Sunday, 3 June 2012

Finished Project & Pattern Review: McCall's 6201, View A.

On Saturday I spent the day with my little sister. We got our eyebrows threaded then she came with me to visit GJ Fabrics and Rathdowne Remnants (Brunswick). I felt obligated to go because I been promising myself to go for the last fortnight. I didn't buy anything.

I was whinging to Little J that I was feeling lazy. She sympathized, she was also feeling lazy with studying for exams. So we made a pact. She promised that she would spend some of her weekend studying and I would spend some of my weekend sewing. She said that because we had "sister instincts" we would know if the other wasn't keeping her promise.

So I kept my word and I sewed the McCalls 6201 (OOP), View A with cap sleeves.

Originally I was going to make this dress with this fabric but I asked Twitter and Scared Stitchless suggested this fabric instead so I went with her choice :)

I got both fabrics from Spotty on sale. 1.5m for $3.5. It's cotton sateen. I wasn't overly excited by the design. I just bought it cos I didn't want to leave empty handed, and it was on sale. I am still trying to figure out if purple is my colour. I only own one purple RTW top.

I consider this dress my 'wearable muslin'. I also made a muslin-muslin. I wanted to make sure I would fit into a size 4 bust, size 8 waist and hips. I measured myself and cut the size that corresponded with the "finished measurements" on the pattern (found on the pattern paper, the 'circle' with a 'cross' in it).

My main concern was my waist. Since I started sewing, it's been brought to my attention that I have a thick waist so I wanted to make sure there was *just* enough ease in the waist, I didn't want it tight, but I didn't want it loose either, I wanted it to *just* fit. 

My second problem area is my butt, last time I made a size 6, I had weird lines on the back of the skirt, according to my sewing guide it was because the skirt was too small.

It was hard to judge the fit up the back. Because I was home alone, there was no one to pin me up. After some thought, I pinned a zipper to the bodice and zipped myself up. The fit was good on my small bust. I found that the dart points ended too high, another Pattern Review member also pointed this out. 

I loved how quick this dress was to sew. I started late Saturday afternoon. Traced the pattern on to easy-trace, did a bit of cutting... with my rotary cutter! I am getting better at controlling it. Made my first muslin. A muslin for my wearable muslin, lol.

Then I took a three hour nap. 

I then moved on to muslin #2, the wearable muslin. I ironed and cut the fabric. Marked the darts with tailors tacks then I went to bed.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 9AM and started sewing. Darts (x6), stay stitching, shoulder seams, sleeve pieces, sleeves to bodice. Then repeat on the lining.

Inside. The darts are horrendous! I don't know why my machine gets all knotted when I back-stitch.
Quickest dress to whip up. Three pieces, plus two sleeves. Six darts... x's two for lining.

I finished the dress just before I went out for dinner, where I ate too much dessert (almond tart, almond croissant, french vanilla slice. Omg diabetes). When I got home, it was the perfect time to try the dress on and take photos. This was the moment of truth, if I could fit comfortably into this dress after a huge meal then I have the sizing correct!

M6201, View A
Bust: 4
Waist: 8
Hips: 8
I haven't hemmed the dress yet. I am still deciding if I should leave it as it is, and hem it 5cm (as above) or shorten the skirt by 5cm and hem it 5cm and make it into a mini dress. 

I sometimes feel that the length makes the dress look dowdy on me. I'm also not sure about this print on me, so I don't want too much of it on my body. I also think if it's shorter, I will get more wear out of it (if I wear it at all). I'm going to leave it for a few days till I can decide what to do with the hem length.

Pattern Review: M6201, View A.

