Sunday, May 11, 2014

McCalls 6696 - Take 2

As you can tell from the Gabriola skirt, I'm obsessed with linen.  While it wrinkles in the wearing, it is a pleasure to sew and wear - it takes high heat steaming/pressing well, and drinks in topstitching beautifully. was having one of their "get one yard of linen for free" sales so I bought three yards of their color "Meadow" and made another McCalls 6696 shirtdress, this time view "D" with the more narrow skirt with pockets:

I had been waiting to make this version since I saw Handmade Jane's denim dress.  Here's my version:

(Not thrilled about the slightly uneven hemline at the front.)  Here's a closer shot:  I made the cuffs as drafted which The Carpenter described as "Star Trek":

 I've made this dress before, with the pleated skirt, in a quilting cotton, but I don't remember the back being quite this blousy before.  The linen really accentuated the blousy-factor:

 Next time, I will definitely remove some of the width in the back pattern piece to cut down on this poofiness in the back.  It's a little ridiculous.  

In addition to sewing view D this time instead of view B, I used the "C" cup front pattern piece because I felt like last dress I made was a little short in the front, and this might be due to the fact that I needed a larger cup size:

In the end, I don't think I need the "C" cup - I think this dress has a tendency to pull to the back at the shoulders and neck area, causing the front waist to rise up and I don't know why.  I don't know if it is how the dress is drafted, or if there is some alteration that I need to make that I don't know about:

Other than that, I cut and sewed a size 12.  I found, though, that the skirt was a little bit tight, so I let it out as much as I could in the hips, given that I had already trimmed the side seams and finished them with an overlock stitch, so there wasn't much I could let out. It fits, but I want to remember to add a little extra in the hips next time.

I added 1 inch to length, and hemmed with my favorite method, which is using a strip of fabric cut on the bias and then folded in half like french binding.   It gives a nice clean hem, and is an easy way to provide length.  This time, unlike my last version, I remembered to lengthen the front bands so I didn't have to piece them:

 While I had this dress done for ages, it took me awhile to get the buttons on it; all that topstitching and pressing of this wonderful linen ended up being a goodly amount of work, and I really didn't want to put plastic buttons on this dress.  So I splurged for real pearl shell buttons I got at Chadwick Heirlooms:

They weren't cheap - these 10 buttons cost me about $ 18.00.  I can definitely say that when I wear this dress out, I'll be saving the buttons for another project!

 Just like my last version, I added an enormous amount of topstitching that the pattern didn't call for.  As I said above, linen just drinks in topstitching.  It makes for a lovely finish, and helps with subsequent pressing, by keeping everything in place.  All and all, this project was an experiment in using's linen and it was nice to work with.  I'm looking forward to wearing this dress this summer!


Lauren of Rosie Wednesday said...

This looks great on you! I love your first version, too. That's such a nice hem finish!

Annelieke said...

Lovely, Kim! This is Annelieke from Gertie's class! I enjoy your blog so much.

I wanted to ask which weight linen you used for this dress? I'm never certain which weight to order from them.