McCalls 6886: Behind-the-times edition


Everyone else who has ever sewed a dress has already made up this pattern.

And it’s easy to see why, seeing as the sleeveless version is two pieces, no darts. It doesn’t get much simpler.

This fabric is a thick poly jersey (not quite scuba-weight, but much heavier than usual) with a very large repeat floral, about two feet high. Because the dress pattern is so simple I was able to fussy-cut the front to centre the flower, and make it up without breaking up the print at all.

The Side

It’s mostly a size 10. Again, I’m supposed to be a size 16/20 in BMV, but at least this pattern had finished measurements on the tissue that were accurate, so I cut out a size 10, grading to 14 at the hips, and with a pivot-and-slide FBA. And voila:

The Front Take 2

Approximately 1 hour of sewing plus a bit of hemming.

The print was just the right size for this pattern. The back isn’t so pretty, but it still works. I think with a blazer or cardigan I could wear it to the office, but of course it’s mostly for dancing. It’s super stretchy and very comfortable.

The Back

For many knit projects with a single-piece back, I deal with excess in the upper back length by taking it out at the top, from the neckline. I’m not sure if any experts would support this as correct, but it does haul everything up nicely, and it means no waistline seam. Β I did a bit of that here and below, and it made a difference, though you can see some pooling does remain.

The remainder of this fabric–I bought two metres in case I needed to worry about pattern repeats, which I didn’t–has been given to a friend. Can’t wait to see what she does with it. πŸ™‚

Then when I was downtown fabric shopping with that same friend, I found this rayon/poly/spandex blend knit with a fabulous pebbly texture and a metallic multi-colour foil floral print.

If I look tired, it’s because I am. Also, if I look tired, it’s because I’m not wearing any makeup, because I didn’t have time to put any on before the sun set. But hey, the dress is fancy.

(I found it at Downtown Fabrics on Queen W, and when I was getting it cut, was chatting with a man there while his wife shopped. He asked me what I was going to use it for, and I said probably a dress for dancing. “Salsa dancing?” he asked. “Good guess!” I replied.)

And I thought this pattern would make a great base for a dancing dress from this fabric, but wasn’t quite fancy enough for those foil roses. So here’s where Burda 6417 comes in again: I shortened M6886 by about five or six inches, pegged the sides in by about an inch to get the seams to match, and then added the Burda flounce to the bottom.

Sizing Note

I should be a size 16/20 in BMV patterns, and this is a size 10, graded to 14 at the hips, with an FBA. I can’t imagine it bigger; in most places it has slight positive ease or slight negative ease. If I’d made it up according to the sizing chart it would have been a sack.

(And if I’d made it up according to any of the supposed fool-proof shortcuts like high-bust measurement it still would have been a sack, because none of them would put me in a size 10.)

8 thoughts on “McCalls 6886: Behind-the-times edition

  1. Both nice dresses but the 2nd one is super special with that fantastic fabric. I’m really appreciating the pattern size discussion at the end. I’m finding it such a drag sewing.. no not sewing but fitting when you can’t trust the sizing and when time is short and you just want to whip something up. I’m tired too.. does that even make sense?

    1. Completely! I feel exactly the same way. I just want to know what size to get! Call it a size 2, a size 516, a size purple, a size W, a size Triangle, whatever, I don’t care, so long as it’s the same size every time and I can get a predictable and consistent fit to base alterations on. I don’t understand how some companies do this so well, and others can’t do it at all.

      I’m glad you find it useful. πŸ™‚ And thank you! Shiny is always fun on a fabric.

  2. I love love both dresses! I think the high bust method only works for me if the pattern is a woven. BMV knit patterns have this mysterious amount of positive ease that makes picking a size impossible unless it has the finished measurements on it. Even then, I find it to be a complete disaster 50% of the time if not more than that. I wouldn’t say Simplicity is any better at that, but I do think Burda gets it right quite a lot of the time.

    1. The high-bust measurement method doesn’t work for me at all. For me, what I need is the finished measurement of the waist. If I pick the size based on that, it’ll give me what I need in the armscye and neckline and I can alter it to fit elsewhere. But of course the one finished measurement they almost never supply (and not exclusively at BMV) is the waist.

      Thanks for the Simplicity warning. πŸ™‚ I’ll know not to get my hopes up there. I think you’re right on Burda, though. 38/40 w/ an FBA gets me where I need to be 99% of the time.

  3. I love both your new dresses from the fabrics to the pattern and the flounce ( and the blingy floral 😻). Burda and kwik sew fit were such revelations compared to the Big 4 I sewed back in the day . Luckily it didn’t put me off sewing forever.

    1. Thanks. πŸ™‚ I love the blingy floral too. It’s so much fun.

      Yeah. I knew I’d largely stopped using BMV patterns, but I didn’t realize how much until I started documenting MMMay outfits, and almost all of them are from Burda mag, with a few Burda paper patterns and Knipmode/Patrones makes. There’s a few BMV but not more than a handful.

  4. Downtown Fabrics is my favourite place to shop when I am in Toronto. I always find something there that is beautiful and I won’t find others in my community with the same fabric.

    1. It’s dangerous. Even when I tell myself I’m just going in to browse, I always come out with something. It’s something awesome and fun, but it still makes my credit card cry.

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