November 9, 2013

Olive Maxi Dress McCall's 6791

The pattern is McCall's 6791 view C; described as close-fitting, pullover dresses has right side pleats, shaped left side, underdress, draped back with opening, and raw edge finish. Narrow hem finish on necklines, armholes, longer than regular length sleeves pushed-up.
I do not fancy myself a maxi dress wearer. Something about me in a long skirt yields to holding up  the skirt continuously (see image below). 
Enticed by the lure of dollar patterns and interested in completely changing the construction instructions I gave in and attempted to pull off this olive maxi dress. 
The pattern is designed for Mid weight moderate stretch knits; I used a black and olive colored crepe knit. 
Pattern Modifications: shortened waist to petite, adjusted for broad and square shoulders, shortened skirt hem by 4 inches. I was worried that I would get a stuffed sausage effect where every lump and bump would be spot light if the hips and waist were too tight so I graded the out the waist and hip area by an additional inch. 
Then the fun began, I constructed this pattern to my own linking. 
First I elected to not narrow hem finish the neckline and back opening and instead encase the seam allowances between the underdress and the outerdress (this way the seams would not rub against my body). I achieved this by stitching the shoulder seams on both the under and upper dress and then stitching them right sides together around the back opening and neckline, turning right side out and tacking the neckline at the upper back opening. 

Look no WONKY stitching around my neckline! 
Because I made this change for my neckline, on the under dress skirt the wrong side of the crepe knit faces out, as you can see with the color variation. I do not mid this, the wrong side of this fabric is slightly scratchy I did not want it against my body it would have made a comfy dress so uncomfortable. I also did not use a raw edge hem, I narrow hemmed both hems.  
For the back opening I created a back panel that covered my bra. I was not about to wear a knit dress sans bra, that is just asking for trouble. I am not thrilled with the pooling drape of the over dress. It looked alright  on the hanger. 

Another issue I ran into was the distribution of the looooooong sleeve gathers. The sleeve hem was practically down to my ankles. I added elastic to the sleeve seam from the cuff to mid arm to keep the gathers in check. 
I am still not convinced maxi dresses are my thing but this one was pretty easy to wear like Pajamas for the daytime! 


  1. Melody, this dress is gorgeous! Cannot believe all the beautiful detail and design elements. Love how you contrasted your fabrics. Really suits you, a winner!

    1. Thank you very much, Coco. I am glad I pulled it off, it is so comfy I can not wait to wear it again.

  2. I love this dress. Thanks for the tip on finishing the neckline and the back modesty panel. I'm putting these tips in my sewing notebook.

    1. Thank you Angela, I recommend the pattern it was fun to sew.


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