Wednesday, May 9, 2018

McCalls 6069 knit dress with draped back

Let's do a slight detour in my my blogging order, since it is Me Made May and it seems only right to post something that I am wearing this week. Plus I love the colors in fabric.

A while ago I saw Allison in Hong Kong post a dress she made with this pattern and I had to have it. It seemed to be out of print but I found a copy on eBay and ordered it - even though it was still winter and the time to wear it would be more than a few weeks away. It's McCalls 6069.


It says a 1 hour dress - not quite. And I am a fast stitcher! However I did a make a few changes to the design - what else is new.

For some reason I'm not a big fan of front cowl necklines, I always feel messy in them. Although in this version I am wishing I did the cowl front and back as it would have been a very pretty and dramatic look. Oh well, didn't think about that at the time. Also I had a minimal amount of fabric to work with.


Because I found it on the remnant shelf at Stone Mountain Fabrics in Berkeley and it was about 1 and 1/3 yards so not much available. Plus cowl necklines with a built in facing do take a bit of fabric. I'm not 100% positive but I think this is a fabric from one of my favorite clothing lines, Tori Richard of Hawaii. They make great casual but elegant resort style clothing for both men and women. And their fabrics are such pretty colors. I have never found the fabrics in Hawaii for sale but lately I've found some remnants and bolts of fabrics that I recognize from stalking their website for inspiration. So of course I made a dress to wear on a Hawaiian vacation.


On the same day I found two other remnants, a nice linen in hot pink, no idea for that, and a golden metallic black denim which might be used with a recent Burda mag pattern.

And here's the finished dress, with the change I made to the front. Once I cut it out and sewed up the square neckline I didn't like it at all. I really like square necklines but it just didn't seem to go with a knit fabric or the cowl neck in the back. I stitched it up and tried it on, and decided to treat the front like a scoop neck t-shirt.

knit dress front view

Here's a look at the neckline. I tried on the bodice as you see it in the picture above, when it was just the top half of the dress, and marked with a pin the place where I wanted the center of the scoop to dip down to. Then I folded the front in half at the center and drew a round neckline, cutting off the extra but leaving 1/4" so I could attach the binding. Which I sewed on just like a t-shirt and then just reattached the front to the back at the shoulders. The armholes also have a binding turned to the inside and stitched.

knit dress front neckband

Knit dress on form front

I made a tie sash as the pattern had but didn't wear it. I actually think I made the elastic a bit too snug, and I'm going to undo the elastic, put a buttonhole in the center front and then make it into a drawstring with elastic instead.

But this dress is all about the back view! Perfect vacation dress that scrunches up to nothing in my suitcase.

knit dress back view

Which came out perfectly. Ages ago I saw a woman wearing a dress very similar to this, except it didn't have any waist, just a straight knit dress but with a very low cowl back. I remember taking a picture of it on my phone - and that was about 3 phones ago. (a pink Treo - loved that little phone!) It looked so interesting, I might have to try that style hack as well.

knit dress side view 2

knit dress back drape close up

So that's the latest on my 1-hour knit dress (more like 3 or 4 hours). But a winner for my vacation and the summer ahead.

What's next on my calendar? Lots of classes at Hello Stitch Studio in Berkeley. I have to miss meeting Gertie this Thursday May 8 but she is having a book signing and talk that evening at the studio if you are interested.

Here's some details on upcoming classes for this month:

Adj the bust

copy vintage dress

More classes in May and June:

Sat. June 2:    Sew the Bondi Dress
Sun. Jun 3:    Sewing pattern alteration and Fit Lab
Sat. June 16:  Sew a Pencil Skirt (2 session class)
Sat. June 16:  Knit T-shirt (2 session class)
Sat. June 23:  Garment Sewing, Easy Tank Top
Sat. July 14:  Pants Clinic, Diagnose your Fit Issues

Also upcoming classes not on the calendar yet are a button front shirt class, and some vintage style sewing. Sign up on the website for their newsletter to get all the updates.


Plenty of things to post on the blog and then after my time in Hawaii I will get back to sewing some of the gorgeous fabrics from Britex that my friend Heather bought last month.

Aloha, and happy sewing, 

today's garden photo, I think a passion flower vine that only puts out one bloom at a time, but it is a stunner of a color.




  1. Nice job. I've always loved that pattern.

  2. Very nice. I do agree that the square neckline doesn't really go with the draped back. This is so much better.

  3. I like the dress on you...and such a pretty color! Glad you got to wear it on vacation.

  4. So glad I inspired you to get this awesome pattern, I've made it a few times and there will definitely be more. Maybe I'll even get close to making it in an hour one of these days! Like you I liked the idea of the square neckline, but never really loved the final look and I think you are right that is just doesn't go with the cowl - your scoop neck is much better. Love the finished dress, that fabric has all my favourite colours too!

  5. Such a nice fabric, great colours and print - excellent use of remnant and does seem like a really good travelling dress, especially for a summer holiday ;o)

  6. The back of this dress is E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!!!! I LOVE IT!

    I don't have this pattern but I just 'learned' (read on a Rhonda Buss' blog) how to draft a cowl and now I'm going to try to do it on my M6886 TNT dress in back. Wish me luck :-p

  7. The dress is very gorgeous! The colour looks stunning on you.

  8. Very cute dress!! Enjoy the time in Hawai!

  9. What a lovely pattern - the cowl at the back is wonderfully dramatic, and nice and straight forward at the front! It's a beautiful dress on you :)