White cliffs and a white dress


Hello again!

This McCalls’s pattern #6696 has been said to be one of the best patterns there is for a nice shirtdress. I was planning to make it for the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge but life and summer plans got in my way and I finished it a couple of days too late.

Anyway, I can join for all the people that praise this pattern. First, there are several different views, both with sleeves and without and two different sleeve lengths. There is a lovely pleated skirt that I love but also a narrow skirt for the people that don’t like that much volume. And finally there is even a shift to wear underneath sheer fabrics!


I did not know at first whether to make short sleeves or the sleeveless dress so I cut the sleeveless version and only after almost finishing the dress I decided that the short sleeves would be nice. The fabric is nice thin cotton I found in the factory remnants section with a funky print on a natural white background.


I decided to cut the size 8 after comparing the actual finished garment measurements to my measurements. Sewing this dress after making so many shirts and shirtdresses this year was easy and I skipped reading most of the instructions.

What made the sewing a bit more challenging, though, was me using my mother’s sewing machine instead of my own. My mother’s has a perfectly serviceable sewing machine that have some really useful features that my own machine doesn’t but she doesn’t own all the sewing machine feet that I regularly use with my own. Also, it became apparent after I had struggled with some skipped stitches and tangles that the needle wasn’t sharp anymore. I tend to change (or break) the needles quite often and it really makes a big difference even with fabrics as forgiving as cotton. Luckily my mother had some spare needles (even if she insisted on saving the old perfectly serviceable(!) needle) in her sewing box which saved my button placket from being a total disaster. Anyway, thanks mum for borrowing your machine!

After getting back home from my mother’s I finished the buttonholes and added nice black buttons. The size 8 was pretty good choice since the bodice fits perfectly but the waist is a bit tight. I added a waist stay to prevent the buttonband from bulging. After wearing the dress a few days I can say that the waist fits perfectly in the morning but tends to be too small after lunch!

I took the dress with me for a few days trip to UK. So instead of rainy Finland you can enjoy the pictures from sunny Dover. What I particularly like this dress is that it is relaxed enough for me to wear it with trainers.

McCall's shirtdress #6696, front view

At the Dover castle the sun was shining but it was very windy so excuse my super messy hair! In this picture you can see the gathers at the back bodice. The only change I made to the pattern is not clearly visible but I left out the center-back seam of the skirt. The fabric was quite wide enough for me to cut the skirt without the seam so I did not see any point with it.


After the castle we decided to walk all the way to the famous white cliffs. I loved this place! The nature here is completely different to the nature in Finland. From the top of the cliffs you could see all the way to France! The little scientist in me was puzzled by the grey flint stone layers sticking out from the white chalk. We also learned the dangers of the erosion of the soft chalk when we tried to take a winding narrow path to the beach at the bottom of the cliffs and found out that the path had collapsed to the sea.


Finally a funny picture of the hilltop near the white cliffs. This is as close to the default background of the Windows operating system as I have never seen!


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  1. Arielle

    Hi! Saw your review on PR and came over here. I can’t wait to check out your other shirtdress reviews.

    I really like the contrast of the black buttons and how the belt sits in the middle of the midriff band. Very nice!

    I have couple of questions, if you don’t mind.

    First, regarding the cup sizes. Did you choose A/B, then? You don’t mention this at all.

    Second, so the back gathers are decorative/superfluous? I see a lot of reviewers complain about them or remove them entirely.


    03 . Jul . 2017
    • kk

      I completely forgot the cup-size option! I made A/B cup version. I really don’t have much opinion about the back gathers. They might allow a bit more movement, but I guess they could be skipped especially if your fabric has any stretch.

      03 . Jul . 2017
  2. OsgerbyCollection

    Looks lovely I am definitely going to buy this pattern 🙂

    03 . Jul . 2017
    • kk

      Thank you!

      04 . Jul . 2017
  3. madeantiquated

    That’s a super cute dress, and thanks for your overview of the pattern!

    04 . Jul . 2017
    • kk

      Thank you for your compliment!

      04 . Jul . 2017
  4. klarisabet

    Beautiful, crisp dress and the pictures are lovely!

    04 . Jul . 2017
  5. kk

    Thanks a lot for your lovely words!

    04 . Jul . 2017
  6. Sew Sarah Smith

    It’s lovely!!! You’ve made me want to make another one!!! Really suits you xx

    05 . Jul . 2017
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    […] made toiling very tedious and I skipped making the bands. As my previously made dresses, such as this shirt dress were a bit snug, I finally decided to go for the size 10 for the top and grade towards size 12 for […]

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