Pattern Review: McCalls 6713 Dress

Pattern Description: (from McCalls’ website) MISSES’/WOMEN’S DRESSES: Dresses have shoulder pads, close-fitting, bias, self-lined front bodice with gathered shoulders and right side, tucked left side, pleated drape, and stitched hems. C and D: close-fitting through hips.

I made View D, the long sleeved, straight skirt version.

Sizing: 8 to 24W. I made a 12 at the shoulders, tapering out to a 14 at the waist.

Available as a PDF? No

Fabric Used: Angular Momentum ITY Jersey – Green/Blue from Gorgeous Fabrics (naturally!)

Machines and Tools Used: Pfaff 2130, Juki 654DE, Naomi the Naomoto, Tailor’s Ham

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 75/11 needle, homemade shoulder pads from OOP Vogue 8817 Shoulder Pads pattern.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix, Construct from the Inside Out

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? More or less (see below)

How were the instructions? They were fine.

Construction Notes: Okay, so, this pattern looks really cute from the pictures. But here’s the thing – the drape and draped top mean there is a LOT of fabric at one stress point. I made this from an ITY jersey, which falls well within the parameters of acceptability for weight, stretch and drape. But you have a ton of layers converging at one junction. At first I just thought it was thick, with all the layers. I didn’t count them, but there are lots:

6713 Layers

That’s a lotta layers

I basted most of the seams, then I serged them. The instructions tell you to make a casing for the elastic. With all the layers, I decided instead to use the elastic insertion foot on my Juki serger to apply the elastic.

Likes/Dislikes: I like the design of this pattern, but the reality has some issues. There are a LOT of layers, when you add in the linings, drapes and skirt. There is a lot of weight on one corner of the pattern, which drags it down.

6713 Waistline Pull

The skirt is cut on the straight grain. The weight from the drape pulls it off.

Here’s a shot of the drape:

6713 Drape Detail

There’s a lot of fabric converging on one place.

I think to try to compensate, McCalls has you add an elastic casing. It doesn’t help. You really need a waist stay to keep the waistline where it belongs.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I really like the basic design, but I think there are issues that make it problematic – mostly having to do with the drape pulling the waistline down. If you use a solid jersey, I would recommend forgoing the double-layer on the drape and just do a narrow hem. I need to think about what to do if you use a printed jersey.

Conclusion: An okay pattern. I was going to make the maxi version but I’m not convinced after this version. Here are pictures on Shelley



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12 thoughts on “Pattern Review: McCalls 6713 Dress”

  1. Marianne says:

    Very helpful review! I really like your dress though. Is the issue more obvious after wearing it for a day, or does the moving around make it sit at your true waistline like when you wiggle with elastic tied around the waist?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I’ll wear it today and let you know, Marianne.

  2. Meg Allen says:

    I like this dress, but I see what you mean about the left side. So much traffic going on there. I was thinking about a stay in the left side seam, but that might pull the armscye down as well.

  3. TC Ferrito says:

    Glad to know someone else still makes their own shoulder pads! I have this one and the McCalls one and still use them both. Then I get exactly what I need. Do you think it would help- and still look good- if the drape went towards the opposite side seam and over the stomach more? Or is that not moving the bulk? Just a thought.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I think that might help, but it would change the whole look. I really do like this dress, I just need to put a waist stay in to keep it in place. I didn’t end up wearing it today, but maybe tomorrow. DH saw it on Shelley and said, “Wow, that’s a gorgeous dress! I really like the fabric.” So I’d say it’s a keeper 🙂

  4. Mary says:

    Very beautiful dress, and a shame about the weight pulling it off balance. I know you will be able to make it work.

  5. Leslie Madge says:

    I did not realize there was such a thing as a pattern for shoulder pads. I use them in everything. Can you recommend a pattern which is not OOP?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Alas, this is the only one I know of, Leslie. You can find it periodically on eBay or Etsy.

      1. Leslie Madge says:

        Thank you. I found it on Etsy and it’s on the way

  6. Jenny says:

    I have had this pattern a long time but still haven’t sewn it up. This is a really helpful review. I’m not sure I’ll get to it at this point, though. 🙂

  7. Laurie says:

    Another thank you for mentioning the shoulder pad pattern. I immediately ordered one off of eBay. I live deep in the woods and the nearest fabric store is an hour away. Its specialty is stocking upholstery fabrics with rooster motifs. Sigh.

    A pattern for shoulder pads is incredibly handy. Thanks so much for showing this vintage goodie!

  8. SC says:

    That fabric is to die for!

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