McCall’s 6744 Maxi Dress – Doesn’t Get Much Easier Than This

I wear maxi dresses quite a lot and had made this McCall’s Fashion Star 6700 pattern on 3 occassions, 2 of those with knit fabric and the other with a woven, and they have all been in constant rotation over summer. I wanted another easy dress to wear and McCall’s 6744 fit the bill. I made view C, a pullover dress with an elastic waist and narrow hem, mock wrap, very loose-fitting bodice with elasticized shoulders. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

I used an oriental printed knit flower in a grey colourway from Spotlight, 148cm wide (95% polyester/5% spandex) and I had 3m. Not much to say about construction of this dress as it went together really quickly. Due to the print of the fabric I cut the pieces in a single layer, which is why I used so much, to make sure both sides and the back were symmetrical and hopefully avoid any bad print placement.

McCalls 6744 frontMcCalls Front 2    McCalls 6744 Back

My major issues were with the narrow hem as per the instructions. The fabric shifted during sewing and the topstitching was a little wonky on the overlap skirt panels, and I did go back and fix this. I am showing you the worst area of topstitching but you catch my drift. I also figured a longer stitch length was much better.  What I have come to realise over time is that people rarely notice these flaws and are more impressed by the fact that I can actually sew clothes.

               mccalls 6744 topstitching mccalls 6744 topstitching fixed (2)

I wish in hindsight I just turned the hems once and topstitched and then cut away close to the edge. For the hem of the dress I used a twin needle rather than a narrow hem. For the life of me I always have such trouble with the twin needle. I’ve tinkered with stitch length, tension, sewing speed, types of needles and whatever other suggestion I have found online and always end up with skipped stitches particularly on my left needle. If anyone knows why, please help!

mccalls 6744 hem skipped stitches

The instructions also called for double stitching of seams, which I did do, but was double the work really, because I also serged them for a neat finish.

It is fairly obvious from the pattern photo the crossover front bodice is loosely designed and doesn’t provide much coverage but I tend to wear singlets under a lot of my clothes anyway (as you can see below I’m just checking everything is covered up). In this case I will need to wear a dress slip as the fabric is a bit sheer and given the split in the dress I can’t wear anything too long underneath. There is a lot of ease in the top part of the dress and I cut a size XS for this dress so it was more fitted. Next time I may cut the size up in the skirt so it has a bit more flow.

McCalls 6744 bodice

The skirt is a mock wrap and the overlap is not very big and too revealing for me, opening to the high thigh.  I stitched from the waist down to about 46cm, trying to match the prints. I find the split is still quite feminine and allows me to bend and sit quite comfortably at this length without any fear of indecent exposure.

                                                                                                                   McCalls 6744 spli                                          McCalls 6744 split when walking

My fit issue with this was that the lower armhole is a bit tight. I think because it is a knit and the weight of the dress stretches it a bit, it is ok, however this seems to be a common trend for me. It’s an easy enough alteration to make on sleeveless tops and dresses but requires more thinking and planning for those with sleeves. Does anyone recommend any good resources to combat this? My bad for not making a muslin and while I’m putting it out there, let me say I never make a muslin and fit as I go. I know its risky but I lose interest quickly and want to get things done so I can wear them.

I’m also a little silly in that I used white thread to sew this up when I think blue would have blended in more and perhaps showed up less of the imperfections. Oh well, live and learn!

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2 thoughts on “McCall’s 6744 Maxi Dress – Doesn’t Get Much Easier Than This

  1. Hi, I’ve just bought this pattern but hate knit fabric! I’m hoping I can sew it with a lightweight cotton, do you think it would work? Do I need to alter anything to make it work? I’d love to hear your advice!

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    • Hi Megan, I think it will be fine with a lightweight cotton, just keep in mind you may need to line the skirt portion. I would suggest cutting the recommended size for you and adjusting from there if necessary as the pattern has lots of ease and it depends how fitted you like your clothes. Chances are you may even end up having to go down one size. In terms of construction you won’t need to make any changes. Having said all that, I would only attempt a woven fabric if you are going to make view C. Good luck and let me know how you get on as I’m planning it in a woven too down the track. Have you checked out pattern review as there are some non-knit versions there?

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