McCall 6279 Trench dress

M6279 Thumbnail

I fell in love with McCall 6279 as soon as it came out. Although I bought the Butterick 5598 Suzi Chin trench dress when it came out a couple of months later, I like the McCall better and when I found this seersucker-esque fabric on the $2.97/yd table at G Street I couldn't wait to make it.

Pseudo SBA I cut my usual size in the pattern, 8 at the shoulder and bust, 10/12 (somewhere in between) at the waist, and 12/14 at the hip. As usual for a princess seam, I flattened the bust curve on the side front for a small bust adjustment. Once it was put together it was still a little loose at the bust and waist, so I took in the side seam on the front only to fine tune the fit.

Back (Unstyled) In addition to the SBA, I did a swayback adjustment similar to this as per usual. I have a hard time fitting dresses without a waist seam--to get a true fit would require so much distortion that it would change the grainline and alter the hang of the fabric. So you can see there is still some swayback bunching. I would be hesitant to take it in more, however, because it could use a smidge more room along the back princess seams for the booty. It is not tight, but it is more fitted in that area than the rest of the dress and I'd like just another inch of ease. If I tried to take more width out at the swayback, the curve back there would become too extreme and would point and pooch over the booty. I guess this is what is meant by over-fitting.

Self-Drafted Back Facing I have not made too many items with a back yoke and a collar, so I can't recall how the neckline is usually finished (I probably should have looked it up). The directions for this dress have you tuck the neckline's raw edges into the collar sandwich. With my fairly thick fabric, I thought that would look sloppy, so I created a back neck facing. This was not a perfect solution as it added bulk to an already bulky seam (two layers of collar plus inner and outer yoke), but it did give a neat finish to the neckline. I will have to research this issue before I make the pattern again.

Questionable Topstitching I thought the tiny pinstripes of this fabric would work better with the pieces, creating fun directional stripes effects, but instead it just looks sloppy (and I forgot to cut the back yoke on crossgrain, boo). I tried to rescue it with some topstitching, but that just made it worse, as you can see at right.

I never use the marked button placement on a pattern; because I am short and have a very specific preference on where the top buttoned button is placed (about 1/2" above the center hook of my bra--I have no cleavage, so I can totally get away with this for work) the marked placement never works. But although I actually carefully marked the two rows of buttonholes on the dress, using a ruler and everything, they came out so uneven!!! I couldn't really tell until I had cut open the buttonholes and sewn on the buttons, so nothing to be done.

Front I really love the look of this pattern, but this dress is a fail for me. When I got it to a point of try-on-ability, I realized to my horror that this seersucker stripe of white, charcoal, and red resolves into the color of chewed up gum at a distance of more than 12 inches. The bluish-pink color is the same hue--though a different shade--than my skin, as you can see in this photo. Wearing it as a jumper with the red shirt makes it a little better, but it is just too disappointing. I also don't like the armscye finish; the bias tape kind of sticks out and doesn't lay well.

I wore the dress one time--the day I took the photos--and then gave it to a co-worker who is almost the exact same size and shape as me, but with long dark hair and a rosier complexion (no blue undertones). She reports that it fits like a glove and the color looks fine on her. I hope she wears it to work one day!

Although this project was a fail, the pattern definitely is not. I spent 6 months on the hunt for the right fabric earlier this year and now I have to go on it again! I'm still contemplating the copper denim I got in New York, but still thinking it would be too much.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

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Brenda asked about the bra strap keepers I bought at Steinlauf & Stoller. They do not seem to appear on the S&S website (I've looked before and also just confirmed). Dritz calls them "shoulder strap guards", I call them bra strap keepers. When I described what I was looking for to the guy working the counter--a little length of ribbon with snaps on each end that you sew into the shoulder seam to keep your bra strap in place--he figured out what I was talking about. They are in bins at the front of the store. Your best bet is to call or email asking for the name of them and whether they'll sell them by mail. They come in black, white, and beige, and are 90 cents per pair (at least in-store they are). These little things are invaluable! I hope you can get some.

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Still haven't heard from Abby or Lydia re: the stash purge I have up for grabs.  Neither of you left any contact information. If you're still interested, please leave a comment on this post with an email address where I can reach you. Don't write out the full email address to avoid spam harvesters--write it something like "example at yahoo."  (Anyone else in the DC area is welcome to respond as well--you come pick up the fabric, and you must take the whole lot.)  Will be listing it on Freecycle soon.

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