Monday, May 02, 2016

Mod Stripe Dress - McCall's 6886

Pattern: McCall's 6886 (2014)

Pattern Description: Close-fitting, pullover dress with neckline and sleeve length variations.

Pattern Sizing: E5 (14-16-18-20-22) I cut a size 14 tapering down to a size 18 at the hips.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes, after my alterations and changes, it does.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very much. If alteration had not been needed, it would have been a very quick sew.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Fabric Used: 60" jade and mustard striped ponte de roma (80% polyester/15% rayon/ 5% Spandex) from Mood Fabrics, item # 107912.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Well, for starters, I made sure to use my correct measurements and to choose my size according to the pattern's finished garment measurements. Even then, changes had to be made.

I found the neckline to be a bit too wide and the depth far too long, about an inch too deep. Therefore, I had to reduce the length from shoulder line to underarm.

I've seen the versions online and noticed that the dress fit so many different body types and sizes; however, the extreme curve of my back did not work with the line of the dress. My first thought was to create a false seam down the back of the dress by folding it down the center and sewing a curved seam to alter the dress. However, I chose to create two side darts instead. There was some try and error as to how long the darts should be. in the end there was still some extra length above the waist but nothing I couldn't live with. I just need to remember to remove it from the pattern.

When I basted the dress it was hard to imagine the final fit and there were drag lines at the underarm area that I hoped I could remove. I decided to attach the sleeves flat. This way I could see if the drag lines disappear when the shoulder seam no longer hung down and it would also make it easier to enlarge or decrease the side seams easily, if needed.

What this showed was that the dress was still too large in the bodice at the front, the back fit perfectly. I undid ALL of the basting, pulled out the pattern again and recut the bodice to a size 14, including the armscye. Once the sleeves were reattached, the majority of the drag lines had been removed.

It was easy to hem the sleeves and skirt with a simple zig-zag line of stitching in order to preserve the stretch.

However, the fold over and stitch method was not ideal for the neckline and I decided to create a neck band, which would also raise the scoop neckline to where I would feel more comfortable. I chose to cut the neckline band at 26" for a 30" neckline.

The neck  band's three layers were difficult for my machine, I had to use the manual control to slowly topstitch the neckline but it did result in an almost perfect neckband. I then steamed the band to shrink it in tighter for a more secure fit.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would now since I have altered the pattern. I would love to try out the v-neck option with short sleeves next. For me it was not the easy TNT pattern that others swear it to be but it was fairly simple to alter. So I would recommend trying it as it may work out easier for someone else.

I believe that the back shoulders are too wide because of those irritating diagonal wrinkles. I also believe the armscye is too high because the upper arms seem to be twisting under the arm towards the front. Also, as seen in the picture below, the back waist is too long and a more extensive sway back reduction is needed.

Conclusion: I like the dress, but its not perfect. I already had to make a lot of changes to make it to this point but there will have to be more in its future if I ever want it to be a TNT pattern.I would love to be able to whip up a knit dress whenever I wanted but the time is not now or at least not with this pattern. Sigh...


Bonnie @ said...

Great tutorial on your dress. I think you did a GREAT job & your dress is lovely.

Audrey said...

I saw the picture of your new dress and smiled because I know how much you love stripes. It looks great on you and I like the way the striped trim looks on the neckline. Nice touch! A couple more tweaks and I think you will have a TNT.

Sue said...

Looking good! I'll have to try steaming my next knit neckline, like you did.