Memories of Summer – McCalls 6696

McCalls M6696

Hi there everyone – it is summer dress time this week and after Indie Pattern Month I thought it might be time to sew some Big 4.

McCalls M6696 barely needs any introduction – it has been made by so many different bloggers – I love it in polka dots at Tabatha Tweedie, chambray at Make Something and of course liberty print at Dolly Clackett. 

I have shown a complete lack or originality – swayed by a few weeks of sunshine I have basically sewn it exactly as it appears on the envelope! Usually you have to try to look beyond dodgy fabric choices on the pattern envelope – but I loved the white version (the pink one not so much..)McCalls M6696This is my third project for White Tree Fabrics blog network. I wanted to try this beautiful white broderie anglais cotton. This fabric sews up like a dream; it presses beautifully, holds the pleats on the skirt really well and it is lightweight and breezy but not sheer.McCalls M6696You can see some other projects using similar fabric here and here

I was undecided about whether to line this dress or if I would need a slip underneath it. In the end I decided not to line it because that would defeat the aim of making a really summery dress. I think it is fine without anything underneath – you would want to go for white or very light-coloured underwear but I think the pleats and pockets mean that it isn’t too easy to see through (feel free to tell me if you think I am wrong?)McCalls M6696As this was my first time using this pattern I made a full muslin. Having looked at a lot of other versions online I decided to go down one size from where the pattern envelope would have put me and I also reduced the width of the back bodice piece by about an inch and a half to minimize the gathers. So I started with a size 12 shoulder and bust grading out to a 14 at the waist. After the muslin I reduced the width of the shoulders and the top of the arms down to a size 10 and I shortened the bodice by about half an inch. I could have skipped shortening the bodice so I was pleased with how little work the fitting needed.

It took about a week to sew this up – there are a lot of steps and quite a lot of hand stitching – the inside of the collar, waistband and front placket are all hand-stitched in place. You could avoid this by top stitching but I decided to follow the instructions this time.McCalls M6696I am particularly pleased with the collar! I often find that I struggle to get the edges of the collar stand neat and this can result in a home-made look but I managed a really neat finish this time – possibly my best collar ever! My only slight niggle is that I need to do something to hold the waistband down – the buttons are just either side of it and it needs a little help to stop gaping there – I am planning to use Emmie’s cool hidden button trick.

I skipped the belt loops because I never wear belts and I didn’t put a buttonhole at the neckline because I won’t ever want to button it all the way up. Clearly I am now a sewing rebel…McCalls M6696I am delighted with how this dress has turned out – I think it is possibly one of the best things I have ever made! Of course since I started sewing it we have had the coldest week of summer and it has rained pretty much non-stop. I had visions of getting photos of this in blazing sunshine (possibly in a corn field) but in the end I popped into the garden when it was a bit less grey than it has been. Luckily I will be going on holiday soon and this will get some wear in proper summer weather – hopefully accessorized with a tan, sunglasses and an ice cream! For now here is one of the last strawberries from our garden!McCalls M6696Have I persuaded you that you need a perfectly summery shirt dress?

I received the fabric free of charge from White Tree Fabrics for this blog post. I purchased the pattern and other notions and all opinions are my own. Click here to follow White Tree Fabrics and receive a code for a 15% discount.

 

 

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43 Comments Add yours

  1. I love eyelet so I love this! And done up in a shirtdress! I think you made the right choice. It looks summery and cool. Beautiful work!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – so pleased with how this one turned out!
      Louise

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  2. tabathatweedie says:

    Gorgeous!! The perfect summer dress. Now all you need is some perfect summer weather!!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! Can’t believe how cold it has been – I am really looking forward to going away

      Louise

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza-sew-little says:

    Beautiful! You were right about not needing a lining. It looks fab. It’s going on my list. Thx for the 15% off link too.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but the holes are small enough that I think it is Ok!

