Linen Print Dress, McCalls 6116

Back to working with some color! This is a nice green and white 100% linen shirt weight, heavier than a hanky linen but not as heavy as a suiting. I think it will work well for this classic shirtwaist dress. I will be making View B which has no collar and hopefully I will have enough to do the fold up tab 3/4 sleeve. It is an armhole princess seam dress which buttons up the front. I remember when I was 17  or so I made a similar style and found that when I sat down the buttons seemed to pop. That dress was not tight either. Isn't it amazing how we remember the garments we've sewn over the years? I think my lesson back then was to not make that style again and here I am many years later trying to master it once again. Hopefully I won't be the two time fool.

Since linen lends itself so well to topstitching that will be part of the finish. If I can get this fit worked out I think I will have a great tried and true pattern for the future.

A few comments about the pattern, McCalls 6116. It's a Palmer Pletch "fit" pattern. I have read it thru and thru. I know there are many who will disagree with me but I am just not a tissue fitter. 15 years ago that was my method of choice. I don't like it. Give me a muslin any day. Paper crinkles, rips, does not cooperate or drape. This pattern teaches tissue fitting. I am not about to spend time taping all the armholes and rounded areas with tape  to keep it from ripping. I could be cutting out my muslin during that time. Then the directions to make the adjustments, oy,,,, Let's just say this could be a little overwhelming for a beginner. So without further ado, I cut a muslin from some of the miles of brown gingham Ima bequeathed me. Gingham makes a good  muslin as it is so easy to see the grainline. I have the front all sewn and hope to have the back sewn tomorrow. Friday I am off and should be able to have some fit pictures up.Then I will cut out the real thing.

Thanks for your nice comments on my pseudo silky blouse. Yes, it is nasty stuff. Yes, I would prefer and love to work on real silk any day. But once in a while those sirens call out to me. At least now I feel I have some tools to deal with that fabric a little better.
. My smocking for the little blue dress is slowly coming along. I have been ironing each needles full of floss and rubbing with spray starch as well. I do think it makes my cables stack a little better. But, it does take time. We will get there....Bunny


  1. I love reading your blog Bunny! I always learn so much. I think that dress is going to be beautiful. I'll check back in a few days to see your notes on fitting. I was wondering...what is the smocked white blouse in the middle of the group of pictures at the top of your blog? It's so pretty and I don't think I remember you making it.

  2. Ohhhh, I'm looking forward to this one. Did you ever consider using white buttons and white linen tabs to give the dress some accents?! I mean that would help with the fabric quantities.

  3. I've never heard of starching and ironing the floss as you go. It makes sense and I will try it next time I make a smocked frock!

  4. Gorgeous fabric and a very stylish cut. I've just learn't how to tissue fit and do things like full bust adjustments. I find it quite reliable. For very expensive fabrics though, I sew a muslin just to double check the tissue fit.

  5. Heck, I don't see why you couldn't buy a lightweight less expensive fabric & make your *muslin* version out of that! If it fits, at least you'd have another outfit.

    Your smocking is sooooo perfect, Bunny. I was taught to iron my floss & then somewhere along the way, I forgot about doing it. I must make it a point to do that again. Do you make sure it is TOTALLY flat with no twists or turns at all? I'm not quite that anal, I guess. We all know YOU are, though! :-P

  6. I just love your detailed hand work. It's so rare these days and smocking is one of those things that screams elegance - in a quiet way of course!!!!

  7. I agree about tissue-fitting - it rips, it's fragile, doesn't have drape, etc. Plus you only get one side, and that's just not conducive to determining fit IMHO!

    Love the blue on white combo. There's just something so crisp about it!

    But I'm VERY surprised you would put starch on your floss. Iron it? Yes, but wouldn't starch flatten the fibers?
    I have to agree with the above poster, that your work is impecible, but please 'splain about the starch.
    Okay, upon re-reading my comment, I guess I'm contradicting myself by saying ironing's okay, but starch isn't, but I'm still confused as to why you use starch.


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