McCalls 6279: Denim Trench Dress

16 May

I am predictable about many things. If there are French fries on the menu, I will be ordering them. Given an option for a meal, I always vote for pizza or Mexican. I tend to perfer form over function. And, when it  comes to clothing, give me some trenchy military details and I’m all over it.

I first spoke of wanting a trench dress back in May 2008. But, time flies and I never got around to it. When this McCalls 6279 came out I *almost* didn’t get it because I have an April 2006  Burda with a similar style. But, I’m a sucker for not tracing.

On my list of projects waiting in my stash, I have a trench dress down in two colorways – denim and khaki. A while back someone asked me about being a little more busty and wearing double breasted garments. I’ve never really thought about it. My ribcage is small in comparison to, oh, say the rest of me, so maybe that makes a diff?

I *think* this fabric is from Joanns at least two years ago. It’s a thick denim with some stretch.  I washed and dried it three times and it’s still bleeding blue. What a bee-yotch to cut! My rotary cutter didn’t like it and my scissors just about gave up. My hand and tricep were screaming the next day!

I cut a 14 and took the dress in about 1/2 inch on each side – I could have gotten away with a 12. I made a 1.5 inch princess seam FBA. I made a 1.5 inch swayback adjustment and forgot (as I always do) to add length at center back. So, overall the skirt is is about 1.5 inches shorter than drafted.

This is me realizing that the underskirt is hanging lower than the front skirt. I’ll tell you a secret. I don’t really try clothes on while I’m sewing. I will for general fit once or twice without looking in a mirror (take in waist, etc.) but not to see what it looks like. This blows Trena’s mind. But, I’ve since fixed the wonky hem. So, for the rest of this post, let’s pretend it’s a perfect dress, shall we?

For finishing, I used my invisible hem foot and serged the insides. There is a facing on the inside and I used contrast quilting cotton for that. I wish I was a bigger binder. This would have been so pretty inside with contrast binding.

Topstitching is with Gutterman’s upholstery thread. I also, for the first time, used my edgestitching foot. People. There is some serious love now between me and this foot!

Buttons are from my new favorite source for buttons, Must Love Buttons on eBay and perfect for such a nautical themed dress. I had some simpler buttons, but after conferring with two friends went with these. I am currently obsessed with French nautical. Well, I can’t say currently. I’ve always had a thing for it. Kind of goes with my ‘trenchy military details’ obsession.

So, is this dress work appropriate? My other denim dress with military details is known at the office as my ‘Friday Dress’. So, now I’ll have two denim Friday dresses :-) It’s going to be a great weekend dress too. I can also see myself making up another version with sleeves in khaki.

There you have it! I didn’t do a review on PR. There are a slew of good reviews out there already. I would really love to try this in a peaches and cream seersucker I have, but will defer until next year.

My next two projects are in denim / navy blue. So, I hope you don’t get sick of this color on me.

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46 Responses to “McCalls 6279: Denim Trench Dress”

  1. Jessica May 16, 2012 at 09:53 #

    This looks fabulous! I love the buttons, and your top stitching is fantastic.

  2. Katharine in Brussels May 16, 2012 at 09:55 #

    How very fun!

  3. Nancy K May 16, 2012 at 10:19 #

    You are so funny. I love this on you. You are more than thin enough to wear db so screw anyone who says otherwise! In khaki this would make a great work dress. Thanks for a new source for buttons.

  4. katyrenee May 16, 2012 at 10:19 #

    What a great, flattering dress!! Do you ever have projects that don’t turn out the way you’d like? What do you do in those situations?

  5. lisette May 16, 2012 at 10:20 #

    Gorgeous on you! I love the buttons too.

  6. Claire (aka Seemane) May 16, 2012 at 10:25 #

    Great dress hun! I love those kind of sleeve /ruffle finish edges too :)

  7. Amy L May 16, 2012 at 10:37 #

    Great dress! I love the topstitching detail. It would be worth investing in a edgestitching foot then?

  8. Djam May 16, 2012 at 10:42 #

    Très jolie robe!!

    Djam from France

  9. robindenning May 16, 2012 at 10:48 #

    ooohhhh… I have some denim with stretch in my stash and love your denim dresses. Sunni sewed a good one, too, a while back.

    No, I will not get tired of that on you!

  10. Pam May 16, 2012 at 10:57 #

    Fantastic Dress! I love it – great job!!!!!

  11. Far May 16, 2012 at 11:03 #

    Really pretty dress on you! And I’m envious of all that topstitching, perfect. Must check out this edgestitching foot…

  12. LinB May 16, 2012 at 11:09 #

    Yes, it’s work-appropriate! If the ac is cranked up too high in your office, fllng a blazer over it (isn’t the term “blazer” from a nautical uniform in the first place?) When you have to venture outside into the miasma that is Baltimore in the summertime, you’ll have a lovely sleeveless dress that won’t wilt in the heat and humidity.

  13. Parisgrrl May 16, 2012 at 11:10 #

    I love it as is, but if you wanted to add a bit of length for workwear, you could add a ruffle at the bottom to echo the sleeve caps.

  14. T. Sedai May 16, 2012 at 11:27 #

    Never thought to use the edge foot for topstitching – I am so trying that next time! Your topstitching looks fab, and the buttons are perfect. Love your dress.

