Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Muu-Muu dress - McCall's 6712

Pattern: Here it is. Finally. I found this dress pattern, McCall's 6712 (1963), at Lanetz Living a year ago. I thought the belted version was adorable and the fact that it had a self-fabric belt and pockets just made it ideal.

Description: A-line dress with side seam pockets and with shoulder-tied drawstrings through front and back casing necklines.

Fabric: As soon as I saw this Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit Diamond Plaid & Dot (aka Plaid Tile) print in Geranium from her Katie Jump Rope collection, I knew it was the one for this dress; 2" tortoise shell plastic buckle from jcaroline creative in 2007.

However, it took me weeks to buy the pattern and then it took me a year to make the dress! I finished it just in time to catch the dwindling summer days of 2008. However, if I find the right knitted cardigan it could possibly stretch a bit into fall.

Here it is worn with my cheap but lovely 50's-style jacket from Forever 21. It just happened that the reds go together great.

There were a few things about this pattern that I want to address. I decided to make it according to the vintage directions but I should have used my own judgment. There were a few steps that modern patterns simplify that I should have substituted.

click for large view

Pocket insertion: 6712 wants you to sew the body of the pocket together before attaching it to the side of the dress. This make it a bit tricky trying to match up the stitched lines when the modern way of attaching it to the sides and then stitching the remainder of the pocket together makes much more sense.

click for large view

Drawstring casing: 6712 has the above instructions. However, by sewing the top of the dress that way, you have quite a mess when you try to turn that corner out. I suggest turning back the seam allowance for the drawstring, (from the number 11 to the edge in the drawing above) basting or stitching the area, and then following their instructions. This way the seam allowance will stay inside the armhole and give you a clean channel to push the drawstring through.

Otherwise, the only other problem I had with the dress was what kind of undergarment to wear with it. I tied the bows over my slip straps to keep them together and if my slip hadn't been black it would have worked! The color of the slip was also a problem with the low-ish armholes but a slip in a closer to skin-tone shade should do the trick.

By the way, I bought the cool 2" tortoise shell plastic buckle from J. Caroline Creative at the same time I ordered the fabric. They work together perfectly, though the belt's instructions call for a buckle with prongs.

Please excuse the blurry full-length photo.

Images: my own photos


Erica Bunker said...

What a great dress! Even though it's vintage, it still has that modern feel.

Kuky said...

I love it, looks great. I want one of my own!

EB said...

I have this pattern! Funny thing is I think I bought it at Lanetz Living, too. Thank you so much for posting the construction tips. I really love the fabric you chose. I'm definitely going to pick up that belt buckle.

Manecoarse said...

I absolutely love this dress and the fabric. It is so, so adorable.

Cookie said...

That looks ADORABLE! (saw your link at dressaday) Perfect fabric, and a flattering style. It's SO COOL to see vintage patterns put to use after we buy them :) You've given it a second life!!!! And who knows how many new generations will see this little breezy dress done up now, throughout the electronic ages? Nice job!

Miss Amelina said...

CUTE cute cute cute.

Karen said...

I love this dress! I bought that exact fabric last week for a quilt project! Love it!