adult's clothing · sewing

McCalls 6553

There has been some criticism of this pattern out in the sewing blogosphere saying that it is “shapeless” and “tentlike”.  I think that it’s all about what size that you sew it up in and what fabric that you use.  Yes, it’s a loose-fitting dress – but that doesn’t make it a tent!

McCalls 6553 - tied at back only

As you know, I value comfort in my clothes. And when it is getting warm, there is nothing that beats a loose dress, at least in my opinion. This pattern has some great design lines – princess seams in the front, a fully lined back yoke, tucks in the back, extended shoulder line forming cap sleeves, and a fashionable hemline that is higher in the front than the back. And look, pockets! There are side seam pockets!

McCalls 6553 - loose

There is also the option of wearing this dress with a half belt. You leave small openings in the side seams for the belt to pass through to tie it at the front, or at the back. Or belt it completely (not my scene). Or not tie it at all. In the top photo the dress is worn loose: in the middle it’s belted at the front: in the bottom it’s belted at the back.

McCalls 6553 - belting options

This is one of those situations where you really do need to check the measurements printed on the pattern pieces and consider the style of the dress before you decide which size to cut out. I cut this as a size 8, since it’s only fitted around the upper chest and shoulders. I’m glad that I didn’t go any larger. I also shortened it at the adjustment lines, since I am short waisted. The hem was secured with Vliesofix before I stitched a couple of rows to both secure it and decorate it. The fabric is a medium weight mystery knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics, and it has sufficient weight to ensure that the dress hangs down in nice folds rather than billowing out a little like, maybe, a tent. The pattern does suggest mid-weight fabrics, and I think it’s a good recommendation. It would work well in a crepe too. I wore this on the hot day we had on Thursday, and it was perfect.  Those princess seams would really lend themselves to some piping…hmmm, what other fabrics do I have in stash that might be good for a second version?



8 thoughts on “McCalls 6553

  1. I really really love this pattern. I think this looks fabulous on you. I’m worried this would swamp my small frame but am soooo tempted to make it anyway..

  2. Looks like a fun dress and comfortable as well, I’m all for the comfort. I like how the beads dress it up and give it some jazz. Your glasses look like they match as well 🙂

  3. That is the kind of pattern I will likely never make, alas. It is the kind that works best on the “triangle” figure. I have an “inverted triangle” figure. I have learned the hard way that dresses like this make people ask when the baby is due! But, I’d love it if I had a triangle figure! And by the way, I love the color combo of the medium gray with the orange. What an eye you have for putting colors together.

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