McCalls 6600 Shirtdress Tunic – in jersey knit!



An experiment! Having sewn M6600 as a tunic-length shirt, I was really curious to see if it could be done in a knit jersey. I remember seeing a gal in the post office a couple years ago – she was wearing a loose white jersey shirt over deep indigo blue jeans. It looked so fresh and pretty. I’ve been thinking it about it since, and decided this week to try something similar.

I’ve had this beige eyelet crinkle jersey for a while, got it from Fabric Mart. The color is awful. From the online picture, at left, I thought it would be kind of deep cream, but it’s a yucky pinky buff, or something like that. In real life, it looks like the pics on this post. So dreary. And perfect for a muslin, since I’m not attached to it 🙂

It’s poly/rayon/lycra jersey, and it has only horizontal stretch. That, at least, was in my favor and suited what I wanted to do.

Have you noticed that most eyelet fabrics are really like a monochrome check? The eyelets have to be lined up both vertically and horizontally. Since stubborn is my middle name when it comes to sewing, and because this shirt had some potential, I spent a couple hours just placing my pattern and cutting this out. Yes, I’m patting myself on the back – everything lines up really well.


And sewing the fabric was surprisingly easy. I was unsure of how the collar and button plackets would behave, but they came out really pretty. I used bias-cut lawn for all my interfacings, instead of fusible knit. The woven fabric provided just the right amount of weight and form to prevent drooping in the collar and bands.


And the buttonholes went in without a hitch. My backup plan for the closures was to use pearl snaps, but my test buttonholes were very reassuring, so I went for it.



I treated the back yoke a little differently, compared to my woven version. On the latter, I didn’t use the yoke facing, since it wasn’t needed structurally. On this knit version, I did use it. It really stabilizes the back and shoulders.


The other change I made for this one is the cuff treatment. Instead of closing the sleeve with a placket and button cuff, I attached the cuff as a band, just stretching it to fit the sleeve as one does with a ribbed cuff. Worked great.


When I look past the color, I really like this shirt.


So – help me please! Has anyone been successful dying poly/rayon/lycra? If so, what product did you use? My research has been discouraging – most of what I’ve read says that the lycra won’t take color well. I’m going to dye it regardless! so thanks in advance.

Parting shots: one of my lizard buddies in the bird bath…


Bye for now – Coco

13 thoughts on “McCalls 6600 Shirtdress Tunic – in jersey knit!

  1. To get dye to take on poly/rayon you have to heat it either on a pot on the stove. I've even done it (carefully) in a plastic container in the microwave.
    One warning though – the eyelet machine embroidery thread may take the dye up differently to your material. The lawn you used for interfacing will take it up differently as well. but you know, nothing ventured nothing gained!


  2. I think it looks really nice in the colour it is! but if you're really not happy then a stint in the dye bath is an excellent idea. I've used iDye for poly fabrics fairly successfully on synthetics. The resulting colours are not as strong as natural dyes for natural fibres but still pretty good. You don't have to use your machine, they can be done in a pot on the stove just like normal. Good luck!


  3. Honestly, Coco, I think it is great just the way it is. You can pair this neutral with just about any color and accessorize with jewelry. But I know what you mean, I strive to “feel good” in a color, it should either be a hair enhancer or a skin enhancer for this to happen. You do such beautiful work!


  4. I have some/lots of experience with dyeing fabrics, although not so much with poly or lycra. Procion MX dyes will dye the rayon, and it will be colorfast. My advice is to experiment with your scraps of fabric before committing your shirt to the dye pot/washing machine/whatever. If you do go the Procion MX route, you can use them in the washer, because the dye doesn't affect non cellulose surfaces. Good luck!


  5. Thanks for the help – I looked at iDye. I'm so afraid to do anything in my washer – have you tried it? I haven't dyed anything since I made tie dye tees back in my college days, and then my friends and I used Rit I think.


  6. Just a suggestion, but maybe if you dyed it with a washed out denim-blue sort of colour, the bits that didn't take the dye would look as if they were meant. Or alternatively, a nice pinky-grey would blend in with the pinkish tinge? Good luck with the shirt. It came out well!


  7. iDye has dyes for natural fibres as well as synthetic fibres. You could dye it twice using the two different dyes. Or you could try a colour remover first and see what shows up. It will be interesting to see your results.
    The shirt looks great – soft and pretty and comfortable.


  8. Love the shirt – great idea to use the knit. Sorry, can't help you with the dye question – I've only dyed cottons and linen. Good luck; hopefully, someone with experience can get you headed in the right direction.


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