McCalls 6279: Denim Trench Dress

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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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?

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

  4. 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!

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!)

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

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

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

  17. 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 😉

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

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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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