A McCall’s 6696 shirt dress


This summer my Dad finally made an honest woman of his long-term partner Jane and they got hitched on the wonderfully romantic Greek island of Skopelos – it only took 18 years! All of my sizeable family flocked to the sun to celebrate.

As it was a unique event, I wanted to make something super special. That summer the shops were full of white, broderie anglaise garments and I thought that I could easily make something just as nice. I chose the McCalls 6696 shirt dress, as it seems to be a bit of classic and shirt dresses suit my figure.

As usual I made a toile to learn the pattern and to ensure I didn’t mess up, and it fitted perfectly on a size 10 – absolutely no alterations needed. I had a bit of trouble finding the right kind of broderie anglais, and was beginning to despair until walking through John Lewis on my lunch-break and I saw this amazing fabric, it was heavily embroidered, but not fussy, and tactile. However it was very narrow, and £14p/m – but I had found nothing else remotely similar so I took the plunge and coughed up.

The final dress went together beautifully and I finished it with some lovely gold buttons I picked up in Liberty’s for an eye watering £1.20 p/b but it was totally worth it. I only made the smallest alteration, making the arm binding narrower as the dress as was practically see through. I was so short on time I was up until 2am the night before we left, and my fingers even started to bleed as I was sewing the buttons on!

On the actual day I paired the dress with gold and turquoise accessories and some sparkly wedges from KG, and an all-important slip! We had an awesome day.

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