crafts · finished objects · Sewing

McCall’s 6559: maxi tank dress

Pattern: McCall’s 6559

Fabric: ITY knit from (sold out)

Notions: twill tape for shoulders, contasting knit for binding


Apparently I’m a big fan of crazy prints.  I bought this print from last year, and upon receiving it I loved it – but I also knew that it had to be made into a dress without seams.  This print deserved to be seen as a whole!  I thought about a tank dress, but I worried that I wouldn’t like it – I generally prefer my dresses to have a waist seam, because it makes it easy to fit.

I decided on this pattern because it was so simple. There are only two pieces to cut.  The pattern calls for turning under and sewing the neckline and armholes, but I felt it needed a more finished edge.  I ended up sacrificing an old knit dress and using the fabric for the binding.  I’ve done that several times – every garment in my Goodwill pile gets scrutinized for other uses first!

I used the back piece from the other view because I prefer the slight racer back.   This isn’t much of a racerback, as I was able to wear a normal (if slightly close set) bra.  The only other alteration I made was in the shaping – I ended up cutting a size 8, blending to a 10 at the hips.  After basting I realized that I needed to take in the top by several inches to get the fit I had in mind (I wanted negative ease, but there was nothing wrong with the way it was drafted.)

I constructed the entire thing by serger.  I only used my machine to top stitch the binding!  That’s one of my resolutions – to use my serger for actual construction, not just for finishing edges.  I’ll admit that it’s a little terrifying to cut as I sew, but it’s so much faster!

I highly recommend this pattern.  One of my more fashionable friends saw it today and said “Did you make that?  I think it’s my favorite thing you’ve made!” Another friend said “I totally thought that had to come from a store.”  While storebought isn’t my aim all the time, I appreciate that it doesn’t  look badly homemade!  I would suggest making your own binding, as I don’t think a turned edge would look nearly as nice.  Just cut a strip of knit fabric (doesn’t have to be on the bias for knits) and sew (or serge) it in place, right sides together.  My piece was about 2 inches wide.   Then trim your seam down to however wide you want your binding (or just use the serged edge, that’s what I did.)  Press over, so that the seam is enclosed by the binding and top stitch.  Trim close to the stitching on the wrong side.  You could make real binding with turned under edges, but I didn’t bother since this is a knit and won’t fray.

I have not hemmed it yet – I’m waiting to see if it stretches!  This afternoon I wore it with a sweater for teaching:

I’m pretty much failing at me-made-May this time around, so this will do.  I had good intentions, but I have had so much to do this month.  There are some exciting things going on, and I’ll be sure to post about them as soon as things settle down.  I have two weddings to sing this weekend – must be June!

36 thoughts on “McCall’s 6559: maxi tank dress

  1. All the best for the weekend. Your dress looks great and you can do so much with it or wear it as is.

  2. That’s a great print and perfect for this dress! Great job as always. This is the second dress from this pattern I’ve seen in so many days, it’s making me regret passing it over at the last McCall’s sale. I’m tempted to try the stripey one (sans star, though), but this looks so much easier!

  3. This is fabulous. You have just the bod to carry this style off too. Looks amazing on you. Thanks for the tip off about jersey binding. I have a few projects that I’d like to make in jersey but am still a little nervous. Since I discovered my side-cutter it might make for an easier construction. I dont have a serger but the side cutter foot acts much the same. Know exactly what you mean about the fear of it cutting as it sews!!

  4. Gorgeous, gorgeous dress! I agree, wowzer! That print is stunning and I really love it paired with that bright blue cardigan.

  5. That was the perfect print for this dress and I love that you added black binding to the dress! You look awesome in it and I will remember the binding tip when I make my version.

  6. I’m wearing my fourth version today! I love the fabric you used. I have two wilder print-versions. This is the perfect pattern for that. I did an FOE instead of turning over the edges and it is a cleaner look than folding over like I did in previous version. Great job!

  7. Wow! I love how this dress turned out and I love your fabric choice. I really wish I could find the fabric used for the dress on the pattern cover, but the print you found is even more wearable.

  8. I love this dress on you! I’m happy to see how nice it fits. I’m buying this pattern as soon as it goes on sale, and I want to make lots of maxi dresses with it.

  9. WOW!! It amazes me that this went on in modern day times. I was glad I am not running. I would love to know about things moving forward. I will need to know the issue .

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