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Aug 242016

Well hello!  Yes, I do still have a blog!  And yes, I have definitely been sewing, as those of you who follow me on Instagram surely know.  I’ve been doing a pretty terrible job of keeping up with photographing what I make, though, and then even when I do a big photo shoot and edit all of my photos, it takes me a month to actually write a post to go with them!  So here’s me like two months ago:mccalls-6891-nani-iro-mountain-view-front-1

This is McCall’s 6891, which is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern.

Observe the “easy” badge on the envelope and “3-hour perfect fit shirtdress” description on the instructions.  Blatant lies, I tell you.  I made two muslins of this bodice that probably took me 2 hours to cut out and sew alone.  And as an eagle-eyed Instagram follower pointed out when I posted this there, the example is made in plaid!  It would probably take me 3 hours just to plaid match while cutting!  Plus you need to make buttonholes and sew on buttons, which usually takes me two hours all by itself!  I get that Palmer/Pletsch are professionals and can probably do things pretty quickly, and that I’m outrageously slow at things, but I’d like to see someone make this whole thing in 3 hours.

In any event, you can see that I made the sleeveless view A, and the fabric I used is a Nani Iro double gauze called “Mountain Views” that was popular last summer (back when I began planning this dress).  I really love the print, but I must say that it doesn’t behave the way double gauze usually does.  This is because some of the print is done with a thick ink that makes the fabric stiff in some spots.  I don’t really mind this because I find double gauze to be shifty and annoying sometimes, but if you’re looking for that soft, cozy double gauze feeling, this won’t fit the bill.  mccalls-6891-nani-iro-mountain-view-side

The photo below makes it look like I didn’t iron this dress before taking the photos, but I did.  This is just the way the fabric looks, which is also not typical for double gauze.  I can usually get cotton double gauze to press very nicely, but this fabric is a little more crinkly because of that thick ink.  mccalls-6891-nani-iro-mountain-view-back

Conversing with a cat.  Can you see her little floating eyes, ears, and mouth?  I know you can definitely see her cardboard scratcher on the right and the little mat I keep in front of her pet fountain on the left.  I usually move those out of the way when I do photos, but I guess I forgot.  mccalls-6891-nani-iro-mountain-view-side-with-cat

As you can see, I added pockets because pockets.  I just used the pattern pieces from the Deer and Doe Belladone, which is my go-to pocket.  I don’t like side-seam pockets because they tend to sit funny and things fall out of them.  These pockets from the Belladone are ideal.  They always lay flat, and I’ve never had anything fall out of them.  I also substituted a modified version of the Belladone skirt for the circle skirt included in the pattern.  I really hate the way circle skirts look on me for some reason, but I didn’t want to substitute the pleated skirt from McCall’s 6696 because I wanted a more streamlined look.  I’m pleased with this substitution.  I’ve used the Belladone skirt like a grabillion times now with various bodices, and it’s always perfect.mccalls-6891-nani-iro-mountain-view-front-2

Things I like about this dress:

  • The notched collar.  I like the open neckline on me.  I’m very short from bust to neck, so having too much going on in that area can overwhelm me.  I like the open v-shape this collar style provides.
  • The less flared shape.  It’s less likely to blow up in the Chicago wind, which is great, plus it’s just a different silhouette than my other shirtdresses.
  • The fabric, which is from Miss Matatabi.  Despite its stiffness, I love this fabric.  The beauty of the print is almost too much – I kind of want to frame it and hang it on my wall instead of wearing it!  Nani Iro is amazing.  I just finished two more dresses in double gauze prints from her (they do not share the stiffness of this one – they feel like regular double gauze).
  • The fit at the shoulder.  It’s almost perfect.  I always think I have a perfect fit, but then when I take my photos, I see all sorts of pulling.  I can ever so slightly see some ripples, especially in my cat whispering photo above, but I think that’s down to my bias tape insertion.  I bought premade bias tape from Echino from Miss Matatabi as well, and it’s not nearly as stiff as the Wright’s stuff you get at Joann, but it’s not as supple as when I make it myself.  I’m also having this issue lately where I cut the shoulder in too narrow and my bra strap shows.  I began doing this because shoulders are always too wide, but I’m apparently taking it too far lately.  This dress is perfect.  It’s not too wide and I didn’t cut it so narrow that my bra strap shows.  It’s also a great balance between being not gaping at the armhole and not being too tight, which is a problem I’ve caused in my attempts to balance armhole with bust size.  A too-tight armhole is SO uncomfortable!

