Ginger Made: M6553

Oh, hey!  I didn’t see you there… I was too busy strutting around in my NEW DRESS!

I’m kind of in love with this dress, but I’m not really sure why.  It departs from my usual style quite a bit– I never wear anything this loose since I’m pretty rectangular, but while it may not be flattering, exactly, I love the comfort and the unusual silhouette.  It feels so trendy and fun!  And while shaped hemlines will probably be out of style next season, I can just trim it even and hopefully get some more wear out of it.

It’s McCall’s M6553, made in a size 6.  There is TONS of ease included in the pattern, so I didn’t bother making my standard size (the smallest has a 43″ bust!).  I’m happy with the fit, and I made no adjustments to the pattern.  The pattern was super easy and came together quickly, so that was pleasant.  I really felt like I was taking a risk with this one– I felt like there was a 50/50 chance of this being an epic fail.  Oh, and I didn’t make a muslin.  GO AHEAD AND SUE ME.  I’m a loner, Dottie.  A rebel!

I used a lovely linen from Mood.  I know it’s a bit late in the season to make a linen dress, but I couldn’t resist making one last summery dress before fall sets in.   The color is so perfect, though… how could I say no?!  I’ve never worked with linen before, so I was excited to try it out, and it’s really great!  I was worried about it fraying or wrinkling like crazy, but it was honestly a dream to work with!  I really recommend linen for this pattern– it’s drapey, breezy, and lightweight, but not slippery or transparent.

The belt is designed to loop the front of the dress only, leaving the back loose.  However, I don’t really like to wear it like this as the weight of the belt tugs at the belt holes in the side of the dress, so you can see bare skin!  Eww!  I kind of prefer it unbelted– it feels free ‘n’ easy, and it’s super no-fuss.  But Man Friend thinks that it looks like a muumuu, and he really likes it belted.  Of course, like the Contrary Mary I am, I’m not crazy about wearing it belted– it feels like there’s too much bulk strapped around my waist, sort of like fabric saddlebags!  What do you guys think?  Would you belt it or not?

I really like this pattern, and I’m thinking about making it again (even though it’s sort of a distinct style and not one I really need multiples of).  But if I made it again, I would probably shorten the belt a little and attach it at the side seams, so I can tie it at the front or the back and not have to worry about exposing too much skin where the belt feeds through the dress.

What do you think of this style?  Would you wear a dress like this?  Have you made anything lately that’s a departure from your usual style?  Are you contemplating any fashion risks?  I wanna hear from you guys!

Mr. Photographer, stop making me laugh!

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115 responses to “Ginger Made: M6553

  1. Looks lovely and cool! And I agree with manfriend that the belted version looks best…shows off your tiny waist!

  2. CUTIEEEE!! I am so bummed I missed the meetup! I need to put voice and actions to your funny words!
    Not only do I think this dress is awesomesauce, we will be dress twinsies as soon as my pattern arrives! I love the shape and think it looks marvehlous on you!

  3. jen

    Oh dude, I really really like this dress on you! I think it’s cute with or without the belt and you’re so tiny I don’t think you need to worry about looking like you have fabric saddlebags, I know that won’t stop you from feeling like you have them though. Anyway, major cute and the color is awesome!

  4. Great colour and cut – me like!

  5. It’s really cute, and def not fabric saddlebags as you’re so tiny ! I love the colour and the unbelted dress looks as if it’s the perfect steamy weather wear, and I can imagine its super comfy. I do also like it belted, although like you suggest, it’s more unique without the belt. The back is gorgeous with the yoke ….

    • I really like the yoke, too! I was a little worried since a few of the gals that made this dress mentioned that they didn’t like the pleat, but I actually like how it turned out.

  6. AdORE the color. And PS: I just moved to Brooklyn! I believe drinks are in order…

  7. Whoah! I love it. Not my style and I personally would wear it belted (I’m a waist girl), but it looks FABULOUS on you! That’s just your shade of blue, and the drape is so lovely, you look so cute! Well done!
    PS – I don’t make Muslins either. I know I should but I’m too lazy!

  8. Yep – the colour is really awesome. Visually I love the belted look, but I can totally understand if it leaves some flesh on show that you’d prefer it loose and flowing! Eitherway, you’ve got a fab dress for whichever way strikes your fancy. Lovely!

