Long Distance McCall’s 6559

View C of McCall’s 6559 is an extended vest basically; the sort of dress that’s cheaper to buy than make.  But I’ve become enamoured with the more interesting version E of this pattern and have convinced myself that I should make it for my friend Nataša who – and herein lies the problem  –  lives in another country.  I hardly ever see her 🙁  This slightly baggy production serves therefore as our muslin and, since I sent the dress to her in the post, these photos are in place of a fitting.

I started with some soft, thick stretch cotton in invigorating blues from Fabric House (£3.50 a metre) and cut the pattern to the bust, waist and hip measurements that my friend emailed.  Funnily enough, we‘re the same height and weight but differently distributed with me a base-down triangle and Nataša the inverse.  Once the dress was finished, it appeared to hold her shape and looked like the dresses she wears on the beach and boat.  But I realise now that instead of sizing it 12-10-10, I could have gone 12-8-8. 

A couple more notes on the pattern: the armhole and neckline seam allowances of 1.5cm are meant to be folded under twice and stitched which I thought would make this simple dress look even more cheap basic so I invested a bit of effort in making binding.  If you do so too, remember to trim off 1.5cm from armholes and the neckline.

Also, I’d caution against the advice in the instructions to stretch the fabric slightly as you sew.  This might work for sergers but I conducted a little experiment on strips of fabric, sewing alongside the ribbing as well as across the ribbing with both a straight and a zigzag stitch.  With both, the fabric kept its shape better when it wasn’t being stretched during sewing.  See the puckering and tunnelling in the ‘stretched’ examples? 

Of course, the moral of my story isn’t do as I say.  It’s conduct your own experiment

Ever sewn long distance?