Tuesday, September 14, 2010

McCall 6069, Double Cowl Dress

McCall 6069 Thumbnail

There have been a ton of great versions of McCall 6069 and y'all know how much I love a knit dress so I had to hop on the bandwagon.

Modified Back Cowl I love the sexy low cowl back, but wanted something I could wear to the office. A sexy low back and a strap across the back of the neck to hold it in place would be taking it a little too far for me. I considered following Kyle's lead and using the front of C for the back, but instead decided to raise up the back cowl by reducing the width as shown.

This did bring the back up to office-wearability, but did pretty much nothing to make it easier to wear without that back strap. The first time I wore it I had to bring the shoulders back into place literally every 15 seconds. I looked ridiculous walking down the street constantly twitching it onto my shoulders.

Improve Wearability I came home and sewed coins into the front and back cowl facings to keep them from flipping out and add some weight to keep it on my shoulders and an elastic strap running between the armscyes in the back.

I tested these solutions out before wearing this again yesterday and I could tell it wasn't going to be enough (though the cowls were hanging better) so I resorted to the nuclear option: pinning it to my bra straps (luckily, with my raised cowl back I can wear a racerback bra, so the bra straps weren't going to fall off my shoulders). This is why I need those bra strap keepers! Safety pins are ok for now but when I am back in the gym and changing in and out of my clothes twice a day (at lunch and after work) I'll be wanting some snaps. Although I guess by the time I get back to the gym the season for sleeveless dresses will be over, sob!

M6069 There's not much more to say about this easy dress. It's great for a border print because the skirt hem is straight. I used the large dot border at the top and bottom in the hope of creating an hourglass illusion.

I used the pockets because I thought I'd want someplace to clip/store my work ID, but after it was finished I realized that it needed a belt over that elastic casing so I can just clip my ID to the belt. I might cut out the pockets, as the outline shows through my thin poly knit.

I appreciated McCall's sewing instructions for this as it included thoughtful, professional details like sewing the pockets to the side seams at a 3/8" seam so the pockets roll to the inside when the side seams above and below the pockets are sewn in 5/8". I also appreciated the way the shoulder seams were sewn, which encloses to the facings and creates a clean finish.

If I make this again for work, I will definitely use plain front C as the back so it is not so fussy to wear. Also, the shorter cowl just looks kind of like a hood that get caught up. For a beach vacation or going out on summer evenings, the dress with the full length cowl back and neck strap would be gorgeous.

I took these photos before The Injury. I was going to re-do them because I forgot that I can't wear my glasses when taking afternoon pictures in my bedroom (it faces west) because of the awful glare. Now that I have more perspective, I decided that glasses glare is better than The Boot!

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

35 comments:

Sheila said...

Lovely dress and like the idea of using the coins in the facing.

Uta said...

Cute dress, and the cast is off! Hope you're feeling better. I'm wary of cowls although I love the look, because of the adjustment factor. I read about a "cowl stay" somewhere (like a partial lining underneath the cowl that is cut close to the body), wouldn't that be better than bra stays? (My late ballet teacher's mother who made all the costumes sewed tiny stays handmade from elastic and small snaps into each and every bodice.It's a miracle she didn't go blind.)

McVal said...

Very nice dress! And I love the fabric you picked out for it!

Rosie said...

I love the dress! Thanks for the tip about the coins. Hope your leg is doing better.

couturearts said...

It is adorable! I love the border print effect at the neckline and hem.

Eugenia said...

Wow - that shade of blue is wonderful and I love how you have used the border print. This dress really suits you. What an ingenious idea to use coins to stop the facings from flipping!

Elaray said...

Very pretty. I love the way you used the dots.

Kelly's Korner said...

I think it looks good on you and I like how the dots work at the bottom and on the cowl. Look's like your foot is better too! :)

Little Hunting Creek said...

I like how you used the border print here. I love that dress on you. I hear you about the cowl next slippage issue. We need some sort of invisible stickynote type glue to be invented for the insides that will keep them from sliding off

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

Love your use of a border print.

KID, MD said...

Way cute! Love the way you used the border print.

Trudy Callan said...

I love cowls, but a double cowl is even better.

Trudy
www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

Noile said...

Cute dress! Cowls are so much fun, and often such a pain to wear. At least this version will still look great even if it has a plain back. Hope that leg is better soon!

Jenny said...

Oh that is beautiful! The effect of the border print with the cowl is gorgeous. I don't think I can resist this pattern anymore.

Angela said...

I love the print that you used! The s tyle looks great on you! I know what you mean about the straps falling... I still haven't done a more permanent solution so safety pins it will stay.

Anne LO said...

Darned pretty!

beangirl said...

This is really pretty! The fabric placement is great and the whole thing is very flattering. I hope you get a permanent solution for the slippage issue.

Taking your advice...or uh, bemoaning, to heart I ordered some of those strap-clip-thingies that basically turn a regular bra into a racerback bra, becaus they sound pretty handy. I also ordered some other stuff to make up the free shipping.

So far I've gotten everything except the bra clips.

I'll let you know how it works out. (What the emoticon for "rolling your eyes in disgust"?)

Cennetta said...

Cute. A slightly different look without the back strap.

Faye Lewis said...

The dress looks really good on you, and the color is perfect. Why oh why didn't I make it yet?

robin said...

Love the new dress! I must also check out that pattern. I like how you made it work appropriate too.

Carol said...

I have this in my queue for this weekend. I am a sucker for a cowl back. I love how you've used the border print and I love this colour on you. I have two fabrics selected, one of which is a border print, but I am worried that using the border as a hem might stretch the fabric out.

Shari said...

Great fabric choice your dress looks wonderful on you!

daiyami said...

That's a great dress!

But the season for sleeveless *never* ends, in my experience. Regardless of weather.

marysews said...

I really like your use of the border print.

Gail said...

I reckon I'm jumping on the MCC6069 bandwagon too. Looks great and I've seen so many wonderful versions from this pattern.

Vicki said...

Ooh, so cute. Love the dot placement.

AllisonC said...

Another fantastic version of this dress, thank you for sharing the back cowl alteration too.

MushyWear said...

This dress is just too adorable. The blue looks so good on you and yes, the way you did the border, does look hour-glass like. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Claire B. Shaeffer in High-Fashion Sewing Secrets writes about and provides diagram for making cowl stays to control that pesky slippage. Her instructions apply to front cowls but I see no reason why you could not adapt her idea for a front and back stay for the same garment. (S. Betzina includes a stay like this in one of her knit top patterns). I am going to have to try this suggestion when I get a chance to sew again.

Vegan said...

Great dress, and clever use of the border print!

gwensews said...

Look at you all polka-dottie! What a cute dress. I like how you have used that border print. Very nice.

Isabelle said...

Adorable dress! You made great use of your print, as you always do.

sewing at night said...

in the sewing book i'm indexing now, there is a tip to make those bra snap thingies out of folded-over bits of fusible interfacing--you fold a narrow strip in half, iron to seal, and put snaps on either end. more stable than ribbon. cheers!

sewabeginner said...

Great use of the border print. That blue is so flattering on you. Cute!!!

mochimo said...

Beautiful dress! I love cowls, so a double cowl is a double delight.
I usually discard the sheer idea of dresses with elastic at the waist, but your version here looks really great. I might change my mind.