Happy New Year!/Belated December Garment

Pattern Review: McCalls 6695

Hello and Happy New Year everyone. 

I had a lovely festive holiday spent with family here in the UK and with my godparents in France. 
I did finish this dress before the 1st Jan but was without internet in France so this post is a bit late. Not that this is anything new!

I celebrated my birthday 10 days early and had a joint birthday celebration with some friends yesterday. It was great fun and I had made this dress for the occasion, although I decided to go a bit more casual on the night and ended up wearing a top and jeans. Anyway here is the review of the party dress.

The pattern is McCalls 6695. Both the pattern and the fabric have been in my stash for ages, and I just needed the right excuse to make the dress. Initially I was worried that all of the pleats around the waist and hips would make me look large, but I think that it is fine. Surprisingly, there are not many reviews on Pattern Review for this dress, so I didn't have much to go on either. I am really pleased with the result and it is another fun and feminine dress to add to my collection. 

The chiffon fabric was purchased ages ago, during a fun shopping trip to Goldhawk Road with the fabulous Giselle from The Crafty Beaded Knitter. I can't remember which shop it was, but the fabric only cost £3 per metre which is a steal. All of the pattern pieces are underlined and I used a taffeta lining from John Lewis at £6 per metre (yes, you read correctly, my lining was indeed double the price of my fabric). Makes your eyes water doesn't it? However, the lining was a birthday present from my Mum last year, so I shouldn't be so teary really. And it does feel lovely when wearing it. 

I cut a size 14 and pretty much sewed this straight out of the envelope. I would say that the sizing was excellent. I was too lazy to do a FBA (standard practice with me these days), so as you can see in the photo above, the waist seam in the front tends to look a tad empire line in style, but c'est la vie. If I made this again I would only lengthen the front bodice seams, I wouldn't bother to do a full FBA. 

The only changes I made to this were to omit the pockets and elastic around the waist. As it fit pretty snug already there was just no need for the elastic. I also noticed a couple of people mentioned this on PR. I finished the seams with bias binding for a neater finish on the inside and sewed an invisible hand stitched hem, also using bias binding.

I tried my hand at a hand picked invisible zipper for the first time. I have to admit that it is not great. I definitely needed to be less cautious and sew the zipper closer to the edges. However, I found the process straightforward and easy, and I really like the way that it lets you match your edges as you stitch. I used a great tutorial from Sewaholic and will definitely be using the technique again. 

This dress came together easily. The only thing that made me scratch my head for a while is joining the front bodice pieces. It's almost like a french seam on the right side of the fabric. For ages I thought that I must have been doing something wrong, but as the dress is identical to the line drawing I decided to run with it. One thing to mention is the time it takes to underline all the pieces and transfer the markings and complete all the pleats. It is LONG! Even though I admit I am a slow seamstress I got through a surprising amount of X-File episodes whilst sewing this dress!

Thought that I would leave you with an awkward shot of me trying to replicate the model's pose on the pattern envelope. 

I'm not quite as aloof looking, but it was a fun way to take pics and also show off the impressive bleakness that comes with a Hackney Council Estate. 

My January garment will be New Look 6123 which is still unfinished from November due to my machine having a breakdown. 

If you haven't had enough you can see my Pattern Review post here and congratulations if you got to the end of this super long blog post.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Happy (Belated) Birthday! Really cute dress! Love your replication of the model pose too. So creative. I can only long for warmer days when a dress like this would get lots of wear. Great review!

  2. Lovely dress! I like your version better than McCalls' demo model.


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