Meet the pattern that would not go away, McCalls 6696 – Shirtwaist Dress. As a lover of the shirtwaist I am surprised it wasn’t in my radar long ago. Alas, it was not. That is, until I joined the Autumn of 1000 Shirtdresses: A Sewing Challenge hosted by Idle Fancy. My friend, Mary, insisted my first rendition of this lovely should be View A (sleeveless, ay yi yi). Why this pattern seems to have a cult following, LOL. The variations sewists have come up with are phenomenal.
Andie, of Sew Pretty in Pink, sealed the deal for me. In addition to choosing one of my faves in a news print (well, they call it “Kitty Chronicle” but looks like newsprint to me) fabric her silhouette reminds me of moi. Either way, like me, she’s not one of those skinny ladies. I’m having dreams about recreating this baby. Click on the photo to be taken to her blog.
Via Google search I found this rendition of M6966: Look at that tiny waistline . . . . to die for (or diet for, bwwhh haaa)
This is inspiring me to take my time when I get to this project; make sure I press judiciously (of course I always do, ahem); and by golly purchase some slim belts for my up and coming vintagey wardrobe. That waistline with the belt loops and belt, slenderizing the waist make this frock a hit in my book.
I can’t wait to dive into this project. Thankfully, Ms. Mary, of Idle Fancy shared a collar tutorial. I am all for paying it forward so here’s the link. Like Ms. Mary there are sure to be many of these babies coming from me and Tabitha.
Okay, I confess to making a mistake. Duh on me, I was supposed to sew the bias binding and turn it toward the inside of the armhole. BUT, as one born feet first I did it backwards and the binding is on the outside of the armhole. The dilemma: Do I rip and re-do or leave it. Call in Brittany, my teenager friend who happens to be my husband’s daughter. She says I should leave it; she likes it. Oh, wait, can you see it in the shot below? I will either take a photo featuring it or let you see it in the final reveal. If you think it is bad looking I can always change it to the original instructions.
The challenge ended Jan. 10th and there is a give-a-way to a fortunate gal that completed the project on time. Can’t wait to see who got what. Meanwhile, on I sally forth in completing my first McCalls 6696. This morning I completed the skirt side seams and it is now pinned to the waistband and bodice. Can’t wait to get back home and sew some more.
The collar and stand was easey peasey thanks to Four Square Walls. Check out her tutorial.
I discovered I enjoy working with contrasting fabric. It was fun to put together. Though hard to decide what should go where.
Since my measurements are all over the place I used the multi-sized feature when cutting out the pattern. My waist is ginormous as compared to my bust and hip areas. Thankfully, this pattern comes with different pattern pieces for different cup sizes . . . YAY! Consequently, I did not do a FBA as I normally would. For future versions I will probably lengthen the skirt at least 1″. A white, 50s style knitted cardigan would be lovely with this frock. Do I really want to take up knitting now with all the sewing to be done?
My photos were taken in low light conditions. When I lightened them via a photo editor it affects the quality of the photo. It’s weirdly interesting that it brightens the photo while making it blurry. I opted for too dark versus blurry in some of the photos here.
Main fabric – Thrifted bed sheet – $1.00
Gingham fabric – eBay purchase – $ 2.99 (plus s/h)
Notions – Thread, buttons, vintage rayon bias binding – from stash practically free! 🙂
Belt – Thrifted
Would I recommend this pattern to others: Definitely yes!
Did it come out looking like the pattern envelope: Yes.
I couldn’t decide to wait and post until I could get a photo of me in this frock or go ahead and blog about it. Obviously, blogging about it won out, LOL. This project was due December 10, ay yi yi so I want to finally put this baby to rest. Trust, there will be more shirtwaists coming from me and Tabitha for sure. If I get a photo in it perhap I’ll post it and link back to this post for inquiring minds. This project was truly a blast. Now, on to my Minoru jacket, finally, YAY!
Sobriety from electronic sewing machines since 2012