Striped Dress 2

Pattern: McCall's Misses' Tops M6164, elongated
Fabric: double knit cotton
Cost: $30 @$14/yd

My second version of the casual striped dress was meant to remedy a few things: better fit, better capped sleeves and, most importantly, not having been shrunk in the wash. It was also a chance for me to use my new pattern--which I want to try on a few projects--and practice my craftsmanship--mainly being able to match stripes down the side seams. Accordingly, I went about cutting my pattern very carefully, matching up the stripes on the cutting floor, making the necessary adjustments at the waist, etc. The fabric was a beautiful double knit: when I bought it the various sales people came by and cooed at how pretty it was as the saleswoman cut it. It is blue and red striped on one side and blue on the other, which lends itself to some creative hemming options.

The top pattern is meant to fit long, so it has easing for your hips. All I had to do to make it into a dress was draw a straight line down to the desired length. These measurements fit me perfectly--a huge improvement from all the adjustments I had to make for my banded dress. I made the garment 38 inches long, and then waited until I tried it on to trim off a few more inches. As I cut out the pattern pieces, however, I became a little concerned that the sleeve would be too puffed. While striped dress number one was lacking in this department, having a capped sleeve fit for a princess in my second version would be over-compensating indeed. So, to start out I got rid of the side pleats. Unfortunately, the pattern cover has no good picture of version C (normal capped sleeves), so I had to go on what the drawing looked like.

Having sewn up the sleeves, however, I realized that they were still way too big. Compared to a normal sleeve (see pic at left), the puffed sleeve is HUGE. Not only does it leave room for a very gathered sleeve, but it also puffs out tremendously to each side. That is why there is all that extra room in the middle of the curve. I remedied this by trimming my sleeves down to a standard sleeve size but leaving in the width to make a little puff. The sleeves came out a bit loose, so I would say this is a work in progress.

The next fun thing I was able to do was turn up the sleeves so that the navy blue on the inside showed. I turned the sleeve up, surged the raw edge, and turned it under, topstitching it in place. I also had to enclose the raw edge on the turned out portion of the sleeve hem, so I gave the exposed seam a French finish. I was partly inspired by the sleeves on Mondo's Project Runway win.

Finally, I wanted to experiment with different neckband options. After seeing how this designer was able to finish the collar of the pattern with her fancy setup, I decided I needed to try something different, too. With the loose guidance of Burda Style's T-shirt V-Neck tutorial, I made my first neckband. Here is how I did it:

Step 1: Measure the neckband.

Step 2: Cut out a strip of the same or contrasting fabric as long as the neckband plus a little more. Mine measured 29 1/2" and was cut with a few inches to spare for good measure. The strip should be cut perpendicular to the selvage. It should also be cut about twice as wide as you want the neckband to be, plus 1 more inch for selvages.

Step 3: Folding the neckband in half with wrong sides together, pin it along the right side of the neckband, matching raw edges. Baste in place.

Step 4: Finish the raw edge using a serger or other non-bulky technique.

Step 5 (optional): Topstitch along the garment to hold the serged edge to the wrong side of the garment. This will help to hold the collar upright and keep it from folding in.

Finished Collar :)

And here's the final view of the collar and capped sleeve. Not bad for a new technique.

Check out my review of this pattern at

And here's the American Apparel version I recently spotted.


  1. I originally saw your review of this on PatternReview and thought I'd check out your blog. I really love this dress! There's nothing quite as comfy as a t-shirt dress and the striped fabric that you used is so cool! I'll be adding your blog to my blog roll for sure!

  2. Hi there, I'm making a dress version of this top at the moment and am appreciating your notes on how you extended it. Great job on all your dresses made with this pattern, they inspired me to try it!


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