worried it looked really short. Now I have seen the pictures of me wearing the dress I think it might be a bit too long, so I might go back and take the hem up again to its original length. It’s nice to have that option rather than feeling uncomfortable in a dress that feels too short, so I have no regrets!
So is the M7969 worth the hype? Definitely! I absolutely love the finished dress – it’s comfortable and easy to wear, but the pretty binding finish, feminine neckline and fabulous sleeves elevate it to something quite special. In a statement fabric like this with a pair of heels the dress wouldn’t look out of place at a fancy event, but make it in a cotton gingham and throw a wicker bag over your shoulder and you’re ready for a day at the beach. Still not sure? Follow #M7969 on Instagram to see over 1000 other versions and lots of clever hacks too!