Friday, December 2, 2011

McCall 6279 Trench dress

M6279 Thumbnail

I fell in love with McCall 6279 as soon as it came out. Although I bought the Butterick 5598 Suzi Chin trench dress when it came out a couple of months later, I like the McCall better and when I found this seersucker-esque fabric on the $2.97/yd table at G Street I couldn't wait to make it.

Pseudo SBA I cut my usual size in the pattern, 8 at the shoulder and bust, 10/12 (somewhere in between) at the waist, and 12/14 at the hip. As usual for a princess seam, I flattened the bust curve on the side front for a small bust adjustment. Once it was put together it was still a little loose at the bust and waist, so I took in the side seam on the front only to fine tune the fit.

Back (Unstyled) In addition to the SBA, I did a swayback adjustment similar to this as per usual. I have a hard time fitting dresses without a waist seam--to get a true fit would require so much distortion that it would change the grainline and alter the hang of the fabric. So you can see there is still some swayback bunching. I would be hesitant to take it in more, however, because it could use a smidge more room along the back princess seams for the booty. It is not tight, but it is more fitted in that area than the rest of the dress and I'd like just another inch of ease. If I tried to take more width out at the swayback, the curve back there would become too extreme and would point and pooch over the booty. I guess this is what is meant by over-fitting.

Self-Drafted Back Facing I have not made too many items with a back yoke and a collar, so I can't recall how the neckline is usually finished (I probably should have looked it up). The directions for this dress have you tuck the neckline's raw edges into the collar sandwich. With my fairly thick fabric, I thought that would look sloppy, so I created a back neck facing. This was not a perfect solution as it added bulk to an already bulky seam (two layers of collar plus inner and outer yoke), but it did give a neat finish to the neckline. I will have to research this issue before I make the pattern again.

Questionable Topstitching I thought the tiny pinstripes of this fabric would work better with the pieces, creating fun directional stripes effects, but instead it just looks sloppy (and I forgot to cut the back yoke on crossgrain, boo). I tried to rescue it with some topstitching, but that just made it worse, as you can see at right.

I never use the marked button placement on a pattern; because I am short and have a very specific preference on where the top buttoned button is placed (about 1/2" above the center hook of my bra--I have no cleavage, so I can totally get away with this for work) the marked placement never works. But although I actually carefully marked the two rows of buttonholes on the dress, using a ruler and everything, they came out so uneven!!! I couldn't really tell until I had cut open the buttonholes and sewn on the buttons, so nothing to be done.

Front I really love the look of this pattern, but this dress is a fail for me. When I got it to a point of try-on-ability, I realized to my horror that this seersucker stripe of white, charcoal, and red resolves into the color of chewed up gum at a distance of more than 12 inches. The bluish-pink color is the same hue--though a different shade--than my skin, as you can see in this photo. Wearing it as a jumper with the red shirt makes it a little better, but it is just too disappointing. I also don't like the armscye finish; the bias tape kind of sticks out and doesn't lay well.

I wore the dress one time--the day I took the photos--and then gave it to a co-worker who is almost the exact same size and shape as me, but with long dark hair and a rosier complexion (no blue undertones). She reports that it fits like a glove and the color looks fine on her. I hope she wears it to work one day!

Although this project was a fail, the pattern definitely is not. I spent 6 months on the hunt for the right fabric earlier this year and now I have to go on it again! I'm still contemplating the copper denim I got in New York, but still thinking it would be too much.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

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Brenda asked about the bra strap keepers I bought at Steinlauf & Stoller. They do not seem to appear on the S&S website (I've looked before and also just confirmed). Dritz calls them "shoulder strap guards", I call them bra strap keepers. When I described what I was looking for to the guy working the counter--a little length of ribbon with snaps on each end that you sew into the shoulder seam to keep your bra strap in place--he figured out what I was talking about. They are in bins at the front of the store. Your best bet is to call or email asking for the name of them and whether they'll sell them by mail. They come in black, white, and beige, and are 90 cents per pair (at least in-store they are). These little things are invaluable! I hope you can get some.

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Still haven't heard from Abby or Lydia re: the stash purge I have up for grabs.  Neither of you left any contact information. If you're still interested, please leave a comment on this post with an email address where I can reach you. Don't write out the full email address to avoid spam harvesters--write it something like "example at yahoo."  (Anyone else in the DC area is welcome to respond as well--you come pick up the fabric, and you must take the whole lot.)  Will be listing it on Freecycle soon.

31 comments:

Lynn said...

That shoulder detail is perfect for you. As a lover of the color copper, let me urge you to make the dress again in copper denim.

Arianna said...

Too bad about this dress, the style looks great on you. I would be interested in your stash purge, if you haven't had a taker already! arianna.vogt at gmail

Karin said...

Copper denim sounds fab, and as long as you have already worked out fitting issues, you might as well! I've seen lots of nice copper accessories around, so I think copper must be on trend. Shame that the searsucker didn't work out. I have the same sort of issues with neutral colours near my face. I have to be careful.

montanachic said...

I understand your complaints as you stated them, but my first impression when I saw it is that it is super cute. Your friend is a lucky person:)

McVal said...

What a great fit for that dress! Love those ruffles on the shoulders.

