Cynth posted this question on My Review of McCalls 5974:
How does this pattern compare to the Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan Dress? They look quite similar.
Excellent question, and one that I thought might make a good blog post. I’ve made both versions of both patterns. I happen to love both patterns as well, and I would make both of them again and recommend them to other sewing enthusiasts. So let’s have a look at how they compare, shall we? We’ll start with the technical drawing.
The McCalls 5974 is drafted for moderate stretch knits only. The Hotpatterns Cosmopolitan can be sewn with either knits or wovens.
Both dresses have scoop and mock-wrap neckline options. Both have front midriff bands. The Cosmopolitan has a back midriff band as well. 5974 doesn’t. Both have CB seams, allowing for easier fitting. Both have CB zippers. Both have midriff ties, though the tie on the McCalls is only on the mock-wrap version. Of course, we sewing gods and goddesses don’t let that stop us, do we?
5974 has options for short-, bracelet- or full-length straight sleeves. Cosmopolitan has scarf sleeves or long sleeves with gathered cuffs and button closures. Cosmopolitan has side darts in the bodice front and waist darts in the bodice back for fitting. 5974 has pleats in the bodice front. The back of 5974 is dartless.
5974 is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern. It has lines already printed on the pattern pieces for fitting adjustments using the Palmer/Pletsch methodology. Cosmopolitan doesn’t have these printed on it, but if you have Fit for Real People, or any other good fitting book, you can easily make the adjustments yourself. Both patterns are well drafted and go together with ease.
5974 uses “Big Four” sizing. I take between a 12 and 14 in that size standard. Hotpatterns uses sizing that is closer to ready-to-wear. I take between an 8 and a 10 in that size chart. The Cosmopolitan Dress pattern contains all sizes from 6-26 in the envelope. McCalls 5974 has two size ranges: Misses 8-16 and Women 18W-24W. The two size ranges are sold separately. Because the Cosmopolitan is drafted for both knits and wovens, it has a bit more ease than 5974. When assessing which size to make in the Cosmopolitan, you might want to size down slightly if you are using a knit.
The bodice front pieces on the mock-wrap neckline version of McCalls 5974 extend about 3 inches beyond the center front. In the Cosmopolitan, the bodice fronts extend to the side seam, giving more of a surplice effect. Cosmopolitan uses a facing for its neckline finish, which I ignored. I bound the edges instead. 5974 calls for a narrow hem at the neckline.
In my wearing experience, the cut of the McCalls 5974 sits higher on me than the Cosmopolitan does. It’s not a huge difference, and I think it has more to do with the pleating in the bodice of 5974 than with anything else.
The midriff wrap ties are also different. Both are sewn into the side seams. In the Cosmopolitan, they are the same width as the midriff band.
While the ties in 5974 open out about 10 inches away from the seams and are sewn into the side seam in a single layer. They extend about 3 inches on either side of the midriff band:
Both dresses have flared skirts. They both end around the knee. Both are very flattering to wear.
So what’s the conclusion? They’re both great dresses. They are pretty similar, but there are enough style differences that you may want to choose one or the other.
What’s up this week???
Is the moon in grouchy, or worse this week? I’m not sure if it’s the change of season, the economy, the phase of the moon or what – but people have been snarky to the point of unpleasantness. It reached a crescendo yesterday, when I witnessed anti-Irish sentiment from several surprising quarters. I thought spin class was immune to it, but when the Irish music came on, a few people made some very nasty comments. I also saw some mean-spirited commentary online. It’s not only about the Irish. St. Patrick’s Day just brought that out, I think. I’m hoping it will pass.
Anyway, enough of that. Have a great weekend and happy sewing!