  9. I think this is super cute. I do prefer it without the belt, though. I think it looks very chic that way.

  10. It’s a cute dress, both belted and not belted! So two outfits in one dress, I can see that come in handy, like on holidays :)

  11. Oh wow! That is one gorgeous dress! I like it unbelted, but I’m with the Man Friend in that you look amazing with it belted! I can understand that it feels like a lot of fabric, but it gives you an amazing silhouette, and cos you’re so tiny you can totally pull it off!

  12. In a photo I prefer it belted, although I think when you are walking and moving that the unbelted look would look fabulous as it would swing and hang beautifully. I adore the colour.
    I have a vintage muu-muu pattern that appears to work in a similar way, although I think it’s more fitted in the front and the sides somehow clip under and across the back. Gotta make it to figure that out! :-)

  13. Okay, first up I have to do a catch up and say how jealous I am of the NY meet up. **** for me being on the wrong continent! One day….maybe? Anyway,.I love the dress, the colour looks fab on you. I do like the belted photo,it gives you a lovely sihouette and looks more formal, but I am a fan of loose fitting dresses – I also think it could work in early autumn with leggings. xx

    • Oh my gosh, it would be so fun to meet you! I would LOVE that! :) I never think to wear leggings, but that would be a great way to wear the dress into the fall! I’ll have to pick up a few pairs!

  14. Oh and fashion…I am determined to make a floral dress with some fabric I was given. I am torn between pattern choices. For me a floral dress is a fashion challenge! Partly to avoid a nightie look or a frumpy hausfrau look.

  15. Ah that’s so nice! I find I get more wear out of my simpler garments. I prefer it unbelted – looks nice belted but it may not stay that way once you move around a bit! Yes nearly all my sewing is beyond my usual style like the Crescent skirt and the Lonsdale dress. Having said that I’m struggling to think back to what my style was before sewing!

    • I know what you mean! I sew very different things than what I would have purchased RTW– I’m really a tomboy, and I mostly wear tees and jeans with a sort of rocker feel, but for whatever reason I sew really girlie stuff!

  16. Aaah, you are cute as a button in this dress! I think because you are so petite you can totally get away with it all un-belted and free. But you also look incredibly cute with it belted up. So really, you’ve got two very wearable looks for the price of one ;o) Personally I totally love this pattern, but it really, really would not suit me I don’t think…it would just hand from my big bust and make me look even bigger I reckon. I’d be tempted to try it out in a ‘cheaper’ fabric and use it as a beach cover-up if it did ‘fail’ maybe!

  17. That’s a beautiful electric blue! I love linen ;) And I agree, pair it w/ leggings or tights and it works for the fall too.

  18. I like how it fits you with the belt!! fantastic!

  19. That is one of the most beautiful shades of blue I have ever seen! Based on the pictures I like it belted but wear it the way you like it. You are tiny and wear full dresses well! .
    Fashion risks for me?…… only if I try something on in a store first. That’s not too risky is it ? :)

  20. I have been departing from my usually sewing style. Instead of dresses, I have been making lingerie. I’m loving it so far. Sometimes we need a change. Variety is the spice of life, right?

    I really like this dress. It might not be flattering but the silhouette is DRAMATIC! I wouldn’t wear it belted but would just let it flow. You could make it work for fall by making it out of a cotton but getting a slip (Free People?) to wear underneath and would peek out of the bottom. Pair that with boots and knee high socks and you’re good to go!

  21. I absolutely love it!! I like it either way belted or not. The color is great and it looks so comfy! Just my style.
    Had to bust out laughing at your Pee Wee’s Big Adventure reference. One of my favorite movies as a kid. Has to be my favorite quote from the movie!!

  22. its so amazing, and even better in person. you are adorable.

  23. Looks awesome! I love the color too. I definitely like it unbelted. You have the right figure for it, and I think it looks really graceful and flowy with no belt.

  24. Cool! (In both senses of the word!) I could really see this in a heavy, heathery ponte knit as a layering piece for fall, with a big cardi, heavy tights and boots. Hmmmm . . .

  25. I vote for unbelted, it’s so free and loose! Adorbs

  26. Meg

    Oooo… I love it both ways, actually! I say wear it belted around him and take off the belt when he leaves the room ;) The color is fantastic on you – I can definitely see why you were drawn to it! And linen is perfect for summer, and since we are still having summer weather, you’ll hopefully be able to wear this for at least another month. Well done!!

  27. You know, I like it! I think it’s all the Boardwalk Empire that I’ve been watching lately that’s really gotten me into the looser styles.

