Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Trends - Gingham in McCalls 6506

I started this dress three years ago when it was new to the pattern catalog and blogged about it here. Every spring since then I've pulled it out and looked at it and every time I've hung it back on the wall with the rest of the UFOs. There were too many ideas, too many things that I wanted to make so it hung there waiting.


McCalls 6506 - OOP

Lately I've been looking at garments differently. Most of my UFOs are fit problems that I thought I would solve later. Well later has arrived for this one because when I pulled it down last week and tried it on, I couldn't believe it fit. Gawd, at least here is one benefit to the weight loss!

Honestly there are some challenges with the bodice because if I'd cut it now I would have cut a C cup bodice because both my bustline and bra size have changed. I also would have included the waistline darts that the pattern features. However I was able to made it work.

I know that I linked to my pattern alterations in an earlier post but reviewing them now I'm thrilled with the changes I made. Lately it seems as if I've lost my mind, not remembering simple pattern alterations, because I'm so overwhelmed by fitting challenges. So it's good to know that if I just settle down hopefully all of that will come back!

Here's the finished dress...



The changes I made to the pattern...

If you notice there is no collar on my version. It's not because I couldn't make the collar fit, but because when I tried the dress on again I liked it collarless. 

So I drafted new facings for the dress front and omitted the front band since I was going in a different direction...

Facings for the bodice front

Front band facing for the skirt

Added them to the front...

Removed the pockets from the front because I wasn't feeling them and I'm really not a pocket kinda girl.

Used a store bought belt instead of the self tie belt with the pattern.


Now as excited as I was about this dress when I realized it fit, I'm as unexcited about it now. Even if I'd finished this dress exactly as the pattern describes, I wouldn't have liked it. What I became aware of is that I don't like this silhouette on me. It's probably why I have so few dresses like this.

It's interesting. People see you and think one thing or another NOT realizing that you don't see yourself that way.  AND no matter what they think, it won't change how you see yourself. I like and prefer to wear a slimmer silhouette. In my mind's eye, that's how I look best. So I will probably wear this dress, just very infrequently because it's sooooo not me!

Up next is another version of my TNT dress.  This time in a woven fabric (ltwt. wool/silk blend) using the four piece back pattern pieces to address my upper back fitting issues.

Parting Shots...




...as always more later!




38 comments:

  1. Congrats on getting a UFO done! And it is so cute. I love gingham (I sewed one of my very first projects, an apron, with blue gingham in school), and this one is nice and subtle. A great Spring into Summer dress.

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  2. This is a very cute look Carolyn, although I know what you mean about preference for particular silhouette. You look like Michelle Obama in the last shot! Fabulous...

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  3. It is a very pretty dress. I do hear what you are saying about how you see yourself compared to other people's comments. I think a slimmer silhouette looks better on you too (and on me). Especially as you have a new shape - a slimmer fit really shows it off well. It will make a lovely summer dress when you feel like you want a little bit more movement in your clothes.

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  4. You look 25 in that first pic!

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    1. Thanks! My daughter said that I looked really young in the dress too. I think it's because it's shorter than I normally wear!

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  5. Even if this isn't your preferred style, you look happy in it and its a cute spring dress!

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  6. I think the dress is lovely, light, airy, and looks good on you. You look slimmer and more youthful. Change can be difficult--in most areas. I'd give it a try to see the responses you get. Leaving a comfort zone could really work.

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  7. I made the same dress last spring, in blue tiny stripes with white vines. And tried it on last week and hate it on me. It doesn't work on my figure or for my style. I am definitely a button-down girl and loved the top half. But the full skirt and belt just don't work on me with that top. I am curvy, but the very full skirt doesn't look good. So now I am trying to salvage the fabric because it is pretty. I have another dress to make and I am glad I tried this one on first. No patterns with full skirts this time. And I am glad to hear you didn't like it on either. of course if I was 6 foot and thin like the model, maybe it would look different. Thanks for the reassurance that I made the right choice on the dress,

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    1. Patricia - that's the funny thing about sewing. Many times you have to sew something to determine that it's really not you. I guess it could be considered a waste of time but I did get a decent dress out of it that I will probably wear once or twice this summer. But this dress definitely confirmed to me that this look isn't me. So glad that my journey helped you too!

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    2. If you learn something , it is never a waste of time. And we both did. I suppose I could have spent time in stores trying on similar styles. But I want to sew, not snoop shop. Now we can move on to another dress knowing it will fit our style better.

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  8. I like that you look so happy in these pictures, and it is definitely a cute dress. You also are the expert on your own best look, and you're dead-on right that the slim silhouette makes you look more authoritative and like a million bucks. I see this as a fun dress, but not necessarily work-worthy in the sense that this particular version might be too casual for meetings. That said, if it were to be made up in a fabric with more drape or a slinkier texture that doesn't stand out from the body, you might be able to achieve both the more formal body-hugging silhouette where you want it and a swishy bottom of the skirt that might even produce a surprisingly versatile look. You just never know! Cindy C., Creative Hormone Rush

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  9. You look great, but understand what you mean about gravitating to a particular style.

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  10. Is it linen? Because this looks like it's right up my alley. I love the neutral gingham. Pretty. I know what you mean about not being thrilled about a certain silhouette. But it's good to have some different things in your closet for when a different mood strikes.

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  11. The dress looks great on you! Love the last photo. Just in time for nice weather.

