Saturday, March 22, 2014

McCall's 6503 Butterfly Print Dress


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!

30 comments:

  1. I usually rub the inside with a dryer sheet. Trick I picked off the internet. I don't remember where, sorry, too many years ago. Lovely dress and the style is just perfect for you, all the versions. Karen in Illinois

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    1. Thank you! I had heard the dryer sheet trick...and forgotten it...I will try it!

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  2. The dress is cute! I use Static Guard (spray) on everything synthetic. It's usually in the laundry aisle. Hope that helps.

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    1. Thank you, Eileen--I'll give it a try. I'm very sensitive to chemicals (and therefore maybe shouldn't be wearing polyester anyway...), so I'm wary of sprays, but if all else fails!

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  3. I've heard rubbing a Bounce sheet on your dress will help manage static cling. Easy to carry around too. Love the dress with the denim jacket. I have Vogue 8857, a shirt with the same collar as this dress. I love how comfortable and pretty it is. I love a mandarin collar and how the neckline is designed open as opposed to a regular button up shirt, which I always leave the top buttons undone anyways. Your pockets look very practical too.

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    1. I'm going to see if Bounce sheets come in an unscented version, Jenny Mac--that might work for me. Totally agree with your comments about this style of collar!

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  4. I love everything about this version - fabric, sleeves, neckline/collar, fit. Hope you can reduce your pesky cling problem!

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    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your sweet comment!

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn! Coming from you, that means a lot to me!

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  6. Totally love your new dress and the colours are perfect. I have similar colouring to you and a friend told me during the week that I should "always wear navy" - it looks fabulous on you too! To stop the static, I find that hairspray on the thighs (over the tights) works well as does moisturising cream on bare legs and if all else fails, I wear a slip.

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    1. Jo, that is so interesting about navy. I am really trying to break the "black" habit, not because I don't like it or find it boring, but because it does nothing for me. Never heard about hairspray--good to know. Thanks!

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  7. Love the dress, especially the sleeves.

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    1. Thank you so much! The sleeves are so comfortable to wear, too!

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  8. These are so sharp- the pattern envelope always makes me reject it- it looks so homesy. Ok, I'm going to print a picture of yours and glue it over the envelope cover to make me remember why I bought this pattern in the first place!

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    1. Gertie made an awesome version. Also, check out http://themakingsofanurbanrustic.blogspot.com/2012/05/mmm12-days-24-27the-summer-continues.html.

      She made several versions and they are all divine! This would be so cute on you!

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  9. You made one more beautiful dress! I love the design and the print is so lovely. But clinging fabric? Oh, that can be so annoying! Anyway, some special sprays will help with this.

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    1. Thank you, Olga! I must get busy testing the various ideas shared here!

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  10. Love it!!!!! My absolute favorite look is with the denim jacket and boots!

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    1. Thank you! Those boots are great favorites of mine--vintage dark green Ropers bought from eBay. The middle schoolers do not understand the concept of vintage footwear at all. It's so funny! They say, "You bought USED shoes?!"

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  11. How about putting a cotton petticoat under? You look fabulous.

    www.hungrycaramella.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Caramella, and thanks for commenting. I just took a quick peek at your blog and I love it. You are toooo adorable. I will definitely be following you (though I will have to ignore the food parts--food allergies, you know).

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  12. The dress is a beauty, I especially love the sleeves. And of course I like it worn with the denim jacket (since I just about live in mine!)
    I always wear a petticoat under clingy dresses/skirts, although I must say that I have found cotton doesn't help, if you are wearing tights, anyway. A polyester/nylon slip (all of mine are vintage, picked up secondhand in charity shops for next to nothing) will do the job. Silk is even nicer, but pricier! I prefer full slips rather than waist ones, they don't drop or twist around. xxx

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    1. Thank you, Curtise! I should have been more clear: I am wearing it with a nylon (vintage, natch) half slip, but still it clings. Slips are part of my daily wardrobe. I am amazed at how young women don't seem to even consider wearing a slip an option. I used to work at a fabric store, and I remember one 20-something who brought in a dress wanting to hire someone to line it. We told her it would be a very expensive proposition to take the dress apart and reconstruct it with a lining, and suggested that she wear a slip. Oh, no, never! She spent over $100 on lining fabric and labor to have the thing fully lined.

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  13. Such a pretty dress! The way the color frames your face is especially lovely:)

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    1. Thank you, Angela! I like that effect, too!

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  14. Love this version. You've really hit the nail on the head this time around.

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    1. Thanks, Gail! I really should stick with making what works!

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  15. i love this latest version - the farbic is beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much! It is a pretty print, and I love that it's butterflies!

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