Saturday, January 26, 2013

McCalls 6612 -- Take One: The Molecule Dress

Someone referred to McCalls 6612 as just as easy as McCalls 6559, the tank dress I made three times last summer, so I bought this pattern with great hopes.  And decided to make it in great haste.

I already had a spandex-y knit in my stash.  It's dotted, but the dots are more along the lines of molecules, so I think of it as my version of a Mrs. Frizzell dress:) (Mrs. Frizzell, the science teacher on The Magic Schoolbus, always wears science-themed clothes).

I made view B, a long sleeve dress with a built-in draped neckline.  After holding the pattern up to me and eyeballing it, I traced and cut a straight 16.  I did not tissue-fit -- failure number one.
(Tissue-fitting means pinning the front and back pattern pieces together along the seamlines and trying it on.  If the center front and back aren't at your center front and back, you need to do some adjusting -- for example, either adding or subtracting along the side seams).  The failure to tissue fit was compounded by a failure to translate the words "close-fitting" on the pattern description to "tight."  Remember:  if the pattern says "close-fitting," that's a code word for "tight." If I had tissue-fitted the front and back pieces, I would have noticed that the narrowest part of the side seams hit me at the wrong place, and I could have added a little width there, or even better, raised the waist.

Consequently, when the dress was completed, it fit -- but just barely.  Now this was meant to be more of a comfortable dress, and I did not want to have to spend the whole time wearing it having to worry about breathing too much;)  However, I noticed that if I raised the skirt part up a little there was plenty of room across my middle.  I am very short-waisted, so even though I usually need to add length to the skirt portion, if I had shortened the bodice portion it would have been a better fit for me. (Note to self:  remember to check the waist).

Side view
So I attempted a salvage by cutting the dress off horizontally under the bust and resewing the skirt portion on at a wider place.  This took forever as I kept trying to fine-tune the fit but in reality I was merely making it harder on myself.
The horizontal seam where I tried to fix the fit is just visible at the bottom left
I'm not sure how I feel about this neckline.  Even though there is extra fabric in the bodice, there is still a modesty issue if you bend over too far.

In the end, I'm not crazy about this dress.  It's okay.  It's warm, and I did need some winter dresses, and I may wear it here and there, but the print is a bit much and the fitting issues kind of dampened my enthusiasm.

As for the pattern itself, it was very straightforward and I had no problems sewing it.  I will make it again for myself after adjusting the fit on the pattern pieces.  I do recommend it -- just check for fit BEFORE you make it.


  1. I really, really dont't like clothing that is too small. Really. I "get" what you're saying about not "breathing too much." ;)

    But I must say that the dress looks great on you...and you'd be the only one who knew of the breathing difficulties!

    Have I said before that I am impressed with your sewing skills? Oh, I have? Well, it's true. :D

  2. You look marvelous, Darling, I like the dress very much, it looks so comfortable, and the fabric is so pretty, I am glad you gave a close up. Like Cheryl, I admire your sewing skills, I am hoping to one day get back to sewing, haven't sewn for years.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. I do not like anything tight either! I totally get that. The dress actually looks very flattering. Your sewing talent is amazing to me. I cant even imagine being able to fit a dress to myself.

    1. It's not so hard if you use one of the simple patterns like I've been using:)

  4. I sympathise very much, Angela. Like you I would not have bothered to tissue fir the pattern and am pathologically averse to anything that feels tight and makes me feel I can't eat anything (or breathe much either!) For this reason when I buy clothes I always buy a size bigger than I am, just in case I put on weight or anything, which is a crazy approach I know but I can't help it! Having said that, your Mrs Frizzle dress doesn't look at all tight on you and I love the drapey neckline - looks so professional and it's very pretty. Well done you! E x

  5. I don't like tight clothes either - I prefer to breathe! The fabric is really nice and looks much better close up. Like Elizabeth, I like the drapey neckline on you too. And great 'Kate Middleton' shoes! x

    1. Thanks Julie! These shoes are some of my thrift store finds.

  6. I've always loved the magic schoolbus! Thanks for the review!

  7. "Magic Schoolbus dress", I love it! I think you look much more stylish than Mrs. Frizzell ;) Seriously though, I think your dress looks great, very flattering! Love the print too. Great idea making a seam under the bust. I made a dotted cowl-neck dress sometime back where the pattern had an under-bust seam. P.S. it doesn't look too tight to me :)


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