One of my biggest weaknesses in fashion is fun, patterned dresses; from the fairly standard, like floral prints or geometric shapes, to the more unusual, like cacti patterns or embroidered matchsticks, I will immediately gravitate towards these items. Wearing dresses makes me happy – and wearing a dress with bluebirds printed on? Consider me doubly happy!
Now that I’m moving away from buying unsustainable fast fashion and focusing on sewing my own wardrobe, I’m keen to make stuff that continues to make me feel happy when I wear it. Judging by my ever-growing stash of fabric, quirky prints will remain a style staple for me!
It’s no surprise then when I fell in love hard with this zesty lemon print fabric. It’s a cotton sateen with the teeniest bit of stretch, so it works well with items that require a bit of structure. I picked up 2.5 metres from Fabrics Galore and immediately knew what I wanted to make with it.
McCall’s 6696 is a versatile shirt dress and is such a well-loved pattern in the sewing community – for many good reasons! It’s flattering, relatively easy to sew, POCKETS, and there are some really gorgeous details – there’s a proper collar with collar band, plus the back yoke and the waistband are both lined, which really adds a special touch to your finished dress.
I first made a version of M6696 way back in 2017, so I knew there were a couple of adjustments that I wanted to make to the pattern. Firstly, the back piece has gathering both at the top where it joins the yoke and at the bottom where it joins the waistband; this adds a certain amount of voluminosity, and I really wanted a more streamlined look. I removed the gathering allowance from the pattern and then made a muslin to make sure everything fitted together after the adjustment. I also ignored the recommendations on where to place the buttons, as I knew I wanted one to sit directly in the centre of the waistband and went from there.
As for making the dress, the instructions are fairly straight-forward and clear. The pleats on the skirt do take quite a bit of time however! Like many other sewists of this pattern, I followed these instructions on the collar assembly instead and would highly recommend them.
I couldn’t be happier with how this shirt dress turned out and can’t wait to wear it throughout spring! I have a feeling this will be one of many shirt dresses…