Clio said...

I like the shoulder ruffles and the style is really cute on you. At least you can regard this one as a muslin and then make yourself an even better version.

Amber Elayne said...

I really like the actual pattern on you, especially the shoulder details. It's cute and different but I must admit, the chewed gum analogy made me tear up! So good! I don't think it's as bad as you say but compared to some other items you've made, it could fall a bit short :)

I think the copper denim could be quite cool. I can't wait to see the "do again"!

Adelaide B said...

I've been eying this pattern for awhile, but I think it is more you than me. The little shoulder ruffles are perfect for you.

Cennetta said...

The pleating at the shoulder is interesting and makes this trench dress unique. I like the way you styled it with the belt and T.

Uta said...

Such a cute pattern; too bad about the color. I can totally see this in copper denim!

Faye Lewis said...

I can see that you put lots of work in that one, it shows and I know it was worth it.

MushyWear said...

How disappointing that the fabric didn't work for you. But the dress design is great, and your alterations are finished (woo hoo), and with the right fabric it will be fabulous. Your copper denim does sound pretty cool.

liza jane said...

The ruffly sleeve is really nice. Interesting how those colors blend together. Your friend is very lucky to get such a nice dress! I am also intrigued by the copper denim.

Audrey said...

The dress is a really good style for you, but the fabric color is not the best. I hope you find the perfect fabric and make it again. I have to remember to stand back and look at fabric to see what other people will see. I can get so enamored with the color combination or the weave that I see up close. One of the sewing teachers at G Street pointed out the full length mirrors in the store. I had never noticed them. They are great evaluating the color and pattern of the fabric while I hold it up on my body. I have reluctantly put a "bargain" fabric back on the table because it was a definite loser draped on my bod.

MySummerTouch said...

I listened yesterday to your podcasts and in the last one you have promised to make one until the end of this year! Will we hear it? Please!!!

Carol said...

It's a great dress, but a shame the colour doesn't work. I have a love heat relationship with trench dresses: I really want one. I made one that I tossed out for the same waist seam fitting issues you mention. I'll give this pattern a try, the extra seams will help. Now that's another item on my endless sewing list!

Joy said...

It's a super cute style. I do love striped seersucker (or seersucker-esque!) and have some in stash, but you've reminded me of the problem of viewing it from a distance.

Now that's you've gotten such a good fit, hopefully you'll find a fabric that works really well for you.

Crystal said...

My first impression was of a very cute dress, although I can understand what you are saying about the color - what a lucky friend! I absolutely do not think the copper denim would be too much. Go for it!

Mary said...

That is an awesome style on you and shows off your fit figure perfectly. I hear you about the color tone, and that was nice to give it to a coworker. I am currently working on a vest which my husband says is the color of dirt. I said "fawn". Finally, I am missing posts from you and a few others-???I got a flurry of posts today from some blogger buddies.

Mrs. Micawber said...

Wow - I thought it was khaki coloured until I saw the close up. But a great style for you - and the red shirt looks wonderful. The copper denim would be stunning in this style.

Denise said...

I really like the lines of that dress though. I am interested in any fabric you have leftover and I am local! denise.flanagandoyle at gmail

Nethwen said...

I make my own bra strap keepers with ribbon and snaps. I started doing this before I knew you could purchase the gadgets. For $1, though, it might be worth buying them.

deborah said...

Perhaps not for you, but your colleague was a lucky lady that day!

Hi! I'm just starting out sewing and I'm looking for blogs to follow. You're inspirational...I'd like to follow you if you don't mind!

redsilvia said...

Too bad this one is a fail for you. I do see this as a sexy black pinstripe number on you. Especially with red shoes. HOT! Just a vision, no hard fast rules ;-)

emadethis said...

It's a shame the color didn't work out for you. The style fits you quite well. Seersucker is so sad to pass on. I hope your coworker enjoys her very cute dress.

I sewed shoulder strap keepers in a sun dress, and I had issues with the neckline distorting because of them pulling on my bra straps (It is a boatneck dress, so the straps have to sit outside of where they would fit normally.). Have you had that issue before, and if so, how did you handle it?

Brenda said...

Thank you for the shoulder strap guard info!

gwensews said...

What a cute dress! I love the ruffled armsythe.

Meetzorp said...

You are right - the style and shape of the dress are marvelous and completely fab on you, but the color is...unfortunate.

I look forward to seeing your next interpretation of this pattern.

Katie said...

WOW! Trena, it's Katie Siehndel - we met at Kristi's cookie party and you mentioned your blog. I am so impressed with all these pieces you've made! I particularly love the "walkaway" dress with the fish. Adorable.

Andrea Brown said...

Hi! I made the elbow-length sleeve version of this dress pretty recently (http://foursquarewalls.blogspot.com/2011/11/9-to-5-trench-dress.html) so I feel your pain with some of its issues. I didn't follow the button guide either, but had to commit to trying on the dress EVERY time I marked a buttonhole or sewed on a buttonhole, just to make sure they lined up. What looks straight on the flat dress was definitely different when it was on my body. Ugh! I hope you like your dress better the next time you make it. :)

SEWN said...

Wow, love this dress. Esp the ruffles at the shoulder. TDF!!!