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  12. So beautiful for spring! I'm definitely wanting some plaid and gingham for spring, which means I must be seeing it on all the 'cool kids' and it is subliminally working it's way to my sewing.

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    1. Jenny - I really like gingham so I have a couple more garments made from it coming this summer!

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  13. I'm so glad you shared both this dress and your thoughts about it. It's clear that you have a very specific look. I am less clear about my "look" so I continue to explore different styles/cuts and fabric combinations. I had thought I was just missing the boat completely with that particular pattern (in my stash and not being seen up and worn) but I really see what you talked about. The slimmer cut definitely looks just exactly right on you...& that's my general consensus about what looks best on me too. Thank you for saving me from doing a bunch of work that would no doubt have not looked nearly as fabulous as it would've been in my minds eye!

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    1. (But I certainly agree with other commenters that mentioned the spring look and how happy you look!!! Though not your usual fit...it does say summer!!)

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    2. It's funny that everyone has commented on how happy I look in these pics but that's all my daughter! She makes me laugh so much when we're doing these photo shoots that even though I'm perfectly capable of doing them by myself, I wait for her. She won't let me take myself to seriously, keeps shooting when I'm acting silly, and constantly making me challenge myself. The best photos are the unposed ones and why I love doing this with her!

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  14. I think this dress looks great - but I know what you mean about - if you don't feel great in it you won't wear it. I do hope it gets worn a few times, it's darling. Reading your reply - you do look happy in the photos - I know what you mean about having fun when taking the photos. Jay and I are getting better at it - thanks for all the tips. g

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  15. It's great you finished this and I personally think it looks fresh, fun and cute. But you have to love it otherwise you just won't wear it. I love the belt with it too.

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  16. I too get pulled into the fashion trend with full skirts for shirtdresses and I am liking this style. Yet I think if I go there in the end I will not like it much because I am used to a more fitted style.

    I do think it looks good on you and like the yellow belt. Like you if you don't like it, it will not get much wear.

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  17. Fun dress and totally understand when one prefers a particular style. However, I think having a few garments out of the norm doesn't hurt. The dress looks cute on you and screams, I'm having fun.. makes for a great summer dress and love the cardi with it.

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  18. I think the dress looks great on you, but you have to be happy. It has such a sweet and swishy summer feel to it.

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  19. It's a very pretty summer dress. I like how you used a solid for the top half and the gingham on the bottom. I love gingham, but always think *kitchen curtains* or *little girl dress* when I look at the lovely lilac gingham I've been hoarding/stashing for at least 3 years. Going solid on top might be a way to make the dress I know the fabric wants to be and not just cop out and make a skirt.

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  20. I liked your response about sometimes you just need to sew up a different trendy style to realize that it doesn't really work for you. I do this a couple times a year and I agree that it's not a waste of time. I learn from every garment I sew - successful or not. Enjoy the process! Karen

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  21. I really like this look on you! What a great casual weekend dress. It's so great to finish a UFO!

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  22. I really like this dress on you. Sometimes it's good to break out of our (self-imposed) comfort zone and try something different. I must admit that I like it without the cardigan though.

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  23. I really like this dress, but I can totally understand the feeling of making something that other people like on you but you just don't feel comfortable in. Your spring-y photo shoot makes me smile- you look amazing and happy and it's nice to see so much lovely green grass behind you! Yay spring!

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  24. I too like the fit and flare, full skirt style...on other people. I think a lot of it has to do with the general body shape. Even plus sizes look great in it if they are a definite hourglass shape. That is not me. I would describe myself as a retangle with not a lot of waist definition. Even when I was thin this was the case. I perfer a body skimming silhouette on myself. I have to keep myself from getting sucked into those cute full skirt styles. I think the addition of the sweater/jacket is a better look for you with this dress. To thine own silhouette be true.

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  25. Carolyn, I think this dress looks great on you! I agree with the others who have said that it makes you look youthful, but in a good way, not in a "trying too hard" way. I do realize that it's outside of your comfort zone, but put it in the "magic closet" for a couple of weeks and see how you feel about it as a running-around-town-on-the-weekend dress after that.

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  26. This dress screams spring and I love it. I get what you mean about it not being you. It's much more casual than your normal glorious tailored corporate makes!
    I'm not a fan of full skirts either. I think it's a combination of body shape ( rectangle not hourglass) and lifestyle for me.

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  27. Pretty dress and I think you look great wearing it!

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  28. I appreciate that your blog shows outfits where you don't feel you look as good, or sewing fails, etc. Sometimes it's hard to know what we look like in something until we take photographs. The fitted clothes do look good on you, and that's helping me finally get away from my typical sewing project -- the "tons of fabric will hide what I look like" outfit. I had a lot of voluminous,long drapey jackets, and I thought they looked good on me. Then I saw a photo, and I looked like an entire row of fabric from JoAnn's. I'm finally going to try a fitted skirt like you wear so successfully. If I can only find a TNT elastic waist pattern!

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    1. Mountain Woman try McCalls 6654. It has an elasticized waistline for a straight and flare skirt and goes up to a size 22. If you need a larger size it should be pretty easy to adjust. Hope that helps!

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  29. I like it! It's a going out to lunch on Saturday kind of dress.

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  30. Oh I love this on you. I think it's a very youthful look for you and works... not a trying too hard look though. Can I tell you my very first thought....(meant in a really good way just to be sure)... I immediately thought "you look like a girl". I think this so works for you ... says fun, casual, happy to me. I hope you do wear it... and I love the yellow belt with it.

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