Friday, March 2, 2012

M6433 + V8555 = New Dress, New Design

Warning this post is lengthy with several pictures.
Another striped garment.

It's been over a week since I finished the dress. Before I forget the construction progress, I want to give my review on how I made this dress.

September, 2011 was the first time I tried making a dress from McCall's 6433. I really like the design of the bodice and wanted to give it another try, but with a different skirt. Something different from my usual skirt waist dress. I decided to use the pleated skirt of Vogue 8555. There is nothing new about me mixing and matching pattern pieces. It's been a practice of mine for majority of my sewing years. Right now, I lack the skill to draft my own; but why draft if you have something that works in the pattern collection. And boy, do I have plenty in the pattern collection.

Since there were no major fitting issue, (I worked them out before making the first version) I decided to use at least one couture technique and add a unique belt to finish the look of the dress. Let's begin with the pattern descriptions:

McCall 6433 - Misses' dress in three lengths - fitted, lined bodice, front and back darts, stitched shoulder pleats, back zipper, and self lined cap sleeve. A,B: A-line skirt, stitched pleats: C: Straight skirt, back slit. Optional purchased belt. I used the bodice of View B with some modifications;
Vogue 8555 -Misses' dresses A through F have lined bodice, front pleats, front gathers, back darts, self-faced midriff, back zipper and skirt variation. A - C lined slim skirt in two lengths with front and back darts, back slit, D-F; skirt in two lengths with front and back pleats, pleat underlay and side seam pockets. A; D gathered sleeves with sleeve bands, B; F purchased belt. A, B, D, & E mid-knee length, C; F; below mid-calf length. I used the pleated skirt.

Sizing - McCall 4 - 18 and Vogue 8 -22.

I created a new dress using these patterns. For the most part, I followed the construction process for each part. The changes made were related to design preferences. No problems in the instructions. Pretty typical, standard.

After making the McCall's dress I knew I would make the top again. The bodice has a likable vintage look to it, and the neckline is not commonly seen in recent patterns.  I really appreciate having fitting lines and instructions in the pattern. It helps build my fitting skills.

The skirt is great because it has fullness at the hem but waist pleat bring it closer to the body.  Because I am top heavy, the skirt design and the drape of the fabric helps make this dress more figure flattering.

I have no dislikes about either pattern.

I bought the fabric at Vogue Fabric on Roosevelt last summer. It is made of assorted fibers, for sure some polyester and maybe some rayon. It has a lovely draft and smooth hand. Love it.

Although I spliced two pattern together, I still had multiple alterations and design changes. I made my usual fit adjustments: FBA, prominent shoulder blades, swayback adjustments, and lengthened the skirt a bit. Also the sleeves were a little snug; so I cut them a tad larger than size 14. Lastly I raised the vamp about a inch, still not enough. Lol

I made a few design changes. The sleeve cap has a lot of ease in it. So instead of removing the excess ease I added more; then gathered the sleeve cap. I'm really liking the process of hand-picking a zipper. This was the third time I've done it. It adds a custom touch to the dress. Finally, because I have very little waist-definition, I added a belt, which I will review next.

I think this is the last time I will use these patterns. Remember I said "I think". You never know. Lol If these are your style of dress, I do recommend them both. They are easy to sew and produce a fashionable dress.

You won't be disappointed with the results.  Just make sure you make appropriate fitting adjustments.

Now the belt.

I love this belt. It's a pattern from "Making Vintage Accessories," a book My DD gifted me for Christmas. If you like vintage, you will like this book. It has some interesting, unique accessories.   Ok.. Ok.. this is not the book review. Back to making the belt.

The book comes with instructions and patterns included. You have to enlarge the patterns 200% to get the appropriate size.  There is a line on the belt pattern that allows you to make adjustments based on your waist size. Caution, don't add length to the end of the belt. The curve will be misplaced and the ends won't overlap evenly.

I'd plan to photograph the making of the belt, but forget to do so. Sorry. Maybe next time. I'll try to account for my process in words.

1. Enlarging the pattern. It was Saturday evening and I wasn't about to go Kinkos to make copies. So I did this to enlarge the belt pattern. It's crude, but it worked.

2. Pin and cut fabric (2) for the belt. Cut hair canvas fusible interfacing (2), removing the seam allowance for easy sewing. Cut leather for the applique.

3. Apply interfacing, pressed belt pieces turning under seam allowances.

4. Sew belt pieces together. Press

5. Place the leather pieces on top of the center section of the belt, largest first. Then hand stitched the leather pieces to the belt.

6. I didn't have a vintage button. So I added a swarovski crystal to the center to complete it.

NOTE - I didn't read the instructions.  I just made it based on what felt right to me.

I will certainly make this belt again.

All pictures here.


  1. You look beautiful. The dress is classic, modern and femeninge. The belt took the dress up a notch. Another beautiful creation.

  2. Beautiful creations, Cennetta--so elegant!

  3. That is really elegant and beautiful. I love the fabric and the belt is really pretty.

  4. That is such a beautiful dress on you! Fabulous fit and great line on you.

  5. This is lovely, Cenetta and you look just stunning in this dress.

  6. Beautiful dress. The fit is perfect. Great job.

  7. Wow C! In the words of Emeril Lagasse - you really "kicked it up a notch" with this one! This dress is elegant, sophisticated and has that timeless vintage appeal. I can't get enough of these stripes. Very nice work!

  8. An elegantly gorgeous dress and it looks stunning on you.

  9. Beautiful dress. Congrats on the Plesch & Palmer win!

  10. It is absolutely beautiful. The devil is in the detail as always.

  11. You look amazing in this dress! The style lines suit you beautifully. The way you combined the two patterns resulted in a one-of-a-kind, striking yet elegant design.

  12. Gorgeous dress! It really shows off your hour glass figure!

  13. My first thought when I saw your dress was, "Who knew a black dress could be so pretty!" I always thought of black dresses as being functional. Another winner, Cenetta!

  14. What a stunning dress. The subtly striped fabric helps show off the design elements very well.

    I'm such a sucker for pleats and love the detail on the skirt. The belt, too, is just such a great addition.

    Great job!

  15. Cennetta, what a beautiful look! I love the striped fabric, and what you did with the zipper. You are so talented! You look great!!!

  16. Oh, Cennetta! It's GORGEOUS! I love that surprise of a blue lining!

  17. You look beautiful in your dress. I love how you beaded the zipper.

  18. I agree. You look beautiful and your work is beautiful as well.

  19. Stunning dress. Oh, the belt is absolutely fabulous!

  20. Such a nice dress, I really like how the style suits your body. Very, very nice!

  21. Gee that's a classy look! That dress looks very nicely tailored and very expensive!



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