Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Summer Shirtdress: McCall's 6696

There's something about a dress with buttons, or a shirt with buttons or hey even a skirt with buttons.  I've noticed that I have a lot of things on my to-sew list, which involve a lot of buttons.  But, it's the buttons that make me procrastinate actually completing the garment.  Don't you hate that?  I've had McCall's 6696 dress finished for a while now, but I've been procrastinating with sewing buttonholes and sewing on the buttons.  Anyways, I'm happy to finish it finally.  It really was an enjoyable sewing project.

One of the design details that I appreciate in this pattern, other than the buttons, are the gathers in the back bodice.  Here's a close up!

I made view C and I made 3 muslins and several fitting adjustments:
  1.  Bodice Back - Sway back adjustment to eliminate bulkiness puffing out in the back bodice pleating.  I trimmed off some excess on the bodice back pattern at centre back along the bottom edge.  See photo. 
  2. Bodice Front - I ended up doing a size 12 D grading to 14 at the waist.
  3. Bodice Front - 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment
  4. Bodice Front - moved waist dart out 1/2" and lengthen 1/2" and shaped the dart
  5. Bodice Front - shaped side bust dart (slight concave)
  6. Bodice Front - 3/8" gaping neckline adjustment which created a hassle in changing the collar stand and collar to fit a slightly smaller neckline but was totally worth it.
  7. Skirt Back - moved dart toward centre 1/2" and lengthened dart a total of 2 3/4" extra.  Shaped dart.
To adjust the collar stand and collar to match the gaping neckline adjustment, I ended up reducing the length of those pieces by 2/8"x2 = 4/8"=1/2".  You would think it should be 3/8"x2 = 6/8" = 3/4"  But that was too small when I tried it.  Yeah.  It was a pain in the neckline big time.
Swayback adjustment. Trim the bottom edge straight.  That will reduce a bit of bulk which is accentuated with gathers.
Moving dart over and shaping with a curve

Construction Details
I underlined all pieces in white cotton batiste.  I decided to do the "burrito method" for attaching the  yoke lining and front bodice at the shoulder.  I love doing the burrito!

 There was a bit of hand sewing involved which I find relaxing.
 I basted the bias binding before hand sewing it to the underlining.

Well, that's my summer shirt dress!  Overall it's a great pattern that I think I'll make again.
Happy Sewing!


  1. Very pretty! Do you have to adjust all your patterns like so?

    1. Thanks Rebecca! I don't always do all these adjustments. I often avoid skirt fitting by sewing full skirted dresses. But, usually I need a bit of a forward shoulder adjustment and gaping neckline adjustment. I was not happy with where the darts were sitting on the bodice and the skirt so those definitely needed to be moved.

    2. Thanks. Getting back into sewing apparel again. Have been making quilts. Learning curve!

    3. That's awesome! I love quilting too. Sometimes it's a nice change from garment sewing.

  2. Your dress is beautiful! I love the fabric!

  3. Wow! I really love it. It looks great on you. Well done!

  4. What a beautiful fabric! And the dress is absolutely gorgeous on you, perfect fit! I just finished view B, which is easier to fit, plus I eliminated the back gathers. But now seeing your beautiful version I'm thinking of making another one like yours, although I would probably need to make another muslin �� When you say you graded the waist from size 12 to 14, did you grade the actual waist band? Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much! I love view B as well. I find that skirt more comfortable.
      I just used the size 14 waistband to match the bodice at the waist. The rest of the bodice is a size 12. Hope that helps :)