Simply a tank dress with McCall’s 6559

M6559 dress top frontThis is the kind of project that I usually dismiss from my project list. It was simple, it was fast, I learned no skills, I paired no fabrics. But I have been drowning in a sea of huge goals lately. My wardrobe plan for the Pattern Review Wardrobe contest was very involved. Of course I love to push myself for contests, but the fact that I only finished 3 items (one turned out to be a wadder) and started one more reveals the unrealistic hopes I had.

M6559 jersey dressMy sewing philosophy is thus: Why sew items that I can readily buy in the store? I am not a hard to fit size and I can go purchase items I need. I sew for the creative outlet, the challenge of skill, and to play with pretty fabric! The question of why do you sew is such an interesting one; I will certainly be exploring it more in my upcoming podcast!

M6559 jersey maxiBut I was suddenly struck with a thought. I could just sew up a dress quickly (still carefully, of course) and perhaps finish it all in one Sew Sunday. That would feel so great! I’ve had this really lovely, soft jersey for a couple years and I wondered if it would make a good tank dress. Spoiler alert – it did!

M6559 SideThe McCall’s 6559 is a great basic pattern. I cut a size 10, which 2 sizes smaller than my measurements, and brought up the neckline by about an inch. Then I simply basted it together at the shoulders and side seams, after I staystitched the neckline and armholes so they wouldn’t stretch out. I tried it on, adjusted the fit so there was just a little more room in the tummy area so I wouldn’t have to suck it in, and then took it to the serger. I also left about 18 inches open at each side for walking and I really like how that turned out.

M6559 tank dressThe neckline and armholes are finished with fold over elastic. I recently tried this on a knit dress I made for my daughter and I love how smooth and strong the edges are. On a dress of this length, it is very easy for the neckline to get stretched out as it holds all the weight of the long fabric. This finish helps keep it snug, and I love the contrast. It was the only detail I added to the dress, too, which I think showed so much restraint! A special thank you to my Instagram friends who helped me decide on an elastic color! I loved getting your help.

McCall's 6559 frontHere’s the bullet points:

  • Just a soft, comfortable tank dress. 2 pattern pieces. Very easy. Against my nature.
  • Cut a 10, but added a little room by taking a smaller seam allowance in the tummy
  • Fold over elastic is a smooth, strong finish to the neckline and armholes, helping them keep their shape as they hold up the long, heavy jersey dress
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13 thoughts on “Simply a tank dress with McCall’s 6559

  1. Simple yes, but lovely! The style is a great showcase for your fabric – and I love the pop of pink in the foldover elastic. I know what you mean about not wanting to sew basics – they don’t usually appeal to me that much either, but sometimes a fabric really cells for a simple design.

    I don’t know if I’ve missed a post where your hair changed (sorry if I have) but it looks so cool! i wish I had the guts to change my hairstyle occasionally :).

  2. Great choice of pattern to showcase your lovely fabric and I love the pop of the contrasting binding! The dress is very flattering on you. It is also one of my favorite patterns.

  3. How did you decide to go to a smaller size? The pattern claims go be close-fitting already. The dress looks fabulous on you! I just wonder how you knew to do that!

    • I always go down 2 sizes on McCall’s, and I knew with the 5/8 inch seam allowance that when I basted it I could adjust the fit. I also knew my jersey was really stretchy, the kind that grows as you sew it. A combo of all those things made me think it was a good idea, but it is always a gamble the first time you make a pattern. Now I know, and I might use this pattern to make some little racer back tanks. I’ll judge each size by the fabric stretch factor, I suppose. Great question!

  4. I think your dress is very beautiful! I also avoid sewing basics, but since I discovered sewing blogs, I appreciate basics more. I blame some of it on the difficulty finding suitable knit fabrics though. But who am I kidding, I just want to sew pretty stuff! 😀

  5. It’s beautiful. Love the print. I think that I would probably skip sewing basic items if I easily fit RTW (blarg). But the one little change you did make on this one – to bind your neckline with FOE – elevates this from most similar RTW garments. Because often you can get something that will fit, but it doesn’t last through the wash, or stretches out irredeemably (I’m looking at you, Target tshirts!).

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