Pattern Reviews

Franken Hack the Dress – McCalls 6886 & Friday Patterns Sunny Dresses

I hear you asking: what is a franken hack? It’s when you take two (or more) patterns and mash them together into a new Frankenstein-esque monster of a me made garment.

I had mentioned in my Sunny recap that the best feature of the dress was the hem. Without a doubt, it’s my favorite part. So when it came time to make myself a better fitting dress (kinda), I knew I wanted to use the hem again.

My fitness goals right now are all about the back and legs. My goal before my big milestone birthday in May is to be able to do a full pull-up with no assistance. And because every day is leg day, I’m really enjoying a shorter hem on all my skirts and dresses. Enter McCall’s 6886 with the scalloped Sunny Dress hem.

For the body of the dress, I used McCall’s View E for the v-neck, the length of View A, and ended up shortening the long sleeves to a 3/4 length out of personal preference.

Combining the McCall’s with the Sunny is easy as pie. I simply picked my McCall’s size (more on that in a minute) and overlaid the Sunny pattern piece on it to trace the hem. I used the View A hem, since I wanted the shorter version of the dress and voila!

It’s a bit faint, but I traced the hem and continued it up to the size I chose. And because I knew the Sunny is a bit tight, I extended the line all the way up to size 22…and then later had to trim the dress back down to size18 because it was too big. It’s not until I looked at this picture that I figured out why:

I had added a center back seam to Sunny, and with it a 5/8″ seam allowance. I did NOT take that out when I traced the hem, which would explain why it felt so large in the hips. Duh. Learn from my mistakes!

So what actual size did I use? I started with a 14 at the shoulders, and because I’d already done an FBA on the Sunny, simply used that as the template to avoid doing another on on the McCall’s pattern. This took me out to size 22 at the bottom of the armhole (or armscye, if you want to be technical). I had to grade this back down to an 18 at the hips because of the above…and I still should have done a full bust adjustment anyway. There are pull lines from my butt up to my boobs. You can see it in the side view below.

So pretty…l’sigh.

I know my #sigcotm for February is purple, but I actually started this dress back in January so that’s why it’s red! I didn’t like how the hem looked the first time around, so I reattached it. These things take time!

So the dress wasn’t a 100% success, but check out the amount of leg I get to show off! It’s a high hem on the sides, but won’t pull up over the derriere when trying to sit down, so I think it’s a fabulous way of maintaining some modesty while still showing off the goods.

Oh, two notes about the McCall’s pattern. The directions for the neck band were completely baffling. I didn’t understand them at all, so I ignored them and used the Seamwork directions for drafting a v-neck band. It worked out nicely. Bonus tip: the sleeves are easier to attach flat than in the round.

Oh 2.0: I also drafted a facing for the hem this time. I think it helps it lie flatter than the bias-bound hem I did for Sunny.

This is my entry for Week 6 of the 52 Weeks Sewing Challenge, the theme for which is to sew something red or pink, and also the “coffee”/day dress for the #dayandnightdresschallenge.

Pattern Recap:
Pattern: McCall’s 6886 and Friday Pattern Company Sunny Dress
Size: 14 @ shoulders, 22 @ armscye, 18 @ hips
Fabric: textured double knit from JB Textiles in the DTLA Fashion District
Modifications: drafted a hem facing, shortened the sleeves 2.5″, changed neck band,
Notes for next time: do a full FBA

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