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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

McCalls 6554

<b>Pattern Description: </b>This is a Misses' dress and belt.  The dress has a close fitting, lined bodice, raised waist, skirt with front pleat and underlay, side pockets, and self-belt with invisible back zipper.  This is one of the Fashion Star patterns.  Click on the link and you can see a picture of the envelope. 

  Pattern Envelope

<b>Pattern Sizing:</b>
This is a multi-sized pattern that ranges from 8 to 16 or 16 to 24. I made a size 14. 

<b>Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?</b>
Yes, I believe my version looks just like the photo
<b>Were the instructions easy to follow?</b>
Instructions were super easy to follow.  The illustrations were more than adequate.  This pattern is easy enough for a beginner--if the beginner has had some experience fitting a bodice. 

<b>What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?</b>
Ok, here goes!  I love the super simple style.  It is flattering on many people.  The neckline is very modest--a pleasant surprise from some of the uber low necklines on many patterns.  I love the styling of the skirt, it is just full and flirty enough. 
What I didn't like: I think the neckline is just a little to wide.  This may be something to do with the fact I had difficult with fitting the bodice.  I believe this was due to the little bit of stretch to my fabric and the neckline may have slightly gotten whacked out when I sewed this bad boy together.  I think the length is just perfect....I didn't alter it at all, but the model's knees are showing and mine are covered.  I am 5'7", I usually have to worry about the lenght, but not this time.  I did have to take this in on the side seams a bit, enough that you should be aware the sizing may be a little off for a close-fitting bodice. 

<b>Fabric Used:</b>
I love the fabric I choose.  It has been in my stash for about a year.  It is a wonderfully soft rayon with a bit of stretch.  It is so soft and yet stable enough for a more structured garment. 

<b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:</b>
  • I left the pockets out of the dress. Don't get me wrong, I love pockets, just not on fuller skirts as I think they make me look even more wide hipped than I am.
  • I took a very small inverted pleat in the front center of the bodice to mimic the skirt detail, I just thought the neckline was a litte wide and it didn't lay very well against my chest.  I asked my husband to take a picture of the bodice, not my boobs, but you can tell what he was focusing on with the camera shot.  :)  
  • I did my usual 1/2 inch swayback adjustment. 
  • I went ahead and stitched the belt to the dress at the center back and side seam.  Some reviewers mentioned the belt needed loops, and I thought, why not just attach it?  So, I did! 
  • I added about 2 inches deep pieces of interfacing at the necklines (both front and back) and at the armhole seams.  I thought my fabric needed the structure.  
  • Since my fabric is so light, I went ahead and lined the skirt with a poly lining.  It adds a little structure to the skirt and holds it slightly away from my body. 
  • I used my lining fabric to make a muslin and I should have done more with fitting before cutting and stitching.  That is what I get for being lazy! 
  • I topstitched about 1/8 inch from the neckline and armhole edges using white thread. 
<b>Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?</b> 
I think this would make a great dress in a plaid for winter to wear with a cardigan.  I can see having the fabric cut on the bias for the underlay.  I do recommend this to others. 

<b>Conclusion: </b>
This is an easy pattern that I think leaves off some important details, such as interfacing.  Maybe I am too old school about things like that?


  1. Looks so nice! Love the fabric and the fit is perfect.

  2. Your dress is lovely - beautiful fabric. Great job.

  3. I just bought this pattern last week- I'm printing up your review to help me! Lovely.

  4. I love your choice of fabric.