    And it’s funny that you should mention departing from your usual style AND end of summer dresses, as I’m working on a project now that incorporates both of those things! I can’t wait to finish it and blog about it, it’s been out on the back-burner for a bit with the commissions I’ve had.

  28. Very cute dress–love the color! I think you pull it off either way. If I made it I would use the belt tho–I need some waist definition. But then again, maybe I should rebel from my personal “rules” and go belt-less? I’ve been dreaming of a 20′s style flapper dress, and those dresses couldn’t be any straighter thru the waist.

  29. I’m wearing it right now!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I LOVE this dress – yes its a bit loose and possibly unflattering to the menfolk – and yes it could be one of those looks that screams “2012″ in a few years, but I don’t care! I love it and I wear it all the time! Unbelted muumuu style. Don’t reign that fabric in, baby, let it billow freeeeeeEEE!!!

  30. so chic! perfect for balmy summer days, and then cinch in with the belt for the evening! both looks look great on you. and I love that colour!!!

  31. You know, I love the way these flowy dresses look on everyone else but I CANNOT bring myself to wear them – I’ve tried, and it just feels too sloppy & shapeless. Not to say that you look sloppy & shapeless – you look totally breezy & cool & adorable! – but I feel like I look that way. I do like the belt, but I think it looks fine un-belted!

    • I feel like gals totally have a love/hate relationship with flowy dresses (and some people are the same way about form-fitting dresses). Of course, with a rockin’ figure like yours, you could wear ANYTHING, but your signature style is fitted!

  32. Such a good color! I love it. I think I prefer the un-belted look because of how nicely the fabric drapes.

  33. This dress is amazing! The colour, the easy shape, the belt… I love it. And you look lovely in it!

  34. misscrayolacreepy

    I love it with the belt. It looks so comfy!

  35. Gorgeous color!! Looks comfy

  36. gorgeous :-)
    i reckon when it starts to get chillier and autumnal it’d also look great unbelted with a blazer, imagine all the beautiful turquoise billowing out unexpectedly from the sharps lines of the blazer!

  37. The belted version is cute as!!! I love it!!! and great colour too, suits you :)

  38. Jo

    Ooh I just bought some plain linen. Glad to hear you love linen- I’ve never worked with it before :)
    This looks really great. And I like it belted, but whatever floats your boat right? :D Wear it how it makes you feel good :)

  39. punkmik

    the colour is amazing on you! i love how the belt gives it another dimension and I really like the bodice! lovely dress!

  40. They both look lovely! I like unbelted, but that’s just because I like wearing those looser styles :) It also looks like it would be nice for hot weather.

  41. SUPER cute dress and I love the color. What a fun silhouette. It’s cute both ways, but I think unbelted it’s more fashion-y. I desperately needed that dress all summer.

  42. Wow. I think it’s a really really great dress! I love so many things about it. The way it hands, the way the gathers pleat when tied with a belt. Gorgeous in that linen. I wonder if it would work in a winter fabric, like light weight wool?

  43. I meant the way it HANGS!!!!

  44. Oh, now that’s adorable! I just bought that pattern to make it for my daughter….that’s really, really cute on you!

  45. Ahh Ginger, you just look adorable , this cute dress works well for those hot days you need some comfort and style. Great make!

  46. so yeah: you wear your architectural blue sky dress made of magic, and i’ll wear my anna sui, and we’ll have us a throwdown in the garment district. wanett can officiate.

  47. Zoe

    Oh no doubt you didn’t see us there, your super cute new dress is very distracting! xxx

  48. Hi Ginger! I love this dress, personally. The back is different, and the belt gives it nice shape. Looks comfy to boot :)

  49. Amy

    You are so cute! And popular! I’m nearly comment 100!

  50. This looks sooooo gorgeous, love the collie on you! I got this pattern a few weeks ago after seeing Sallieoh’s version and you’ve just re-convinced me that this needs to be top of my list!

  51. Terrific colour. I like it unbelted.

  52. Well goodness, you are so tiny that a paper bag would look great on you. I love the colour-amazing choice, just lovely….and I agree about the comfort bit, I can’t wear stylish-yet-uncomfy clothing. No way. FAB make lady!

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  54. puu

    i’m with you…i wouldn’t normally love the boxy fit, but something about your choices–the color, the fabric, even the easy-breezy styling–just makes me want one. :-)

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  56. Thanks for the breakdown! I’m making on in black ponte and hope it turns out half as nice as yours.

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