I have finally finished McCalls 2206, and it only took me two years and ten months.
This is the dress I started for the Vintage Sewalong of 2011. It's a simple, A-line "mod" shift with inset princess side panels, a martingale belt, and a fold down collar.
I made the long sleeve version. The pattern has nice little vintage touches: elbow darts, shoulder darts in back, and of course, the cool mod shape.
The biggest challenge in making this was the size. The pattern was one size- an 18. It fit great at the hips, but the rest of it was too big. I had to "downsize" the bodice to make it fit. I did not enjoy it and I doubt I'll ever do it again unless the pattern in question is just really special. It's so much easier to start with something that fits the shoulders and upper bust and then add extra below.
I made a muslin to work out my fitting adjustments and everything seemed fine, but when I cut my fashion fabric, I ran into problems. It was still too big. I ended up shortening the sleeves by 7/8" and taking in the waist about 3/8" on each side. The belt was too long also. That's why my dress has two buttons in back instead of one like the pattern drawing. That turned out to be a happy accident though- I quite like the double buttons and I think it adds to the overall look.
The collar is cut on the bias and is very wide. It is turned down like a turtleneck. The pattern calls for hooks and eyes in back so that the collar stands up all the way around the neck. I thought that might be uncomfortable and impractical with my long hair, so I let mine fall open in the back. My dress is also longer than the model drawing. I finished it at the knee to be more age appropriate and more suited to an office environment. You can't really see it in the photos, but I'm wearing it with patterned tights. I think I'll wear it to work with nude or sheer black hose instead.
I used a dark red "suede cloth" from Hancock fabrics. I like the fabric. It has a little bit of stretch and a nice hand. The right side has a nap and the wrong side has a satin finish that slides over the skin and undergarments. It's very heavy, though and will be suitable for cold weather. The weight of the fabric pulls the belt down in back which causes pulling where it is attached in front. I'll probably add thread loops at the sides to help support it and try to alleviate the wrinkles.
I'm pleased with the finished dress and I will wear it to work, but honestly... it's a little bit dull. I think a patterned or textured fabric would have really been nice. Maybe a big statement necklace- like a large locket or pendant would spiff it up. I can maybe see making it again in a patterned fabric for spring with the short sleeves. We'll see. So many patterns, so little time... I'm just happy to have completed it.
Next up will be a knit dress... maybe...