McCall 6501 Girls Dress A+E

Last but not least in the why-the-hell-am-I-Sewing for Kids Trilogy is the pile on the left.

The Pattern

My niece picked the black mesh fabric and had wanted a jacket out of it. But I was worried that a see-through jacket might be a bit too sexy / grown-up so I tried to J-Crewfy it. I thought the fabric would work well with a drapy design like this – the flounce especially. As added insurance against parental objection I also added the sleeves. The Franken-drawing looked alright to me. But of the 3 makes, I’m most meh about the result of this one…

Catalogue Shots

M6501_2

Is it just me or does this dress look dowdy? I’m wondering now if I shouldn’t have just made another gathered tier skirt with black lining.

Fabric & Notions Used

I was needlessly apprehensive about sewing the mesh knit and unduly confident about sewing the Lycra underlining. The mesh in fact sewed easily on the overlocker. The Lycra lettuced like crazy on both the overlocker (with differential feed turned right up) and sewing machine…until I spray starch the hell out of it. I even resorted to homemade starch when I ran out of the commercial one. Once it’s stiff like paper it behaved itself.

Size Used

Like with the Burda jacket I made a 12 – supposedly a size larger than my niece’s current measurements. But unlike the Burda jacket this one is L-A-R-G-E. Even I could fit into it. Not sure if it’s the typical over-generous ease problem that many have reported on the Big 4 patterns, or if the fault is with me for choosing stretchy fabrics.

I would have said “that’s OK as she can grow into it”. But of the 3 garments I think this is the most kiddy design. The other two could easily be teenage or even grown up fashion. This one looks too sickly sweet to be worn by anyone other than little girls & tweenies.

Changes Made

Frankenpatterned view A sleeves onto view E dress. And underlined the whole thing.

Verdict on the Instruction

I read the instruction but did my own thing because of the changes I made. Otherwise the instruction is pretty straight-forward (and easier to follow than Burda in my opinion).

Like with the cut-lace tier skirt, I treated the underlining as a separate layer for the main bodice. Only in the armscyes, sleeve hems, and back neck opening did I treat the layers as one.

M6501_2-d-1

As much as possible I kept the seams and hem stitching as light-weight as possible. So the mesh shell had narrow overlocked seam and roll hems – first time I did this and it came out without a hitch thanks to the easy-to-handle mesh fabric. The underlining had slightly wider seams with a machine-stitched single-fold narrow hem.

M6501_2-d-2

I was debating whether to finish the sleeve hems the same way, but decided to make it look more like the other upper edges – neck hem, back opening. This is to avoid distracting from the design line of the fluid flounce which flows into the fluid bottom hem. (There’s a bit of design thoughts going into this after all, even if the result isn’t quite as fashionable as I had hoped! }:-)

Would I sew it again / Would I recommend it to others

It is a sweet looking dress. And if you get the sizing right and picked the right fabric I think it would look good on young girls & younger Tweenies.

Somehow I don’t think I’ll be sewing this again though.  Unless this Tweeny Trilogy turn out to be unexpected mega-blockbusters I’m done sewing for kiddies. Back to regularly scheduled adult sewing next.

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0 comments on “McCall 6501 Girls Dress A+E

  1. This is a very pretty design – too bad the fabric choice was a pain. The finished dress is very pretty, though. I do hope she loves it! While sewing for my DD’s, I’m always amazed at how they love the cheap crappy fabric. Fabric education – i.e. choose the natural fibres – is part of my parenting, now! 🙂

    • LOL. Sadly over here I have moth problems. So natural fibers are wasted. I’m hoping a few years of petrochemical fibers and they’ll become extinct enough for me to bring back the naturals. Beware of 2nd hand clothing! (Or at least send them to the freezer on arrival.)

  2. Thanks for the compliments and well wishes ladies!

    I’m under no illusion that effort in = appreciation out with this audience. But it was good practice and chance to try new techniques without being overly attached to the end result! 🙂

  3. I like the fabric combination and the asymmetric flounce. It should be appreciated, but my experience of sewing for kids old enough to be picky is that you can never predict. Sometimes they’ll only wear what the best friend wears. Good luck!

  4. cejay says:

    Wow you have put a lot of effort into these… I do hope they are appreciated. Based on your pictures the mesh one looks good, but you never can tell how it will be perceived. Good luck and back to selfish sewing!

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