I joined a sew along from the McCall Blog a few weeks ago. The idea was to make a shirt dress using a McCalls, Butterick, or Vogue pattern. I have been wanting to make one for some time now and this was a perfect excuse. I chose McCall 6696 doing view B.
Looks easy enough, right?
I started out with the plan to do a sloper/muslin/practice dress out of a cute print my Mom picked up for me. (Thanks Mom)
I love how summery this fabric looks!
After washing and ironing the fabric, I was ready to start cutting. My space can be limited sometimes and so is my family time when teenagers actually want to be around, so my cutting location was not ideal (my living room floor), but it got the job done and I got to talk to the kiddos while doing it.
After cutting out the pieces and marking all my circles, squares, etc. I used my dressform to fit the pieces and make sure it was going to work out.
I pinned darts in place according to markings. Then I pinned pleats in place and attached skirt to bodice.
According to my pinning, I was good to go. So I set to putting my fabric under my needle and making magic. I followed the pattern instructions and started with the bodice. It came together pretty easily, even with the faced back on the upper bodice back. (Think of the upper back of a mans dress shirt and how it's two layers of fabric.)
Not a lot of gathering needed for the sleeves, which I like. However, there is gathering on the back. Once I had the dress all together I decided the gathering is too much, so on the next one I will decrease the width of that panel so as to decrease the gathered material.
Another problem I ran into was the amount of material going through my serger in the gathered areas. My serger is not a heavy duty one and kept getting jammed, resulting in three broken needles. After the third I gave up and switched back to my regular Brother machine and then used pinking shears to finish the edges after sewing. This is a quick way to finish edges when serging is not an option.
The skirt does have pleating which gives you a nice full skirt bottom, but be careful when you pin and press. Make sure you are lining up according to the pattern markings and be sure to baste it. Basting may seem like a waste of time, but it is definitely worth it!
After basting the pleats in place and sewing the pockets in place I finished assembling the skirt. This pattern calls for you to hem the skirt before attaching to the bodice. This definitely makes it easier I think.
Here is the finished dress. I think it turned out well. I added yellow buttons and a yellow ribbon for a belt. On the next one I will lengthen the back length a bit because I felt it hit too high on my waist. But that may be just me.