Things I don’t love about this dress:

  • The lack of a waistband.  I prefer how I look with a more defined waist.  I was into belts for a while, but they’re so shifty.  I feel like I’m always fiddling with them.  Part of this is probably because I like to wear them loose so they don’t sausagify me, and that makes them more likely to rotate on my waist.
  • The side zipper.  No, this dress is not supposed to have a side zipper.  I’ve begun sewing all my shirtdresses together at the center front because no matter how well they fit, as I move throughout the day, I’ll eventually cause them to gape between the buttons.  Several bloggers have discussed putting in additional buttons backwards (if that makes sense – the button faces your body instead of outward, so you can’t see it).  That would be a good solution, but I usually don’t unbutton my shirtdresses when I put them on anyway, so why not just sew the front closed and be done with it?  For this dress, though, it looked very sloppy until it was quite fitted to me, and I was worried I wouldn’t easily be able to put it on without having some kind of closure that I could open up.  I decided to put in an invisible side zipper, but as it turns out, I don’t actually need to use it!  This dress is a little tighter when I put it on, but it’s perfectly put-on-able without unzipping the zipper.  So it’s just unnecessary and the zipper tab irritates my arm sometimes.  I put the zipper in after the dress was constructed, so it’s not the cleanest insertion either.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to rip it out soon.

So the good outweighs the bad, and I’ll definitely be making another version of this pattern.  I love the notched collar, and I think I’ll try to add a waistband even though I think it might look odd in combination with the notched collar.  We shall find out precisely how odd it looks, I suppose!

  5 Responses to “McCall’s 6891 Shirtdress in Nani Iro Double Gauze”

  1. Hello cat! I see the cat.

    I have this pattern, and I always take it out and look at it and then put it back – there aren’t that many versions on the internets. You have definitely moved it up my ‘to sew’ list, it looks great! I probably won’t make it in such an amazing fabric though. Holy moly that fabric is nice.

    I’ve been toying with adding those finger crocheted thread belt holders to a couple of my makes because I always wear them with belts (because no waistband) but then the belts slip around. I figure the thread ones would be light enough that you wouldn’t notice them if you weren’t wearing a belt, right? I have yet to get around to it though. Ofc.

    I miss seeing you in my blog feeder! At least there’s instagram.

    • I’d been wanting to try this pattern for a while because it has a more open neckline, which I think is a good look for a person with a very short neck like me. I do really like how the open notched collar looks. I had a lot of issues getting the bust dart situated correctly, so I had to make two muslins and even then there were some tweaks that I knew I’d have to do when I made the real dress. I think knowing that made me procrastinate, but I’m really glad I finally got it done because I love the pattern and I’d been hoarding that fabric for a year. I’m wondering how this pattern would look in rayon. I have some of that Rifle Paper Co. rayon that I might use for a second version.

      Yeah, I think those little belt holders wouldn’t be that noticeable, and I think I usually see them only on the sides, where they’ll be covered by your arms most of the time anyway. I would like to get a blue belt to wear with this so I could see how it looks. I have a few other dresses that I think would work with a blue belt, so I might be able to justify a purchase.

      I have really been terrible about blogging! I have a bunch of other posts already prepped, so it will just take me sitting down and writing. I hope to get them done before the weather here turns or else I’ll be posting summer dresses in the dead of winter!

  2. Also, I don’t think I could sew ANYTHING with buttons in under three hours. Like if you gave me two pieces of fabric and ten buttons and said ‘just make ten button holes and sew these buttons on, that’s, like… 2 hours 45 minutes right there. I guess if I wanted to practice to become a buttonmaster, maybe I could whittle that down to 2 hours. But yeah…. nah.

    • Yes, it takes me forever to do buttons and buttonholes! My machine is pretty well-behaved when it comes to its automatic buttonholes, but I usually manage to sew one on wrong somehow, and I’m extremely slow at hand sewing. For a while I was pretty excited about using my machine to sew on buttons, but they just look so much neater when I do it myself, especially if they have four holes instead of just two. I made a Belladone on Saturday and I think I spent six hours on it. And it has no fasteners whatsoever because I make it loose enough to not need a zipper anymore! Plus it has no collar. Palmer/Pletsch are definitely living in a fantasy world if they think anyone could make that dress in three hours.

  3. […] been trying to expand my shirtdress repertoire lately; my last post was on McCall’s 6891, and soon I hope to post a couple versions of the Deer and Doe Bruyere […]

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