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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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Saturday, July 12, 2014

McCalls 6885

One of my favourite bloggers, knitmachinequeen over at Smoking Needles made a golf dress recently from McCalls 6885 that really caught my eye.

As a golfer I was intrigued by the idea of a golf dress as opposed to shorts or skorts. Increasingly I am coming to the conclusion that dresses, particularly in the non winter months, are it for me.

They just are easy to grab and thrown on and pretty much more comfortable than any other clothing combination for me. I dawned on me recently that if a person had enough dresses for different occasions you pretty much would have a closet with everything covered.

I am definitely going to be trying out the golf dress idea myself and just think dress making, literally, may be my major focus for the next little while.

So I tried out McCalls 6885 myself in some experimental cotton.

Knitmachinequeen's assessment was right, this dress is nice, good collar, a placket that I am going to rewrite with easier instructions, but really wide, including the neckline. If I made it again, and I will, I am going to bring the sides in.

When I first saw myself in this I said "tent dress" in my head, for those of you who remember what those were. My husband had a similar reaction. He said "shift" which is a term he remembers from his mother, and then "housedress" when he saw shift didn't go over well, although housedress was worse.

I have decided to leave the sides the way they are with this one however because to be truthful there is a time and a place for a tent dress in the warm summer.

An item with space between it and yourself and it can be a good idea.

I suspect this dress will get a lot of wear for that reason. 

Perfect for taking the little girls with me on errands or as a ... housedress. Something I can wear and evoke memories of my mother and her friends sitting in tent dresses drinking instant coffee (remember that?) in lawn chairs and telling us to go play. 
Not my best posture but I was explaining camera operation to my cooperative nephew

On the dog front Miss Daisy had a full vet assessment yesterday. This was the first since all the remedial work we had done in Florida ridding her of things you pick up in puppy mills.

The good news is the vet said her condition was absolutely remarkable given her history. I walk her a lot, a couple of hours a day, owning to the fact I get such happiness out of seeing her happiness on walks - you never saw such joy, and he said she was a strong dog with the "heart beat of an athlete."

She has a lingering ear infection in one ear however that we are treating, but the bad news is her teeth which are showing the history of her past poor diet and care. Puppy mill teeth are always an issue because of crap food, dirty water, and no medical attention. Bottom line is she is going to have to have two dental surgeries to remove some of her back teeth at the cost of a damn fine sewing machine. But that done she should be good.

Worth every penny of course to keep her healthy and to rid her of the last of her past. She and I signed up for each other and this is part of the deal.

Now off we go for a walk. It is a fine day.


Linda T said...

Yep, Daisy is worth every penny of Vet care. I had a large breed a number of years ago that had to have 2 ACL repair surgeries (one on each leg a year apart) and a ruptured disc surgery 3 years later at the age of 11. She lived to be 14. I called her my million dollar dog and worth EVERY penny!!

freshcityfarm said...

Best looking house dress EVER!!!

Anonymous said...

Hoorah for Daisy and a double hoorah for you. Ria

Graca said...

Your fabric choice is great and so is your dress. Miss Daisy is very lucky that she found a good home. Happy to read she's on the mend and is such a loving environment!

Robin said...

Love the fabric. Your comments about shifts, tents, housedress, instant coffee, go play, etc. had me smiling. I am a sixties baby and I remember those days well. Dresses are great for the summer. Simple, quick dressing, and cool.

Nakisha said...

I like it!! I think it's really flattering!

chesneykat said...

I like the dress a lot. It looks easy to wear but not sloppy. The color is very nice too.

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

Thanks for mentioning me in your post and I feel better that is was not only me that found a few issues with this dress. I do love the fit of yours and the fabric is awesome. I need to make another one with adjustments just have to find the time!

Judi Pinkham said...


lsaspacey said...

Hey, I think the dress is great. Why not make up an obi belt in self fabric when you want the fit to be more, well, fitted? i think it will be awesome then.

Anonymous said...

But for those of us who are waaayy wider than you are, Barb, this is the perfect dress. That said, it doesn't look like a tent on you. A tie belt would be good, too, for you slim ladies. Really like the fabric.
And good for Miss Daisy!

Patty said...

Love your dress! Dresses are my favorite thing to sew, and so easy to wear. You will look so much more put together than the majority of women I see running errands in a T-shirt and shorts/jeans :-)!

Nana said...

The dress is very reminiscent of years past but I do love it. I also have found this year that dresses can be the most comfortable attire for southern summers. Good luck to Daisy on her surgery and recovery.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Dresses are it. Haven't worn a dress in a jillion years now that's all I want. Yup. That space between you and it. That's the ticket.
I love your new dress. Everything. You look positively radiant in those colours. The style is great. If you were feeling a little chilly one day it would look great with an obi sash and you are so slim it would look really good on you. How about a closeup of the fabric – it looks very intriguing.
Miss Daisy. Lucky pup.
Vancouver Barbara

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

I like this on you but then again I don't have to wear it. Plus there's something to be said for loose and shift like dresses in the summer!

Corina Kostreba, Florida said...

Hi there Barbara. I read your comments about Miss Daisy's oral surgery. We own a 11 year old Maltese Casper Lee. One if the first things we did for him was to get him his own pet insurance. After several weeks of research we settled with Pets Best and it was the best decision we ever made. At age 8, he needed the ACL surgery on his right rear leg. The cost was $1600 and 2 weeks later the reimbursement was in our mailbox. Just saying: pet insurance is so important. We often tell our friends that "Casper Lee is heavily insured. He has better coverage than we do (90% coverage with a $100 deductible). We haven't had that good a coverage ever. All I can say is our new members of our families deserve protection. Love your blog. Corina.