Back in March, my dad’s wife texted me out of the blue with pictures of fabric. These are my favorite kinds of texts to receive. I’m not past receiving Facetime calls from the fabric store, either. Together, we picked out this blue printed fabric. It is fairly heavy and has some stretch to it. The dark blue splotches are actually a little fuzzy and velvet-like.
I knew that this fabric was going to be made into a dress from the time that I helped pick it out. I had a shirt dress silhouette in mind, but didn’t pick out the pattern until McCall’s announced their shirtdress sewalong. Then, I landed on McCall’s 6891. I was most inspired by this version. My local store didn’t have it in stock, so I ordered it directly from them.
Even though this dress started out with such deliberate planning, it didn’t come together so smoothly.
The pattern is rated as easy, and says that it can be completed in 3 hours. I don’t know how they calculated that it would take 3 hours, but I ended up spending more like 15 hours on this dress. I know I’m not the fastest sewist in the world, but I’d like to think that I’m not 5x slower than average.
Everything came together smoothly until I got to the collar. Now, I had read a lot of online reviews of this pattern, and about half of them mention having difficulty with the collar. After feeling cocky, and trying to simply follow the instructions, I ended up very far from having a collar. Then I tried pinning the paper pattern pieces together to work it out, but that didn’t work, so I ended up hand basting the tissue pieces together. This helped a lot, but I still didn’t totally get it. Feeling desperate, I turned to my fellow sewists for help on Instagram, and @kimikohandmade saved the day! She sent me to this amazingly helpful and well photographed tutorial at Pattern Scissors Cloth. Finally the notched collar made sense.
This dress fits great. I made a straight size 8 and didn’t make any changes at all. I didn’t even shorten the dress, which I do to 9/10 patterns. As a bonus, it even has pockets.
I haven’t worn this dress out in public yet. It has been extremely hot and sticky in North Carolina recently, and the dress is too heavy to wear just yet. I’m looking forward to wearing it once it cools down a little bit, and I think it will also work with black tights and a cardigan through the winter.
I am already working on my second version of this dress. It will be a lighter, summery floral version. It’s currently in the process of being cut out. Check back to see it soon.
Pattern: McCall’s 6891 in size 8
Fabric: 3 yards of blue and black stretch cotton blend
Notions: interfacing, buttons, black thread
Cost: gifted fabric + $4.94 interfacing + gifted buttons + thread from stash = $4.94 ($8.93 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: 15 hours