Pattern: M6201 (out-of-print), View A.
Size: Bust: 4, Waist: 8, Hips: 8 (see finished measurements on this post).  
Fabric: 1.3m cotton sateen (magenta sacha hound fuschia), 1.3m lining (navy).
Notions: Invisible zipper (dark navy) 22", Gutermann thread (000).
Time: On and off sewing over the weekend... 9 hours?
Cost: $15ish (fabric, lining, zip), pattern and thread from my stash. Fabric was on sale for $3.50/m, lining was on sale $7/m, zipper $4.
Techniques used: 
    • Understitching
    • Tailors tacks
    • Practiced cutting fabric with rotary cutter
    • Bagging (lining)
    • Cap sleeves - joining concaves and convex (??)

I am extremely happy that the cap sleeves were easy to make and to join to the arms. Last time I had to deal with concaves and convexes, it took three dressmaking classes to get it right (six hours!!) 

I really like the look of the cap sleeves. They look kinda 'spacey', reminds me of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Jetsons.

View A, cap sleeves.

This is a great pattern. I can already imagine myself hacking it. The other views are also cute, with shoulder pads, ruffled sleeves. The pattern is great because it has custom sizes for cup sizes ABCD so no FBA ladies! 

I am very happy with the fit but I still have some weird issues with the back of the skirt. I always get a weird little bump where the zipper ends. If anyone can tell me why I get this and how I can fix it that would be great. 

Choosing the size to cut using the "finished measurements" have definitely worked for me for this pattern.

The finished length of the pattern is perfect for me. Perfect for work. I'd love to make this up in a colour I can wear in the office or in some nice evening fabric.

For this particular dress I am leaning towards making it a shorter length.


  1. Love this! The print is way cute on you! I don't think the longer hem length looks dowdy at all on you-- the print is really young and fun. But you look cute in the shorter length, too, so either way would be really nice.

  2. I think shorter too. The fit is so perfect on you, I'm tempted to get myself that pattern and try it out myself.

  3. I have this fabric too. Like you, I wasn't all that keen on it but I have to say it really looks great made up. I don't think the longer length looks dowdy at all but both lengths look good on you.

  4. I think this fabric is really cute, actually! I prefer the longer length, but that's just me.

  5. I can safely say that this is my new favourite dress that you've mad! The pattern and the manner of ease that it sits on you ticks all the boxes (:

    Annnnnnnnd I'd love to try that gucamole of yours!...may I have a sample on Wednesday night? I'll supply the tequila if you're game ;)

  6. I happen to think the dress is kickarse. Totally the right length, and I reckon the fabric makes it. I wouldn't have looked twice at it in the shops either, but I think it looks totally awesome on. Those desserts sound YUM. Wear with pride! :)

  7. Great fit and the fabric suits the dress. I would go the longer length as I like the way you get more of the repeat of the black 'stripe' and it looks more balanced. But you can't go wrong - it looks great on you!

  8. I prefer the longer length myself! It looks really great! I've never put in an invisible zip before but I would get bumps at the end when I did regular ones too... sorry I'm no help there!

  9. It is beoutiful! Do wear it, please! I think longer looks a little better..

  10. This dress looks SMASHING on you! I'm not one to get my pins out so personally I would go with the longer length, but both lengths look fantastic on you - I guess it depends where you'll wear it :)

  11. I adore this fabric and the dress looks absolutely gorgeous, it really does! Your sewing just keeps getting better and better! XxxX

  12. I prefer the shorter one. Looks great on you!

  13. This looks pretty cute, I think you should go shorter. Either way though is darling

  14. I agree about the jetsons! The dress does have a fun retro space age feel to it. I think it looks great as a mini dress. Super fun.

  15. I actually like the longer length a bit better. I think the dress is absolutely great on you, and you did a wonderful job on it. And YAY for 3 hour naps!!

  16. Hi Nee,

    I actually prefer the longer length on you but whatever you choose I think both lengths look good.

  17. I think.. I prefer the shorter one. :)
    But they are good either way. Whatever you feel more comfortable with.
    Also guacamole! YUMMYYYYY

  18. I prefer the longer length but either way this dress looks gorgeous on you !

  19. You choose the coolest fabric all your dresses have the best designs and really suit what your making. This dress style looks so hot on your such a stunner!!


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