McCalls 6886 : The Perfect ‘throw in your suitcase’ Dress!

Girl Charles stripe ponte

Way back in January when I was compiling my #2017MakeNine list, I talked about this fab stripe Ponte I’d sourced from Girl Charlee in order to try and replicate a Ready to Wear dress I’d seen on a random stranger and had instantly coveted! I’d planned to pair this fabric with New Look 6095 initially but in the end I fell upon McCall’s 6886. I’m going through something of a McCall’s phase it seems at the moment but this pattern really does offer up so much more potential with its various necklines and sleeve variations.

Sew Sarah smith

Its an incredibly simple pattern; it’s just three pieces – front, back and sleeve with the addition of a neckband if you opt for the V neck; the necklines on the other versions are simply turned under. I decided on View A but lengthened the skirt by 2 inches. (I’m 5.3) and took off about 1 cm from the shoulder.  Based on finished measurements and measuring the pattern pieces I graded out one size at the underarm (for more boob room) and graded down one size from hip to hem. I’m happy with the amount of ease this still gave but if you want something more fitted, size down.

The only challenge to making this dress then was matching the stripes! Looking at the fabric, I knew I wanted the widest black strip to hit my waistline, so that was my starting point. I pinned the dress matching at the underarm so that the stripes would match down the side seams; there was no way of getting them to match at the shoulder seams too but I knew I could live with that. I also pinned and cut the sleeves at the same underarm starting line. I cut out on the single layer too as I find this definitely helps with matching up.

The pattern instructs you to sew the shoulder seams together followed by the side seams and to set the sleeves in the round. I’ve no idea why. Anyhow, as I wanted to make sure all my lovely stripes did as they were told, I decided to largely ignore the instructions. Ooh, hark at me being all rebel-like! I sewed up the shoulders then attched the sleeves in the flat. It was a bit tricky getting the sleeve lines to match up with those on the front bodice where I really wanted them to but …. I had pins and I wasn’t afraid to use them!

Happy with that, I then proceeded to hem the sleeves whilst still flat, using a twin needle. I then turned under the neckline – again twin needle – before proceeding to the side and underarm seams. I used another gazillion pins and basted the sides in, so as to check the fit as well as the stripe matching. All was good, so I sewed them in properly and then finished all seams on the overlocker. I think it’s safe to say I was rather pleased with myself, posting my pattern-matching joy over on Instagram.

I hemmed the skirt and that’s it!! I think if you were to sew this dress without the added stripe matching complication, you really could sew it up in next to no time!

McCalls jersey dress

I love this fabric, it has such a smooth finish, a nice drape and is incredibly soft. I hope it holds up to repeated washing because I could see myself living in this. I’m not one for either colour or ‘loud’ prints usually but there is something about the pairing of this fabric with the simple lines of this pattern that just feels so right! As soon as I sewed it up I was on the hunt for more fabric but so far I haven’t scored. I even found myself contemplating a vivid Aztec stripe and wondering who the heck I’ve turned into! I need more of these for my holiday wardrobe; you can throw this into your luggage, it won’t crease, dries in no time and doesn’t need ironing; all ready to throw back on again!

McCalls m6886
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Until next time,

Sew Sarah smith


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29 thoughts on “McCalls 6886 : The Perfect ‘throw in your suitcase’ Dress!

  1. Thanks Kalimak! And you’re not kidding, it’s soooo hard to find isn’t it! I’ve literally spent hours searching online. I’m now contemplating scuba to make another one but, no, I think I’ll search a bit longer! 😂 it’s crazy really isn’t it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely agree with the title! And I’m in awe of your stripe matching skills. Fabulous!

    With knits, you know, I somehow either end up with thin jersey or beefy or stiff ponte… that mid-weight is so hard to find…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah thank you lovely! I’ve never been so super excited and thinking about what I want to take as it will be so hot. This pattern would work so well. Not too sure about the knockout as likely to be sunburnt and sweaty, the backdrop will certainly make up for it though!! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh lucky you, Sarah! Rome is gorgeous isn’t it!! All that vino, fab food and gorgeous history! & Thank you so much! If you like the style of this dress then you should go for it! With Rome as your backdrop too, you’ll be a knockout! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a versatile dress! Looking for inspiration for a Rome trip in July and this might just be on the list! Looks fab on you Sarah and bravo (a little practice there for Rome 😂) on the stripe matching! I like a rebel when results like this happen! ❤️xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Marsha! I agree with you, having made this dress I’m now a total and utter convert – it’s a great little pattern, I’m sure you won’t regret it! So quick too! X


  7. I have a couple of patterns in my stash very similar to this one! One by Maria Denmark that has ruching down the side 🙂 That stripe matching though Sarah! To the moon! I’m in awe of pattern matching in general but your tip about cutting it out single layer is well taken.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I NEED this dress, and this fabric AND your pattern matching skills! Great tip about ensuring the thick black stripe sits at your waistline. So helpful!
    Kathy x


  9. Gotta love a throw in your suitcase dress! I love it Sarah! Awesome stripe matching too. By the way, I’m really liking McCalls patterns these days as well


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