Basic Black: McCall’s 6796

By | January 22, 2016

I am so behind the curve. Apparently, everyone sewed McCall’s 6796 a couple of years ago and raved about it, and here I am, late the party again. (Just like with M6696.)


Whatever. I had a flip phone for most of 2015, so it’s not like I pride myself on being an early adopter. And after all, this sweater is a classic!

This was technically my first completed project of 2016, even though I cheated and left myself the hem to finish on the 1st so I could count it in the new year. It’s a super-easy, fast make with one fat exception: attaching the foldover collar.

I wasted more than an hour trying to sort it out. You know how you can go down a wormhole of overthinking? That was me. After I didn’t read the directions for my wool shift (yet to be blogged) and paid the price in copious zipper unpicking, I wanted to be a rule-follower. I was determined to be a good little sewer and follow the instructions to a T.

Except once I had the collar pinned, I realized something was off. As directed, the seam would be on the outside of the garment instead of the inside. It would be mostly covered by the collar when it laid down, but still… weird. Definitely one of those details that can make a garment look home-made. So I read and re-read, and overanalyzed the little illustration and pinned and repinned and basted and unpicked.

WTF was going on?

This is me side-eyeing the directions.

This is me side-eyeing the directions.

I cracked, and turned to Pattern Review. After the houndstooth jacket the previous day and the sewing breakdown I had, I was trying to avoid reading other sewers’ comments and reviews. I didn’t want to compare myself to anyone else. But damn, Pattern Review is good for calling out weird instructions.

Multiple reviewers noted the oddness of the seam and suggested sewing the collar to the wrong side of the neck. Worked like a charm!

Not sure if it was the weird angle of the illustration, or the fact that the collar only had two right sides at that point, but I was not figuring that out for myself. Thanks, sewing community!

Oh. So that's where all my gray hairs have been hiding. Huh.

Oh. So that’s where all my gray hairs have been hiding. Huh.

The fabric is nothing special. It’s a ribbed sweater knit from Hart’s. (I’m guessing no one needs yet another story of me going in there with a plan and coming out with something wildly different than expected.) I knew I wanted to try sewing with a sweater knit for this pattern specifically, and the black was one of the more affordable and wearable options. When I got it home, I was pretty “meh” about it.

Honestly, I’m still pretty “meh” about it. It looks like a sweater I could buy anywhere from Ross to Macy’s to a boutique. And…. that’s actually kind of awesome. I’ve already worn it twice in less than a week because it’s so dang wearable. I’m still on the fence about sewing basics, but this was definitely a positive sewing experience. Plus, the fabric washed well and was easy to work with. (It’s a bit sheer, but nothing a tank can’t fix.)

If you don't already have a yellow pencil skirt, I *highly* recommend it!  Just saying.

If you don’t already have a yellow pencil skirt, I *highly* recommend it! Just saying.

And it fits great! It’s not too clingy, but it’s also not boxy–I thought it might be shapeless, and I’m glad it’s not. If I run across more sweater knits that would make a good basic, I’ll be sure grab 1 3/8 yds—that’s all this took, even with the collar and sleeves. My total cost, including the buttons from Joann’s, was about $16.

Sidenote: the cutting layout has you cut the front and back *not* on the stretchwise grain. I ignored this (on accident) and it’s way better. In the smaller size range, you’ll still have enough fabric.

Welcome to my overstuffed closet, Misleadingly Bland Black Sweater!

4 thoughts on “Basic Black: McCall’s 6796

  1. Claire

    I am really enjoying following your blog, Sara! Like you, I’m on the fence about the basics. I also just made a black tee (Presto Popover top by Coco Savage) and wear it a bunch. Not something anyone is going to compliment me on for its uniqueness, but if Im being honest this is the stuff i live in. Love the pop of yellow!

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Thanks, Claire! I waffle between feeling like I *should* try to sew everything, including tees and basics, and feeling like that’s a terribly restrictive idea. I think it’s a weird territory where hobbies, which should perhaps be a bit indulgent, overlap with household expenses. Perhaps you’ve hit on the right middle ground with bra making–it’s a necessity, but it’s also a fancy-shmancy indulgence!

  2. Carmen

    I think it looks great! I don’t think I’ve seen this pattern before. I’m planning to finish up my first 2016 project today, and it’s also of the sweater variety.

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Thumbs up for 2016 sewing mojo! Can’t wait to see the finished product. You know, the only thing I don’t like about the sweater knit is that NO ONE has asked me if I made it. 😉

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