GUESS WHAT PATTERN I MADE?

Yeah. Another McCalls 6696. Even I’m looking unimpressed with my lack of adventure. What can I say? I knows what I likes.

Also, I cleaned out my wardrobe of all the things I didn’t like or didn’t wear, and I was left with about four outfits.

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This is pretty much everything except tshirts and yoga pants

Since there are five days in a working week, this was making things a tad repetitive. And you’ll recall that I said, when I made my first one, that I was dreaming of a teal version. This isn’t voile, it’s cheapo broadcloth from spotlight. I bought it to line the skirt of my flannel version, and just got an extra three metres for this dress at the same time. It was on sale for $5 a metre, which means that the buttons and thread cost more than the fabric. Can’t argue with that – well, I could if I wanted it’s not the best quality, I suspect it’ll have some colour fading issues eventually, given my experience with similar fabrics, and how it looks when I press it. But I wanted a teal version and I wanted it NOW, and I wanted a weight I could wear now, too – everything else in my stash is quite a bit lighter and would be too cold for this weather.

I will say, it was a really pleasant fabric to sew, though. Presses nicely, behaves itself, the lot. And I know what I’m doing with this dress well enough now that I could take my time with the bits I know matter, like getting the pleats pressed right the first time, and paying attention when sewing the placket, and the gathering at the back.

The only thing really worth noting is that I ‘drafted’ a curved waistband by slashing and spreading the existing band. I took my flannel version apart to deal with the too-small skirt issue and after some mucking around I’ve decided I need the size 20 above the waist and the 22 below. Wearing my anchor version I notice that the waistband pulls at the bottom and not the top, so I thought I’d give the curved band a go on this version, as a tester. It seems to work really well! That, and some press studs either side of the waist button, have all but eliminated the gape I get there. I don;t want to make the band much wider itself, because then the centre back pulls down at the pleat/gather, and is baggy and frumpy.

Slashing and spreading the band until it measures size 20 on top and 22 on bottom.
Slashing and spreading the band until it measures the same as size 20 on top and 22 on bottom – a 2 inch difference overall.

I did the waistband as a half, to cut on the fold, but I need to go back and even out the curve at the centre. I also ‘drafted’ a bigger pocket bag by drawing around my hand, but should have compared it to the existing bag. It IS bigger, but the side seam part doesn’t go down low enough so I can’t get my hands into it. I’m going to go back, cut it in half, and add in a bit of fabric in the middle, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

New pocket bag
New pocket bag

Fit wise, it has a few issues. The sleeves/armscye still aren’t perfect, the front bodice where I adjusted it by trimming some off the centre line is a bit weird, and the dart is too high. As a result of this combination, plus just having a belly so my waist is actually the widest part of my torso, at least on the front, the bodice rides up a bit.

Riding up to above my waist

Which I’m not a super fan of, and you can see the pull lines on the bodice that would argue it’s too tight. But loosening it anywhere leads to bagginess, and I’m even less a fan of that, so this is ok.

From the side and the back, though, it’s exactly how I want it and I’m so pleased.

And I feel very comfortable in it, both physically and because it’s basically exactly how I want to look, always.

I especially love it paired with my Bonnie jumper, which is looking a bit hard used, because I wear it almost every day. I need to make some more.

I also hemmed it a bit longer – I find because the skirt is so wide, it does tend to blow up a bit (see above…), so I hemmed it 4cm in total – 1cm turned under, 3cm turned up, which is less than the instructions say, I forget by how much. I think this is about perfect. It also means it’s long enough to wear my petticoat with it.

Be petticoated

Not going to lie, I am pretty into this look and also how it feels and sounds when I sit down in it, and I wish I were brave enough to wear it to work like this.

With petticoat

You can see here how the bodice is riding up because the dart is in the wrong place:

I think the dart needs to be lower and maybe also a bit shorter. I did think about turning it into a double dart, but I just wanted to sew so I didn’t bother. As I said, I know this fit could be better but it’s an acceptable compromise to me.

Here are some innards:

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Turns out I sewed the snaps a bit wonky so I’ll have to fix that – they make the waistband sit a bit off line. The buttons are in the right spot, thought. Buttons picked, once again, by the lovely Veronica at the Button Bar. I feel very lucky to work right across the road from there. Veronica ALWAYS picks the perfect buttons. She’s just magic.

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I french seamed the bodice, overlocked the sides of the skirt, and sewed the skirt together with a straight stitch. Luckily, because that will make fixing the pockets easier! The centre side of the skirts were cut right on the selvage so I didn’t need to finish them, and I overlocked the bottom seam of the waistband once I was sure it was working.

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I’m finally happy with my workmanship on the gathers, for this one.

I kept an informal count of how long this took, it was about 7 hours cutting to buttons. And the last two hours were buttons, because I was doing it over a couple of evenings when I was SO TIRED and it took me longer than it should have. I am really pleased with this one – with how it fits, how it looks, my workmanship and how I took it from start to finish without any hissy fits at all! A true winner.

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11 thoughts on “I knows what I likes

  1. I love this sentence – “And I feel very comfortable in it, both physically and because it’s basically exactly how I want to look, always.” I have a Marcy Tilton dress that I could wear every single day. I am new to your blog (found you through the Curvy Sewing Collective) and look forward to reading more of your posts.

    1. Thank you! I have been thinking about that a lot. I have a fair few clothes I like how they look and fit well, but when I put on my first shirtdress it was… like recognising myself finally. Ok that sounds overly dramatic! But honestly, it’s how I felt. Any time I am wearing one, especially with the cropped jumper over it, and I catch sight of myself in a mirror, I feel a rush of happiness. It’s nice to have clothes that make me feel like that instead of just basically covering my nakedness!

    1. Thank you! It’s my favourite colour, too 🙂 I should have taken a photo with my tinted glasses (for light sensitivity) because they match exactly!

      I don’t know why I even bother trying to look for buttons myself. Veronica always just goes straight to the right ones!

  2. I love it! I just got some corduroy in the same color for a fall 6696 with long sleeves, inspired by your flannel version. It really is such a perfect pattern. We should never stop making it! I also loved your comments on your photos post about having a right to look silly in public just as much as anyone else. I keep trying to get inspired to go photograph myself outside, but it’s really tough. I might try biking to a different neighborhood where I don’t know anyone so I won’t feel like all my neighbors are looking at me funny.

  3. One word: gorgeous! Perfect. I understand why you want to look like this every day. I love the photo you took of the back, showing the pleats in the skirt and the gathers in the bodice. Nicely done. I’ve seen a lot of versions of this that I like so I don’t know why I’ve never made it.

Whadya reckon?

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