The “Third Time’s a Charm” Dress
Fabric: Blue Gingham – $5 for a bolt; Floral stripped cotton – $3 from estate sale; Rust cotton print from Stone Mountain & Daughter – $12
Pattern: McCall 6511
Year: c. 1946
Time to complete: 4, 3 & 2 hours
First worn: November 2010
Wear again? Yes. Definitely!
Total Cost for all three dresses: ~$20
After my sewing drought, I’m happy to say that I produced not one, but three dresses in the past two weeks that are all perfectly wearable.
The pattern has been in my stash for quite some time, and though I really love the illustration on the envelope, I’ve put it aside because it just seemed like it wouldn’t look as good once sewn.
This dress has certainly been a tale of the three bears. The first version I made — the blue gingham — was just a bit too long. The second — the blue floral stripe — was a bit too short. It’s the third one — the rust color dress — that seemed to be right length. Along the way, I dressed up the neckline with a bow.
The skirt of the dress is gathered only in the front, and surprisingly, calls for more fabric than you’d think. Because the front pieces are so wide, they need to be cut on a crosswise fold and in all I’ve needed about 3 yards for each dress. The shortest dress ended up being the shortest dress because I just didn’t have enough fabric.
The pattern is so so simple. There are darts in the back of the bodice, gathering at the front shoulders and just the general construction. By the third dress, I’m was able to finish in about two hours.
I’ve been looking for a dress that would be super easy to teach women who want to learn how to make a dress in less than a day. I think that I might have a contender with this one.
By far the biggest compliment about the rust version of the dress: One of the places I buy fabric is staffed by folks who really really seem to hate the customers. One of the staff members who has never even acknowledged me said it was a “great dress.” Mission Accomplished.