McCall’s 6109: quick, comfy, nautical

I find myself needing to blog my way through a backlog of things I’ve made over the last several weeks  – an unusual circumstance, to say the least. I’m wearing this dress today, so I thought I may as well write it up!

I made this on a whim a couple weeks ago, and it was one of those rare things that I conceived, cut and completed in two days. I’d had this fabric for a while (it was part of an all-stripes order from Girl Charlee in the spring) but felt kind of ambivalent about any pattern I thought of for it. Then suddenly out of nowhere I thought of pairing it with McCall’s 6109, and I liked the idea so much I had to Make. It. Right. Now.

I had initially intended to make the crewneck version of this pattern, but when this stripe called its name I just had to do the cowl. I cut the bodice on the bias to play more with the stripe, and I cut the waistband on the crossgrain for the same reason. The fabric has equal four-way stretch, so that was fine (lesson learned!). What can I say, I have a thing for contrasting stripes. I was a little surprised with how the stripes change from one shoulder to the other (I have basically no spacial reasoning ability, so somehow I assumed they’d be diagonal on both shoulders), but it’s cool and I’m happy with it. I did attempt to reduce the depth of the cowl by taking a horizontal tuck that pitched the top of the pattern piece off the edge of the fold, narrowing the width of the neckline by a couple inches. I’m sure this isn’t the correct way to reduce a cowl, but I think it worked (though it now occurs to me that it removed more width from the facing than the cowl… hmmm).

I cut a 10 on top and in the skirt and a 12 in the waistband, though as it turned out I didn’t need  to. I wanted to have the side seams be the last thing to sew so I could take it in if necessary, so I constructed the whole front, the whole back, then sewed the shoulders and hemmed the armholes flat (so much easier) before sewing up the sides from armpit to hem. I did take the waist in a bit, since my fabric was just so stretchy. I lined the waistband with a random piece of white ITY in an effort to stabilize it a bit, but it could have used another layer even. My natural waist falls right in the middle of the giant midriff, which is fine except that then the thick gathered skirt seam hits at a weird place just below my waist in a somewhat unflattering fashion. Otherwise it’s a pretty good, very easy pattern.

Best of all, though, this dress is very, very comfortable. It also happily lands in that sweet spot between casual and dressy – nice enough to wear to the farmer’s market, then to work, then out to dinner (as I did today!) without feeling overdressed. And the nautical feel makes me smile. All in all, a nice late summer dress. My full pattern review is here.

In other news, I’ve (perhaps foolishly) started working on a mini wardrobe for the contest at Pattern Review this month, so more about that to come. It’s fairly ambitious, so we’ll see if my work schedule this month will give me enough time to finish it… In the meantime, there’s still time to enter my blogiversagiveaway! Leave a comment on the giveaway post before midnight tomorrow (Sunday) for a chance at some cheap fabric! Sorry, the giveaway has now ended. Thanks for entering!

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9 comments
  1. So pretty!! Looks like a perfect pattern. Love how you played with the stripes.

  2. sewbusylizzy said:

    I love it! Great combination of pattern and fabric, the neckline is fabulous… hmmmm and there is a Vogue/McCall/Butterick sale on right now…

  3. Diane J said:

    I’ve had a stripe like that in my stash FOREVER. Time to pull it out and see if there’s enough yardage. It’s got the perfect combination: cowl (which I love), cuteness and comfort. Thanks for the pic on where you took in the cowl. Looking forward to your wardrobe pieces.

  4. Terrific looking dress on you! Superb use of fabric and style.

  5. Myra said:

    Ooooooo, I really think this dress is very pretty! I love stripes and this a great use if them!

  6. adelafg said:

    HOLA me encanta tu blog en general me pongo el traductor y lo veo muchas veces es genial el vestido es una pasada ,me inspiras mucho con tus modelos me entran ganas de hacérmelos todos ojala cosiera también como tu pero aquí es España no hay mucha afición por la costura

  7. i love this dress! what you did with the stripes is brilliant.

  8. As you work through your backlog, I am working through my own blog-reading backlog!

    Love, love, love these stripes and the fluid way they twist over the cowl; it seems to echo the movement of waves and enhance the whole nautical feel. I totally agree with you about the dress working for all occasions!

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