      Louise

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  4. stitchedupsam says:

    I love this! I’m still tempted to get some of this fabric in white, having used the black last year for my Victoria blazer. Thanks for linking to that by the way.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      I loved your blazer last year – this was lovely fabric to work with – really tempted to make a top using it as well

      Louise

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  5. Ingrid says:

    This is so lovely. I can so relate to the feeling of having worked a whole week on something to get it just right, and then feeling that is really paid off. Sewing is slow – but in a really good way. The fabric is lovely! had never heard of White Tree – nice to know another place where I can spend my hard earned money 😉 Hope your holiday is a sunny one!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I am definitely looking forward to getting some real sun and beach time!

      Like

  6. lisaw43 says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. Such a chic, classic look. Absolutely gorgeous dress!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      It’s also totally on trend – there was a very similar dress in the fashion column in Guardian weekend magazine! Riviera chic apparently!

      Louise

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  7. Carol says:

    Your dress is beautiful and i love the fabric. I have had this pattern for ages now and haven’t made it yet but I think I’ll make a full muslin first to get the fit as perfect as yours!! Can i ask when you interface broderie anglais does it need another layer of fabric inbetween? I always imagine the glue making it a sticky collar with the holes!! Enjoy your holiday x

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thank-you! I didn’t have a problem with interfacing, the holes are very small so it couldn’t really ‘leak’ through and the embroidery around the holes gives it a little depth so the interfacing isn’t obvious (if that makes sense!)

      Louise

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  8. it’s a work of art! Looks incredible.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! That’s such a kind thing to say !

      Like

  9. What can we say? Perfection! Please pin this to our fan gallery on Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1koHoHu

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! Pinned now

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  10. A hearty well-done! This really is beautiful. Agree on the no lining- I always think as long as you wear ‘big’ pants and a ‘full’ bra, a little bit of see-through is absolutely fine 🙂 Though clearly in much better weather, glad you’re off somewhere nice to show it off…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – definitely agree with the big pants plan! Mainly I didnt have the energy for working out lining so I crossed my fingers that it would be OK!

      Louise

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Louise this is stunning, so summery an light. You are right the collar is excellent. Really impressive.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I am so pleased with how this turned out and all the lovely comments!

      Louise

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  12. coolarama says:

    I love your dress, so pretty and summery- and not bit see through. Lovely collar too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I am very proud of the collar – I always find them a bit tricky!
      Louise

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Carolyn says:

    Louise, this is absolutely gorgeous! What a fantastic fabric choice. This white cotton is just perfect for a summer shirtdress, and the finished garment looks so crisp and fresh and light. You really nailed the fit too – it looks spectacular! Enjoy your vacation! 🙂

    Like

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I feel a bit embarrassed about all the lovely comments when I just copied the envelope style!

      Louise

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      1. Carolyn says:

        The comments are well-deserved! Your fitting and stitching came out so well, and not everyone can pull that off!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow, it’s absolutely beautiful, you have done a great job! I’m still at the muslin stage with mine due to lack of time but seeing yours really makes me want to get on with it. Hope you have a wonderful holiday, you’ll look fabulous in this dress! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I am looking forward to a holiday and the hope of real sunshine! I really liked this pattern

      Louise

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  15. That’s stunning! I like it even better than the inspiration. I’ve become a bit addicted to this pattern: I made a polka dot one last week to take on holiday!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I am so pleased with it that I definitely want more in other colours for autumn! Have a good holiday

      Louise

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  16. Lynne says:

    This is gorgeous! I love the eyelet fabric, and can understand why you liked the one on the envelope, because I bought that pattern last week!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! There have been so many lovely versions of this dress – can’t wait to see how you get on!

      Louise

      Like

  17. Such a pretty, pretty dress! The eyelet is very demure, and yet….a bit sassy at the same time. Thank you for explaining your modifications, I’d need to go up at the waistline, too, so it was nice to see how lovely it turned out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I love the white eyelet too and it was lovely to sew with!

      Louise

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  18. amcclure2014 says:

    Very nice. I must make a shirt dress – I do love them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      This was a great pattern – lots of steps but not too hard!

      Louise

      Like

  19. Alison says:

    Gorgeous, it looks perfect! The fabric looks brilliant, not too see through at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. notsewsimple says:

      This was a great pattern – lots of steps but not too hard!

      Louise

      Like

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