FBBD — Favorite Boring Black Dress: McCall’s 6886

By | November 22, 2016

Did I just sew up the most boring dress ever? Quite possibly…


Black? Not for me.

No details? Not for me.

This black dress with no details? LET ME WEAR IT EVERY DAY.

I was going for easygoing Silicon Valley chic, and ended up wearing it as a Halloween costume. (Yes, I am that coworker who puts on a witch hat and thinks she’s winning Halloween.) It is that versatile!

The fabric is ponte, and the pattern is McCall’s 6886.

McCall's 6886 pattern envelope

I know: McCall’s 6886 has been reviewed dozens of times. Everybody loves it, blah blah blah. I understand the buzz, though — once you make it, you feel like you could whip out a million more in a snap, like some kind of all-powerful sewing genie. I am drunk with power right now.

It’s easy to fit, it looks good, and it’s super comfortable. I am seriously rethinking changing my wardrobe to be 100% 6886s and only buying shoes and jackets from now on. Okay, not super serious, but you get the vibe, right?

I did make a few edits:

*I cut my usual size 10, and ended up taking the dress in quite a bit. The final version is a size 6 in the bust, graded to a 10 in the hips, and then pegged to all hell at the bottom. (I cut the 2nd longest hemline.)

*The sleeves are narrowed to a size 6 at the armhole and even smaller at the bottom — over an inch beyond the original stitching line.

*I skipped the instructions and set the sleeve in the flat, which I highly recommend. It makes an easy project even faster when burning through those side seams on a serger!

Also important, and something I always fail to do: I marked all changes on the pattern after making alterations. I know. Groundbreaking.

I somehow managed to completely ghost myself. #photographyskills

I somehow managed to completely ghost myself. #photographyskills

I have reiterate what everyone has already said about this pattern: it’s amazing. It feels like I could use this pattern as a perfect knit dress block and create some really exciting iterations.

(If you’d like to see some non-boring versions of this dress, check out Vatsla’s sweater dress version — Vatsla basically *owns* this pattern, she has made so many cool versions. Also check out Shari’s bishop sleeve version with tutorial, and the Frougie Fashionista’s cute ruffle hem hack.)

Of course, I do have one nit to pick. (Always, right?) The directions for the much-less-popular-in-the-SBC v-neck version (View E) are pretty crappy. Specifically, it’s the instructions for attaching the ribbing to the neckline that are super confusing. I was using this pattern to help a wonderful friend dip her toes in garment sewing, and it stopped us in our tracks.

We had to put it aside, find some tutorials on YouTube, and finish it another day. (Pretty much the exact opposite of convincing someone that sewing is easy and fun…) Again, the dress isn’t hard, but if you opt for the v-neck view and you’re not familiar with how to construct it, go straight to YouTube and save yourself the confusion.

Another shining example of my crazy-good photography

Another shining example of my crazy-good photography

That said, if you need chic, wearable clothes fast, this is the pattern for you. I’m not a fast stitcher by any means, but this is bordering on dress-a-day territory, even for me. I reiterate: DRUNK WITH POWER.

Welcome to the (now located on the Peninsula) closet, my magically unboring dress!

3 thoughts on “FBBD — Favorite Boring Black Dress: McCall’s 6886

  1. Carmen

    I have that pattern and have been meaning to sew it up! Everybody seems to love this pattern. What does it mean to set the sleeves in the flat? I’m on kind of a knit-kick right now so I see myself making this soon. With as much as you took the pattern in, I think you could take it in even more. It’s super flattering on you and not at all too tight looking. How are you finishing the neckline? That’s my achilles heel with knits still.

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Thanks for your kind comments! If you’re on a knit-kick right now, this is a fun pattern to breeze through. It’s super fast, and easy to fit.

      I sewed the front to the back at the shoulders and then stitched the sleeve to the dress, with the sleeve still flat (sleeve sides not stitched together). Then, you can sew up the side seam and the sleeve side seams together in one go. It’s a bit less fussy than setting in a sleeve in the round (in the constructed armhole), and works just fine on knit garments that don’t need to be sharp or crisp.

      The neckline is just serged/edge-finished, folded over, and stitched. There’s no neckband or facing to attach. Easy-peasy!

  2. Michelle

    How does this compare to M6355? The two look very similar. This one has a v-neck option that M6355 doesn’t, it’s knit only, and it doesn’t look like it has the bust darts. The neckline looks like it might be higher on this one, too. Any other differences? Did you prefer one over the other? You sound more enthusiastic about this one, so there might be my answer.

Comments are closed.