Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Miss Clara and the Many Happy Returns: McCall's 6696

Hello, kittens! As promised, today I'm back with another version of McCall's 6696 and the furthering of my shirtdress obsession. Though this is my third iteration, this is actually the dress that kicked off the Autumn of 1000 Shirtdresses. When I ordered this fabric, a Ming green tufted voile from Mood, I knew its fate lay in buttons and collar stands.

This pattern is explicitly designed for light, translucent fabrics like eyelets, lace, and Swiss dot. Along with all the pieces you need for a shirtdress, 6696 also includes instructions and pieces for a bias-cut slip to go underneath. Perfect for my semi-sheer voile! My MSN project for September was an easy decision, with this pairing.

Construction-wise, there really isn't anything new to say about this dress. The only major difference from my previous iterations is the addition of sleeves Other than a small wide bicep adjustment, this is the original sleeve pattern, complete with a slightly puffed sleeve cap. In a sturdier fabric, I would probably remove a bit of ease from the cap to lessen that poof, but with such a drapey fabric like voile, it's a really soft look.

What's lovely about this fabric is that every design element looks softer. The pleats float around my hips, the back is gently gathered, and the collar turned beautifully. Of course, the fabric also wrinkles like crazy with one look, but that's voile for you. What you get in billowy, summer goodness, you exchange for shape retention. It really doesn't phase me at this point!

To finish the main dress off, I chose translucent white buttons for the closures. Simple, easy, and classic! Meanwhile, the yoke and waistband facings are done in the same tufted voile.

Ignore the weird sleeve happening on the right back, my dears. I spent this whole shoot with that sleeve unknowingly hiked up! Shite happens, no?

As for the slip, that was such an easy project! It's two pieces, front and back, plus straps. Everything is cut on the bias and perfectly skims over the body and under the dress. I had some green bamboo voile in my stash, which was the perfect consistency for the slip. It's slick like charmeuse, but breathes beautifully. Even better, it was the perfect color to go under this voile--just a bit brighter and deeper, to enhance the color.

Unfortunately, I also didn't hem it quite short enough for breezy Texas days. You can check out a peep of the slip in the photo below! Since that first foray out into the world I've hemmed it an additional two inches for safety's sake.

In the end, this is such a perfect end-of-summer dress. I love the fabric weight, the little tufted dots, and the way it swirls about me as I walk. Plus, it works beautifully with my light gold wedding shoes! I haven't been able to wear these since last December, but I love how retro they look with this dress. In fact, this is the exact outfit I'll be wearing at my birthday dinner tonight! What better way to ring in 29 than in my new favorite dress and my all time favorite shoes?

McCall's 6696, you continue to make me so, so happy. Perhaps a full-sleeved version is due next? For this week's sewing project, I've got my eye on Jennifer Lauren's newest, the Dalloway dress, but after that it may be a return to the Land of Shirtdresses!

Note: The fabric for this project was provided courtesy of Mood Fabrics, as part of the Mood Sewing Network. Thanks, Mood!

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