McCall’s M6503 – What do you think?

Last post I mentioned that I had finished my “May Flower” dress, a theme provided way back in May by the #magamsewalong on Instagram.  I had a wonderful floral 100% rayon fabric and one of my favourite patterns, McCall’s M6503.  I wasn’t too pleased with the dress when finished though.  I don’t know how I managed it but the whole dress seemed a bit too large and the bodice seemed to be a whole size too large!  I don’t know what happened.  Perhaps I traced out the wrong size bodice pieces or I cut out my fabric incorrectly?

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I preferred to gather my bodice and skirt pieces, instead of using darts, but I don’t think that would have made that much difference.

Besides the sizing, I had only one other mishap while sewing together my “May Flower” dress.  That old bobbin thread nest.  Completely re-threading the upper and lower threads did the trick.


I love sewing the facings like this … so neat and tidy and almost invisible.

Making the waistband and sewing in the hidden side zipper was also a treat.

And … after all these fun sewing techniques, I finished the dress and did not like the fit.  What did I do wrong?  I don’t know.  The other dress that I made with this pattern turned out great.  On this one, the bodice was too big and the whole dress seemed baggie/shapeless!

Last post Sue in MN said she had had a similar problem with a rayon dress she had made, before donating it she washed and ironed it though, and it ended up fitting just fine!  Well what’s to lose – as is, my “May Flower” dress was heading to a charity shop … and if I washed and ironed it and it ended up too small, it would still head to a charity shop.  

I loved this fabric and pattern, so off it went, into the washing machine and the dryer!

This is how it turned out – what do you think?

Not bad, huh?  I’ll even show you a goofy shot of me trying to show my “bat wing” sides seams.  Before I had extra room all around my bodice top and it seemed to gather at the sides of my dress.  It seems ok now!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

I can see the headlines now “Dress Saved by Vigorous Washing Machine and Hot Dryer!”  Heaven help me if this dress ends up in the washer/dryer once more – hand wash from now on!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

(And yes, I’m not wearing footwear.  It seems I have lost my sandals somewhere!  I better go find them before work tomorrow!)

So thanks to Sue in MN.  Seems silly, but it worked!  

Do you have any “seems silly” sewing tricks to share with us?

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT?  1.8 metres used!  Still 130.2 metres left in inventory!


22 thoughts on “McCall’s M6503 – What do you think?

  1. Sure I accidentally wash and dry something and it shrinks, unbelievably. This, well, it looks great. Nice job on the sewing and the recovery. Now as for the batwing pose, let me know when you have finished your cape Batgirl. That I really want to see.

    1. Hahaha 😂. Yes I was surprised too that it shrunk to the right size. I couldn’t have done better if I tried! (The cape is still on my sewing table! 😂)

  2. No, I dont have any sewing tricks. I was looking at the photos of the dress while reading and thinking, ‘I dont see anything wrong,’ what am I missing. I was relieved when I got to the end of the article. That colour looks really nice on you. You made a lovely dress.

    1. Thank you. I didn’t take photos of the “before” because I thought I was giving it away, but it was quite large and longer on me even. I’m happy I can wear it because it is a great combination of colours!

  3. Glad you saved it as it really suits you! I’ve definitely shrunk handmade jeans with a hot wash and dry before, and even had the same problem with a rayon dress as you – the waist was the main issue so I gathered it in with some 6mm elastic topstitched to the seam allowance.

    1. Thanks. Oh I was so annoyed that it didn’t fit I didn’t even think to try making an elastic waist!

  4. Fabric is such a funny creature… am sooo glad washing & drying did the trick for you as you really worked hard on the dress and it looks lovely!
    Enjoyed your comment on the “old bobbin thread nest.” That’s exactly how it looks!

    1. Thank you. This one had some nice details. I would have been sad to see it go! 😁

  5. Good save. I’ve no crazy tricks to impart, but if something doesn’t match my vision I often find incarcerating it in the drawer of the damned for a few weeks helps. Either it’s not as bad as I remembered when I grant parole or I find the strength to pick up the unpicker and give it the benefit of a course of reformation.

    1. 😂😂I love that. I’ll have to get a “Drawer of the Damned”! 😂👍

  6. Glad it worked out in the long run because it looks great on you!

    1. Thanks Linda! Of course I love the colours on this one … 💙

  7. Yes, rayon/viscose shrinks a lot, so you got really lucky that it was the right way this time! It happened to me once that I forgot to prewash and the top ended up child size the next time I washed it! So glad it got saved and you get to wear it and enjoy it instead of going to the charity shop!

    1. I just can’t remember if I prewashed this fabric or not. Luckily for me, I probably didn’t as it really helped to shrink it this time. Maybe not next time though, I’ll have to be more careful! 😁

  8. Is this rayon? It will shrink a bit again but it also expands with warmth. I love your dress-well done!

    1. Thank you! Yes Mary, it is rayon. I usually prewash all my fabrics if I intend on washing them after the item is made; but this one, I sewed up too big, then shrunk by washing and drying, so I was lucky to get it to fit. Hopefully, it stays close to the size I need from now on! I better be careful with washing from now on!

  9. Great save! I’ve never sewn rayon, but I’ll keep in mind the interesting fit issues!

    1. I think the fit issues were my mistake, you might do better. I would prewash though, it does shrink. Which in this case was a good thing… fixed my fitting issues! 😁👍

  10. Right, this is my second attempt at leaving a comment as WordPress denied all knowledge of me! Such a great trick to try the hot wash and dryer! I’ve done this on denim and wool but wouldn’t think of it for a fabric such as this. I really like your new summer dress!

    1. Thank you for your persistence and kind comments! I’m so sorry you had trouble leaving a comment! I hope everyone remembers that all my comments have a delay in posting since I like to confirm the poster first. So sorry Sue!

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