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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

McCalls 6069

There have been several excellent versions of this dress reviewed on PR so I decided to make my own. This is a great easy pattern, but as the reviewers have noted the back is really low. As I result I raised mine by 2" when I cut it out which means I can wear a strapless bra with it (and I am not crazy about strapless bras in summer - I mean the point is to be cool not encased in synthetic knit) but since the neckline in this dress is so open and breezy I am still getting air so it's OK.

I felt I took a risk in this one and was worried I was going to burn some nice rayon knit with it. I was afraid this loose neckline would shift around and fall off but the back suspension tie thing across the back neckline really works. Once I have this dress on I can forget about it and it really stays put. I have worn this a couple of times, out with DH and out for sushi with a girlfriend and a few times when I wanted to be as cool as I could be.

This back view achieves two things. First of all it gives you a good look at my major fitting issue (and the bad varicose I acquired after a issues with my last and biggest baby, c-section, and blood clots - he was of course totally worth it and so what these are my legs) and at how low the back is. You might want to consider raising this a few more inches if this is too low for you - but I have to tell you it's cool like this on a hot day.

And this is a picture of course with my assistant who spends as much time in the sewing room as I do.

Technically there are four things I would alert you to about this pattern:

1. It's short - I am 5'9" and added 4", think about that.
2. I found the band piece in the back was wide, and awkward I thought, and didn't lie right. So I took it out and made a skinny little tube with my loop turner and basted it in place to get the right amount of pull up for my own back. Maybe I pulled this in a little more than others might, but I wanted security with this neckline.
3. The elastic waist uses a technique that the pattern companies seem to love these days and that is using the waistline seam allowances as an elastic casing. I find this a little skimpy. You might want to cut this seam allowance wider so you can get the elastic in easily or even better use a wider elastic - I think narrow elastics aren't all that comfortable at the waist anyway.
4. This dress is hard to put on. It usually takes about five tries before I get the band thing at the back not the front and the whole dress not backwards too. You have to pull it over your head to get on and that's confusing when you are in the middle of it and can't see what you are doing. I wouldn't recommend this as a dress to pull on if you have to catch a bus.

All in all though I am pretty pleased with myself for how this turned out - taking a risk that works is particularly satisfying, so maybe I should do that more often.

1 comment:

Karin van D. said...

What a lovely dress. That back is gorgeous, very beautiful!