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McCalls 6696 – Navy Linen Shirt Dress

Hello all,

It has been a while since I last posted.  My sewing pace slowed down quite a bit as I worked on McCalls 6696.  Here is the picture from the pattern envelope:


I’ve always liked shirt dresses and I’m not sure why I haven’t made one before now. After seeing a few iterations of this one on Pattern Review and a darling denim one on my hairdresser, I was sold.

Here are all the pieces laid out and ready for cutting.



Thirteen pieces to be exact – yikes!  This was not going to be one of my “one night wonders” for sure.

In keeping with my goal of purposeful wardrobe building, I chose a navy linen/viscose blend from my local Fabricland.  My hope in choosing the blend was that the viscose would help with the wrinkles and fraying that come naturally with linen.  That turned out to be a bit of pie in the sky I’m afraid.   A friend of mine calls linen garments “rich wrinkes” – sounds good to me.

McCalls has you tuck the seam allowances within the facings at the yoke, waistband and collar stand which cleverly makes for an overall neat appearance on the inside of the dress.  I still decided to serge all seam allowances to mitigate the fraying fabric.  It is then recommended that you slip stitch the facings closed.  Normally, I enjoy hand stitching as I watch T.V. in the evenings, and if I was using a lighter colour I may very well have followed those directions.  But there was no way I was going to squint my way through navy thread on navy fabric.  Instead, I chose to find my inner quilter and stitch in the ditch.



And no one is the wiser.

I made a minor change to the back of the dress.  The pattern has you gather at both the top and bottom.  The bottom was gathered, but where the top meets the yoke I opted for a box pleat for no other reason than personal preference.



Overall, I am pretty happy with the end result.  I learned a couple of new techniques with this dress; trying out the automatic buttonhole function on my Janome 6500 for the very first time.  Also, this was my first time sewing this side pocket style.  And I’m happy to say that I had just a single instance with my stitch ripper and ran to my mum only once with my hands full of pins and fabric pieces.

Here is a close up of the side pocket detail,




And the completed dress,



Bye for now,



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