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Pattern Reviews> McCall's> 6503 (Misses' Dresses)

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Reviewed by:Ripple Dandelion

About Ripple Dandelionstar
Member since: 9/23/06
Reviews written: 38
Sewing skills:Intermediate
Favored by: 11 people
patterns reviewed: 33
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Posted on:3/22/14 10:07 PM
Pattern Photo:McCall's 6503
McCall's Pattern Info
Pattern Rating:Highly Recommend
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 2 people   
See other patterns in this category: Dresses    
Available for sale on PR: $18.95 (See envelope) Click to Buy
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Fabric:Polyester Woven  [See other projects in this fabric]
Pattern Description: Pullover dress with side zipper, neckline variations, semi-fitted front and darted back bodice, pleated or gathered skirt.

Pattern Sizing: 6-22. I love it when a pattern starts at size 6! Most of me is far from this size, but my shoulders and neck are really small. Being able to get a good fit with the size 6 in the neck, shoulders and upper chest is probably a big part of the reason I love this pattern so much.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, though the details of the design are lost in this busy print.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, I can't remember any complaints. It's a straightforward dress and the instructions seem to be standard-issue.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? McCall's 6503 eluded me for many months--possibly years--as I searched faithfully for it in the pattern cabinets of Hancock's and JoAnn Fabrics during every pattern sale. I would spy the cover art and think, "Finally, you will be mine!" to discover that the only copies were the wrong size. It's a sign of how much I wanted the pattern that I finally broke down and ordered it for the princely sum of $7 from an eBay seller.

I think I liked the combination of gathers below the bust (with none at the shoulder) and darts on the back bodice for shaping. I liked the curved waistband. The skirt options for this pattern are not my favorites, but I have come to like the pleated version. I have also made this dress by substituting a 3/4 circle skirt and a six gore flared skirt. Really, pretty much any skirt can be paired with the bodice and waistband.

Fabric Used: Polyester blouse weight fabric from Hancock's, and it's the only thing I don't like about the dress. Specifically, the tendency of this 100% polyester print to generate enormous amounts of static. I bought the piece for its charming butterfly print and nice navy, cream and green color palette. As I began to cut it though, I realized just how "charged" it was. Aside from its inclination to cling viciously to itself and anything else, it was easy to work with (it pressed well, and frayed only slightly).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I used the size 6 at the upper chest and shoulders and then graded up to a 12 by mid-waist. The other alteration was shortening the bodice by 1 1/4" at the petite adjustment line printed on the pattern.

I also altered the provided short sleeve to create a gathered tulip sleeve. If you'd like to develop a tulip sleeve of your own, I highly recommend this wonderful tutorial by Sew Many Seams. She does a thorough job of explaining the benefits of this sleeve type, construction options and clear drafting tips. I chose to make my sleeves both gathered and tulip shaped (covered in the tutorial), but next time I'd like to try an ungathered version (also covered in the tutorial). What I most like about this sleeve, as a now-mid-forties woman, is that it provides plenty of upper arm coverage with great freedom of movement. Actually, I've always liked my upper arms to be covered. With my narrow shoulders, some type of sleeve seems to add the illusion of greater breadth to the shoulder line. Also, I am so fair-skinned and burn so easily that covering the shoulders makes a dress more wearable for me, even and especially on the hottest days.

Tulip Sleeve

Finally, I added inseam pockets, and they are certainly a luxury.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I love this pattern. I love the way it looks, feels and fits. I've made it twice before and I'm sure I'll be making it many times again. You can see other versions at My blog: A Sewing Life.

Conclusion: I have other versions in mind, one of which is a recreation of the ModCloth About the Artist dress in navy. I love their dress, but the fabric looks cheap and I am sure it wouldn't fit to my satisfaction!
Available for sale on PR: $18.95 (See envelope)Click to Buy
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