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.  Fabrics-store.com 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 Fabric-store.com's linen and it was nice to work with.  I'm looking forward to wearing this dress this summer!

2 comments:

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.