  15. Ella V May 16, 2012 at 12:26 #

    It’s beautiful and well done

  16. Carolyn May 16, 2012 at 12:43 #

    I love the last picture of you leaning forward laughing! Great shot! I’d don’t get the busty and double breasted comment…because the buttons create a great vertical line which is very flattering. This is a great piece on you and you should def make again!

  17. deebieg May 16, 2012 at 12:44 #

    The dress is gorgeous and you are, too! Beautiful work and great choice of fabric, buttons, topstitching. Well done–pat yourself on the back and thanks for sharing!

  18. Elizabeth May 16, 2012 at 13:03 #

    I love your dress. the buttons, the edgestitching. Impeccable. You look gorgeous!

  19. Colleen P. May 16, 2012 at 14:15 #

    I finally used an edgestitching foot for the first time a couple of months ago and now I am a staunch convert!!! LOVE IT! I think there’s a difference between busty and big all over-I, for instance, am big all over, you are not, you’re actually quite petite. A double breasted dress wouldn’t work as well for me, or I might change it a bit to make the overlap less wide and thus create a stronger vertical line. But that’s on my body. This is absolutely charming on you just as it is. As for too much navy-no my dear, one can NEVER have too much navy! (and that’s why navy shoes always wear out fastest because they go with more things than black ones do-but that could just be me!)

  20. Jane's sew & tell May 16, 2012 at 15:47 #

    That dress really suits you and the fit is fabulous!

  21. Lisa May 16, 2012 at 15:57 #

    Oh, super, super awesome!! Love the look, the detailed stitching and the buttons. I like the ruffle edging on the armhole edges, too.

  22. Crystal May 16, 2012 at 17:03 #

    I love this pattern and yours came out really great. I love denim skirts and dresses.

  23. Karen Voyer-Caravona May 16, 2012 at 17:15 #

    Awesome dress. I love trench coats but never thought of a trench dress. Must learn to sew.

  24. Mainelydad May 16, 2012 at 17:38 #

    This is so freakin’ adorable on you! Fits you to a “T”.

  25. Texan May 16, 2012 at 18:11 #

    Well I love it! Its really great and this is coming from a gal who doesnt own a dress. This is a great dress!!! You did a fantastic job and it fits sooooo good! It looks super on you!

  26. Remnant May 16, 2012 at 18:40 #

    You normally look cute in your creations, but there is something special about these proportions on you. It’d be interesting to analyze why this is so flattering, but it truly is! I love the little ruffles on the shoulder which softens the military theme in a really cute way. The buttons are fabulous, too. I love everything about this dress on you.

  27. Mary in FL May 16, 2012 at 20:53 #

    Oh, this is so much nicer than your other denim dress!

  28. Meg@Mood May 16, 2012 at 20:54 #

    Loving it, Renee! Very RTW. Can I borrow it?

  29. Kyle May 16, 2012 at 20:54 #

    looks FAB-U-LOUS! super flattering.
    need to go put an edgestitching foot on my list, that detailing is FAB too!

  30. Amanda S. May 16, 2012 at 20:55 #

    You’ve sold me on this pattern, it is SO cute on you!!!

  31. carol456 May 16, 2012 at 23:42 #

    I love this dress on you. You look gorgeous, the dress is cute as a button and your sewing is perfect! I must come to grips with my edge stitching foot ;)

  32. Gail May 17, 2012 at 03:20 #

    Cute dress and those buttons add interest. I have this pattern but haven’t matched it up with the right piece of cloth.

  33. MushyWear May 17, 2012 at 04:09 #

    This style looks great on you!. Beautiful job on construction. You are sure to get lots of wear out of this.

  34. quiltsewsewsue May 17, 2012 at 06:25 #

    Fab dress – thanks for the button link. Found some buttons I have been looking for!

  35. June May 17, 2012 at 10:17 #

    Oh, my, that link to the button store! Holy moly.

    Your dress looks great! The sketch with the orange print makes it look a little Laura Ingalls, but your version looks sharp and edgy. Good job!

  36. Cindy May 17, 2012 at 11:46 #

    How much do I love that last picture?? You look fabulous!

  37. Melizza May 17, 2012 at 13:33 #

    You and dress look so pretty. The details and constructions are amazing.

  38. Digs May 17, 2012 at 14:33 #

    Very becoming. The back seaming is terrifically flattering.

  39. Aiesha Morris May 17, 2012 at 18:00 #

    I love your dress. I want one. Not gonna even try tho, not that skilled yet. Topstitching no way.

  40. Patricia May 17, 2012 at 19:33 #

    You look fabulous!! I love the trench dress on you. It is so much fun to check out your projects. You are such an inspiration!

  41. nujoi May 18, 2012 at 09:13 #

    Awesome dress! You look great in it.

  42. The Slapdash Sewist May 18, 2012 at 09:19 #

    This came out so cute! Now I want to make the pattern again, in a color that will actually suit me.

  43. Sertyan July 26, 2012 at 04:50 #


    I just found your blog today and I must say I love the things you made. Your trench dress version is so smart and nautical! I made the pattern but in another view you can see it here

    Now you have inspired me to make your variation of the pattern!

  44. Monica December 17, 2012 at 20:28 #

    OK first, I LOVE this dress, I am using this patter to make one but I haven’t decided the fabric or color. I think gabardine would be nice but I also like the denim version. You can’t really make this dress without gold buttons though, I mean, it just begs for gold buttons (or at least gold IN the buttons, as you have done)! second I LOVE the name of your Blog! My all time favorite movie, and such an endearing character :-)


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