The shirtdress and the (hopefully minor) catastrophe.

So, when I discovered this blog called Idle Fancy, I really got inspired. I saw this beautiful woman wearing beautiful dresses. Lots of them floral, just my kind of thing! I perused her entire list of linked blogs too and therefore my Bloglovin’ app now keeps me occupied a lot. But it was Idle Fancy’s post about McCall’s 6696 that made me want to make one too, thank you!

I wanted to make it, because most of the dresses I own are very similar to the Moneta. They come from Dorothy Perkins in the UK. But here was a dress with a collar, and belt loops and buttons! It was a project I could learn so much from, because I had never inserted sleeves, never sewn and attached a collar and never sewn a single button hole. My machine has a 4-step button hole function only, so it was quite scary!

I started with some green cotton I bought at the weekly market for 2 euros per metre. I made a size 22 D-cup bodice and a size 22 skirt. I quickly realised the bodice was too big and the waistband was too short, so I had to lengthen that and consequently I had to adjust the pleats for the dress. Because it was a muslin I didn’t use interfacing for the waistband and collar, and the colour made it look like a 1950s waitress uniform, so it’s not wearable, well maybe for this crazy ‘dress up and drink beer’ event people call ‘carnaval’.

Then I bought some cheap stretchy denim at the market and I figured I’d make version D with that, I decided on a size 20  C-cup for the bodice, but needed a size 24 for my belly. I made some newbie mistakes. I cut the pieces double layer, so the fabric pattern is off and I totally didn’t think about the side seams. Obviously I should have adjusted the skirt parts so the side seams would match up. I also didn’t stick to the seam allowance for the collar, so it came out a bit big. I did for the dress I want to talk about today though, and it’s still big and wide, so I might need to tweak it further.

Anyway… *drum roll*… here is shirtdress number 3, which I wore for my husband’s birthday yesterday and right in time for:Idle Fancy

McCalls 6696 9
It’s McCall’s 6696 version B, with a size 22 C-cup bodice and a size 22 pleated skirt. I adjusted the waistband to fit. I feel the bodice could actually be a bit smaller ( I made a size 22 because the denim was way stretchier so I was afraid it would be too small), but I would need to adjust the sleeves, because they are a tad tight.

McCalls 6696 4
It’s made of fabric that I bought at a fabric market. It’s a little bit stretchy and has a velvety finish (so everything sticks to it), and I have no idea what it is. It’s so soft though!

Halfway through making this dress my sewing machine decided it didn’t like me anymore. The transporter was stuck and the underthread kept pulling at the fabric. I managed to save my button placket, but had to take the machine to get fixed. I thought it would be an easy fix, but unfortunately the repair man didn’t agree and I was left with half a dress to finish and no sewing machine…. I could borrow my mother-in-law’s 1980s sewing machine though and managed to finish the dress in time for my husband’s birthday yesterday. It was enormously frightening and quite a challenge. sewing those 10 buttonholes….

McCalls 6696 10
(me trying to get my feet lined up)

McCalls 6696 7

McCalls 6696 2

There definitely will be more of these dresses to come!

McCalls 6696 5


10 thoughts on “The shirtdress and the (hopefully minor) catastrophe.

  1. I know I already commented on your Flickr images, Marije, but this dress is absolutely beautiful! That fabric is just gorgeous and the pattern suits your figure so well. Welcome to the blogging world! I can’t wait to see your next project.


    • Thank you so much Mary! Without sounding cheesy, I had already started sewing, but when I started looking around for patterns and I came across your blog, that made me think I could actually pull it off. Thanks once again!


  2. Congratulations on winning the contest. Your dress is beautiful and very flattering on you. I totally understand how you felt with the sewing machine. The first year I was sewing I had a sewing machine that decided to go on strike every now and then and leave me in the middle of a project in a mad situation….


  3. Hi…I’m so happy to find your blog! Would it be possible for you to “claim your blog” at bloglovin…I’d like to follow you but don’t do so well if blogs are outside bloglovin! (I just forget 🙀)

    Well done!!!!


    • Hi Pam,

      My blog is actually on bloglovin, but it’s just that not many people have found me yet, so it’s not very visible.

      If you type the url ( into the search field it should come up.

      Good luck, and thanks!

      (Edited: Wow, I really shouldn’t type and talk on the phone at the same time…)


  4. Pingback: Something new, something blue. | make think go

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