McCalls 6696: DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress
Remember a couple of posts back I outlined my sewing plans to try and enter the PR.com Wardrobe Contest? Well, this is my first item in the contest. Well, it is and it isn’t. First off, I changed my mind about my original plan to sew a denim dress using Vogue 9077. When I looked closer at that particular pattern, I thought it was going to take quite a bit of work to do an FBA. So I decided to go with McCalls 6696: you can see my first version here. Secondly, I have actually sewn 3 other items for the contest already, and am half way through the fifth item. I don’t honestly know if I am going to make the deadline or not (10 items in 2 months is an awful lot!) but there’s still time…
Anyway, back to this version of McCalls 6696. I am just going to go straight to the pattern review below. But I do want to say that I love this version. I tried to distress the (80z) denim somewhat using sandpaper, and for the most part I think it’s worked. I didn’t think I would like slimmer skirt option of this dress, but, surprisingly, I do. Even though this is a casual denim dress I still feel smart and comfortable wearing it.
Dresses have collar, collar band, self-lined yoke back, close-fitting bodice, and band. A: carriers, purchased belt. A, B: pleated skirt, side pockets. A, C: purchased bias tape finishes armholes. D: sleeve bands. C, D: semi-fitted through hips, side front pockets, stitched hems. Bias, close-fitting slip has shoulder straps and very narrow hem. A/B, C, D cup sizes.
Note: I made view D, with the belt tabs from View A, and I also switched the sleeves out for long cuffed sleeves with a continuous lapped placket from Vogue 9077.
8 – 24. This is one of those multi-cup sized patterns so no need for an FBA.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, apart from the sleeves.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I don’t know why it took me so long to make a second version of this dress! Well, maybe I do. There are quite a few pieces that need to be cut, some with interfacing, and quite a few markings that need to be made. But it’s definitely worth it. There is nothing I dislike about this dress. Except maybe the gathers at the back, but I can live with them.
8oz denim throughout, including the facings.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I initially added 1 inch to the length, but ended up removing 1.5 inches from the length in the end.
I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment on the back bodice.
I had to cut the yoke on the cross grain due to fabric constraints.
I used the burrito method to attach the yokes.
I used contrast topstitching thread and didn’t do any of the hand sewing the pattern advised, except for the inner waistband. I would have liked to have topstitched this as well, but due to the belt loops being attached before the waistband is joined to the bodice this wasn’t possible. If I wanted to do this I should have bar tacked the belt loops on after attaching the waistband.
Any other changes are highlighted in my first review of this pattern.
I attempted to distress the denim by using fine sandpaper and a sanding block.
I set the sleeves in flat to get the faux flat fell stitch finish on the top of the sleeves: the inside of this dress is all overlocked.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. I might sew this again. It’s a great pattern. Yes, I highly recommend.
I think this dress is flattering and comfortable, but the dark denim still makes me feel smart. Love the waistband detail and the slimmer skirt on this version.
See you all soon with hopefully some more Wardobe Contest sewing!
Edited to add: check out this Boden denim dress….very similar in style, don’t you think?