McCalls 6696 – Shirtwaist Dress


McCalls 6696-Recline

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.


McCalls_ 6696_contrast
Inside contrast

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.

Photo courtesy of Andie L.

Via Google search I found this rendition of M6966:  Look at that tiny waistline . . . . to die for (or diet for, bwwhh haaa)

naturlich kreativ M6696

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.

McCalls_6696_Vintage_Bias BindingMcCalls_6696_Vintage_Bias Binding
Vintage bias binding

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.

McCalls 6696-Side


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.

Thank you, Four Square Walls, for the collar 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?

McCalls 6696-Rear

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.

Project Stats:

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.

McCalls-6696- Mr.Lyric

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


15 thoughts on “McCalls 6696 – Shirtwaist Dress

  1. nothy lane

    I just picked up this pattern at the last BMV sale so I thrilled to hear (and see) that it sews up so nicely. I love that it is such a flattering fit to all sizes – since I don;t have the small waist of the woman in the denim dress pictured.


    1. Hello Nothy:

      Have you checked out Pattern Review site relative to this frock? Which reminds me, I need to go and post my experience with this. Can’t wait to make the short-sleeved version; oh yeah!




      1. nothy lane

        I am picking up fabric for it tomorrow – something really fun in a qulting cotton if I can’t find I print I like in a heavier cotton.


  2. I am loving these vintage dresses I’ve been seeing in blogland. This pattern M6696 has a few features I like–the waistband, belt loops, and the back yoke. Great use of fabric resources.


    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Andie L. You know you are my shirtwaist guru, girl. I am smiling this afternoon.



      P.S. I was hoping to get a pic in it today but while it is beautifully sunny, it is definitely nippy. I’m spoiled from the semi-tropical weather here I guess. Maybe I can get a pic in it between now and Sunday. I haven’t even seen myself in it, duh.


  3. You did a great job on the dress. i love it. I will definitely put this on the my wish-to-do list (along with the Robeson coat). I have some linen in my stash that will do well. Can’t wait to see it on you.


    1. Aww, bless your heart, Cinnaspice. And, I thank you so very much for the compliment. 🙂 Perhaps I can suck it up (been a lil windy here lately) and get a photo no later than after the meeting on Sunday if not before. With learning to Pioneer my time is so limited. Matter of fact, I need to get off line now and get some letters done.



      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Pink Gingham McCalls 6696 – Sew Lyrically Vintage

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