Sunday, 11 November 2012

McCall's 6503 goes Maxi

I am going away very soon to a very hot destination, which explains why I am making summery dresses in the middle of Autumnal frosts!
I recently made the McCall's 6503 in blue and it is such a good fit and easy to wear. I was planning to make a second one in a lovely, painterly pink fabric when I had a flash of inspiration!
How hard it is to find a maxi dress that is modest and has sleeves - so - I decided to add 16" to the hem and turn this dress into a swishy, breezy summery dress for our holiday away!

McCall's 6503 as a Maxi dress!

To make it as easy and quick as possible, I decided to leave out the collar with all the interfacing and hand stitching work, and used the pattern front with the collar. This would have still required facing, and really I didn't think a collar would suit my summery breezy dress idea, so I just folded this piece back and used the straight edge for a wrap-style neckline.

So as to do away with the need for interfacing, I also decided to use bias binding around the neckline, and sewed it onto the wrong side of the fabric, so that when it folded around to the front of the fabric I could see the topstitching and be able to line it up better.

As I already had the paper pieces cut out, I only had to cut out the collared front pattern piece and all the fabric, which took about an hour. Then the actual sewing of the dress took me about 4 hours from start to finish! Except now - because the neckline has the wrap-style, I think I could easily get this on over my head, so am thinking of taking the zipper out now!
side view


  1. What a great dress! Love it! I made a maxi this summer and it's so easy and breezy to wear. Enjoy your holiday. g

  2. What a pretty print. I'm getting a rather cool 1970s retro vibe from this dress, so I hope you have a big floppy sun hat to go with it! Have fun in the warmth.

  3. I love this!!! I am getting ready to make this pattern and I love your alterations. I may need to copy this!

  4. Thanks Meg - it really was a great dress to wear on holiday. Hope your 6503 goes well too. The lady named gMarie (she also commented on this post)was also inspired to make the 6503 and she did a few different alterations on hers, so that might be worth having a look at too. You'll love this dress!

  5. This is so lovely. When I was young and very skinny I used to make all my own dresses but can't even decide what size to cut the pattern now. I had one once that said measure your height and waist to decide which size to cut. I measured my waist..size 20 and when I measured my height ..size 8!!! So I gave up. I would love to make this though. The sleeves are a must at my age.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind thoughts. I completely agree on the must-have-sleeves Jackie.
      I don't like the "number" size that I have to cut, but at least in the end it fits. To decide which size to do, I use the bust measurement every time, as a general guide. Once you open out the paper pieces there is a symbol on them that looks like the aiming - sight of a gun (circle with a cross in it) and next to that symbol it tells you the bust or waist or hip measurement of the actual garment once it is made up. It is these little measurements that help me decide which pattern cutting line to use.
      I might use a 20 on my bust, and gradually change to a 22 on my hips, depending on these finished garment measurements. But if I do a gathered skirt, I just use the bust measurement to choose which pattern to cut.
      Hope this helps a little, and gives you a bit more confidence to have another go.

  6. Love this! I've been looking for a maxi dress pattern for spring and I really like how this turned out! The fabric is just perfect :)


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