"" The girl who makes things: Mccalls 6696 - the mint ice cream edition

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Mccalls 6696 - the mint ice cream edition

Readers, I'm having a rare experience: I've actually made something I love and want to wear again and again. It's strange, but true. I'm still in shock.


This is my second Mccalls 6696. My first attempt was a wearable toile which I've actually worn more times than I expected (and received a few compliments on) which isn't bad for a rather ropey effort! So I knew the pattern was a winner and all I needed to do was make a few changes to make the next edition extra super duper.


For a start I lowered the hemline slightly so that it finishes just below my knees. I omitted the gathers from the back bodice which gave far too much volume and made the front bodice less fitted. I also made my usual adjustment of narrowing the bodice to fit my small rib-cage. I didn't want it too fitted though - a little breeziness is ok for a shirt dress I think.


What else? Oh, I added a patch pocket to the front, just for the hell of it, and embroidered a little 'B' for 'Boony' (my nickname) on it, not Barbie in case you were wondering. Although I was a big fan of Barbie as a child.... Finishing touches!


But the biggest difference with this dress, which raises it far above the others, is that I actually used the instructions for once! If you follow Karen on Did You Make That? then you'll have seen her latest post about whether you're a sewing Rebel or a GTS (Goody Two Shoes). I'd say that I'm normally a Rebel, but most of my rebellious makes end up a bit rubbishy and unworn because I try to cut corners and change things beyond my capabilities. So I decided to be a GTS this time and follow the instructions and guess what - I love what I made. OK I wasn't a total GTS as I did make some small adjustments, but these were minor, and everything else was done to the letter.


I even decided to pleat the skirt instead of gather it. This was mainly down to the number of Mccalls 6696s online that showed me just how much lovelier a pleated skirt looks. I was particularly persuaded by the versions from Sew Dixie Lou, Sew Manju and Naturlich Kreativ. Praise be the online sewing community - it's an endless bucket of inspiration.

And the fabric is one of my new all time faves: cotton chambray. It caught my eye as I was about to exit Samuel Taylors empty handed on one fruitless fabric hunting expedition. It's a lovely mint ice-cream shade (hens the name), an excellent choice to help me cling on to the last few weeks of summer with a cold lager in hand!


Overall, fabric and GTS habits aside, I think that the success of this make is down to the pattern itself. I haven't seen a single Mccalls 6696 which hasn't looked utterly divine on the wearer. It's a universally flattering dress. I do love shirt dresses - I like the combination of smart and casual, feminine and masculine. They are my style of dress. The kind I could were day in, day out and never feel over/under dressed in. I'll be making Mccalls 6696 again, watch this space.

15 comments:

  1. This is is really gorgeous! I'm not surprised you love it and want to wear it again and again! It really suits you, and I like the way you're wearing it done up right to the collar. So cute!

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  2. This is gorgeous! I love the pleats on the skirt and the collar.

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    1. Thanks Lynne, I spent extra special time on the collar so I'm glad it worked out.

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  3. Looks great and such a pretty colour! I love the pleats on the skirt.

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  4. That is really pretty! I love how the back of it looks, especially the way the gathers, belt loops, and pleats work together. I need something similar!

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    1. Thanks Charity. Well, I'd definitely recommend the pattern if you fancy giving it a go!

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  5. That dress is an absolute winner!

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  6. Rachael this is gorgeous! You are so clever! x

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  7. The fitting, the colour, your smile - everything! Such perfection.

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  8. Those buttons are gorgeous, and this dress is beautiful on you. Well done!

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  9. I know this is probably a basic question and I should know the answer but how do you narrow the bodice and omit the gathers? I'm teaching myself dressmaking using books and you tube and have never altered a pattern before sewing. I have the pattern and so eager to start but know it will be too wide... I also have a small ribcage!
    Thanks .

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