Really, sometimes I think I should just stick with making this dress, McCall's 6503.
First version, using the 6503 bodice with the ruffled turnback collar and waistband, with a 3/4 circle skirt:
|Love the colors of this dress. It is very comfortable, too.|
Mashup dress using the 6503 waistband:
|Same basic shape overall as McCall's 6503, but the bodice here is Colette Ceylon and the skirt is Colette Parfait|
The second full version, not shown, of the dress is really the best so far, made from a beautiful Liberty of London print and using the 6503 pleated skirt. Unfortunately it is yet to be photographed! I suppose I am hung up on wanting to do the dress justice.
So, this version is view D with a pleated skirt and a banded, stand up collar:
One new-to-me element is the neckline treatment. Isn't it nice how it opens up and frames a necklace?
At the back, the neckline hugs the back of the neck but doesn't get tangled up in my hair.
And, the full view of the back:
The second new element for this dress is the self-drafted ruffled tulip sleeve.
If you'd like to develop a tulip sleeve of your own, I highly recommend this wonderful tutorial by Sew Many Seams. She does a thorough job of explaining the benefits of this sleeve type, construction options and clear drafting tips. I chose to make my sleeves both gathered and tulip shaped (covered in the tutorial), but next time I'd like to try an ungathered version (also covered in the tutorial). What I most like about this sleeve, as a now-mid-forties woman, is that it provides plenty of upper arm coverage with great freedom of movement. Actually, I've always liked my upper arms to be covered. With my narrow shoulders, some type of sleeve seems to add the illusion of greater breadth to the shoulder line. Also, I am so fair-skinned and burn so easily that covering the shoulders makes a dress more wearable for me, even and especially on the hottest days.
As you can see from the tights and boots, it's not warm enough yet to threaten much of a sunburn. Here is how I wore it for my substitute teaching stint yesterday, with a denim jacket:
I was dutiful and added inseam pockets, which I really appreciated during my teaching day. Unlike my first two versions of the dress, I installed the side invisible zipper this time. The dress can pull over my head, but it's probably a better policy to add the zipper and save the aggravation of the messed-up hair and possible strain on the dress over time.
The only thing I don't like about the dress, and it's not insignificant, is the fabric. Specifically, the tendency of this 100% polyester print to generate enormous amounts of static. I bought the piece from Hancock Fabrics for its charming butterfly print and nice navy, cream and green color palette. As I began to cut it though, I realized just how "charged" it was. Aside from its inclination to cling viciously to itself and anything else, it was easy to work with (it pressed well, and frayed only slightly).
If you have any great tips for managing static cling, I'd love to hear them!