Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Completed - McCalls 6505

I posted about McCalls 6505 while in progress here and it is now complete.  Let me just start out by saying: I love this dress!  I need more occasions to actually wear it (or I guess I could just be super fancy around the house or shopping at Target).  Here is the pattern as a reminder:

I was having some issues with some bagginess in the front midsection because the front underlining is just one piece.  I wasn't sure how to fix it, so I tried ripping out the side seams and restitching them again but taking out significantly more from the front piece than the back.  I actually think it helped a lot!  It helped to give more definition in the waist as well so it was less sack-like (if you look at the picture, it definitely looks a little bit shapeless on the model, so if you decide to make this dress I'd think about carving a bit more out of the sides). I made a 6 and it fit everywhere else, so I think that's just how the pattern is.

Don't adjust your monitor: I really AM that pale and reflective.  You're also probably getting tired of seeing my sunroom, but it has the best light in the house (because of, you know, the sun.  In this room.  Which is a sun-room).  This dress came out exactly how I pictured in my mind!  And even better than that: it was easy!  I envisioned the potential disasters of working with lace, but honestly it was not that different from any other fabric (and it was easier than some; poly-spandex blend: I'm talking to you!).

In all honesty, I really didn't use the instructions because I found them overwhelming and confusing.  I also modified the pattern by not putting in a lining.  I knew that this dress was going to be worn in Las July...where it is currently 112 degrees, so the fewer layers the better.  The instructions also had you fully make the underlining/lining part first before ever attaching the lace, and that just seemed strange.  I thought that "underlining" meant a layer of fabric that is basted to the main fabric and then the two are used as one.  Am I wrong about that?  I would have also had to make the darts in each layer one at a time as opposed to making them to the underlining and lace at the same time (which is what I ended up doing and I think it made the process so much easier!).  I was a little lazy in some places with the underlining (i.e. folding over and stitching to finish the neckline and armhole edges as opposed to making a facing), but I knew that it would be concealed by the lace so it worked fine.

I used the selvedge edge of the lace as my trim around the neck, back, sleeves, and bottom hem.  It was actually really easy to attach the trim and it made it to where I didn't have to hem anything (even better).  I have a confession to make: I actually just pinked the bottom of the underlining fabric because it's covered by the lace trim and you can't see it.  Since I used the lace and underlining as one piece of fabric, I forgot to hem before sewing it all up.  It works though and I don't think it will fray too much.  There is also a 20 inch invisible zipper in the center back and it was surprisingly easy to put in as well.

Here's another confession: I could tell that the poly-shantung fabric I used as my underlining was going fray like mad, so I actually used my pinking shears to cut out the fabric.  I'm sure that's breaking like 23 different sewing rules and I might have my sewing card revoked or something, but it actually worked really well.  I didn't have any fraying issues at all, so it's something you might consider if you find yourself working with fabric that wants to fall apart.

I looked up lace dresses online and I saw that they are everywhere!  They are also mostly upwards of $100, so the fact that this dress cost me about $22 to make is just icing on the cake!  I think that means I should use the savings to go out and buy a new pair of shoes that I can actually walk farther than across my house in because as fabulous as these are, they HURT! This pretty much sums up what I think about them:

But they're so cute...maybe I'll try a different brand of cushy insoles even though I already have some in them and they aren't any more comfortable.  I'm wearing the dress though, even if I have to wear flip flops!  It's Vegas afterall; that city has seen it all!


  1. Love it. I have this in my list of buys, as I have become all of sudden a lover of lace.

    1. Thank you! It really was easier than I thought (once I ignored the instructions, LOL!)

  2. Nicely done! I hope the Target appreciates you in it as they should!

  3. Gorgeous! I really love that blue lining!

  4. What a beautiful dress! I love the blue for a pop of color in the lining!

  5. Fantastic looking dress on you! The contrasting colors are an eyecatching treat.

  6. Beautiful, beautiful dress! Job well done!

  7. Fabulous dress. I hope my version turns out as nice

  8. Wow. This is so beautiful. It's cool how you took in the sides to give it more waist definition and make it less baggy. Nice explanation of your alteration. Congrats on a gorgeous dress.

  9. Love your dress. I think I am going to sew it for New Year's Eve. Thanks for your alterations explanations.

  10. Wow this dress is gorgeous I was hoping this pattern would look as good as the picture but your version does it wonders! Looks really pretty on you.