McCall’s 6696 Emerald Isle Shirtdress


Hello, you hot and humid September! Making up for that fall-like July and August we had, aren’t’cha?

I’m so pleased that I got around to making yet another McCall’s 6696 shirtdress! Is this pattern popular or what? And for good reason: it’s “top drawer” with lots of variation possibilities. This is my first attempt at the pleated version. Both my sleeveless summery and cozy flannel versions featured the fitted skirt option.

I’m particularly happy with how this one turned out. This dress is very fun to wear, and the color is even more amazing in real life! A really striking emerald green. I’ve never been to Ireland (sad face), but I’m told the green color of the landscape there is stunning so I’ve dubbed this the Emerald Isle Dress.

The fabric itself was bought on this side of the Atlantic at G Street Fabrics in northern Virginia back in October 2011. Nice to stash bust! I used up all two yards of this 58″ wide rayon/linen blend to create this dress. The pattern calls for 2 3/8 yards (60″ wide) so this ended up being a tight fit, but I made it work. Phew. I originally bought it with a circle skirt in mind.


To account for the fabric shortage, I cut the collar band and the waistband in two pieces rather than on the fold. All adjustments from my previous versions were used on this one as well. One change I did make was going down to a size 10 at the waist (which means the whole dress is a straight size 10). This pattern is pretty roomy at the waist if you like things more fitted.

As you can see I didn’t use the collar piece for this version. I’ve been wanting to make a shirtdress without the collar just for a change-up so I decided to go with more of a Mandarin collar look. It’s a good thing I did want to try it for this dress because I didn’t have enough fabric to make the collar happen anyway!


My back bodice alteration from my previous two versions was used here too, though I’ve been thinking it might’ve been nice to add two center pleats below the yoke like you see on men’s shirts. Stashing that idea away for a future creation!

Mary of Idle Fancy makes a good point in her recent post about this pattern: looks like there should be two belt loops in the back even though the instructions only say to cut out four. Don’t believe I’ve ever caught that.


A dress with side seam pockets for all you pocket lovers out there. 🙂


Hello, little birdie! Leftover fabric from my Vogue 8380 dress (that sadly doesn’t really get worn). The pockets on this pattern seem like they could be a little bigger. The skirt certainly has room for roomier pockets. Doesn’t bother me so much, but FYI.


Buttons from M & J Trimmings in the Garment District. I spent a good 45 minutes to an hour there (on Labor Day – yep, they were open) trying to find the right buttons. It can be agonizing and fun all at the same time. I settled on eleven of these 1/2″ metal buttons and used green thread to create a flower effect and tie it in with the dress color. First time using my machine’s button foot and it worked like magic! I’ve only ever hand-stitched buttons in, but I love how sticking a pin on top of the foot creates a shank as the button is being sewn in. Win-win!

Right, so now that we’ve taken care of the close-ups, why not take a stroll with me through Washington Square Park on a hot, humid late afternoon?


You can get a sense of the skirt in motion here. I just love how it moves. Pretty flowers at right are for my mom! 😀


My dress goes with my book?


There you are, Washington Square Arch! The guy underneath it in the white shirt was playing the bagpipes (there’s always so much going on in this park – I get such a kick out of it).

This fabric drapes so nicely when sitting. I feel all lady-like in it.


I love sitting by the fountain. This dress makes it easy to do just that with its comfy, pleated skirt. I’m making a “hmmm” face for variety… 😉


Okay, any fans of the movie Barefoot in the Park? This is the monument Robert Redford pops up behind towards the end of the movie. Its location was moved during a redesign of the park, but, yep, still there!

And how about this lady selling her crocheted cupcakes in front of it? I love how she didn’t seem phased at all by the random person making dorky poses (AKA the worst ‘drunk Paul Bratter’ impersonation ever) behind her. Just another day out and about in ol’ New York!


14 thoughts on “McCall’s 6696 Emerald Isle Shirtdress

  1. Love this dress! The mandarin collar is a nice touch, too! I do agree, though, that the back looks like it should have belt loops. Does your belt start to sag without anything back there? I can’t tell if that would be bothersome or not.

    I can’t wait to get my hands on this pattern — JoAnn’s has been sold out the last two times I’ve gone! Boo!

    • Thanks! Funny, I checked my other versions and I remembered to put the back loops on there, but for some reason didn’t do it this time. From what I could see, the belt loops at the side seams were enough to hold up the belt in the back (probably helps that the belt itself is lightweight and stiff). Didn’t end up bothering me, although visually I would’ve liked to have had those two loops back there.

      You’ll love this pattern! Don’t know how JoAnn’s pricing compares to the McCall’s website, but they often have online sales. I love patterns like this where you get a lot of bang for your buck.

  2. How pretty. I do like the mandarin collar; it’s a nice change to make due to limited yardage. I love rayon-linen blends; I just discovered them this summer and I’m hooked. My store in Chicago only had the 1 color so I have a ton all in one color. (1 dress, 1 skirt, with 5 yards to make something else still). Perhaps I need to get swatches mailed to me so I can get more colors. 🙂

    • Yes, I remember your recent rayon-linen blend dress! I meant to comment on that one saying I was planning one in the same fabric next. You sound nice and stocked up with the color you have! Swatches are definitely a handy option for getting more colors online. I’m tempted to go out and get more myself, but I should probably focus on wintery fabrics for now. 😉

  3. Love the style and color! I am one of those people that loves side pockets so totally enjoy the way you use a different color fabric to finish the pockets. All in all, a winner in my opinion.
    Thanks for choosing this spot to model your dress.

    • Yes, I figured since I didn’t have enough of the green fabric to make the pockets, why not go with a fun print option?! And it’s nice when a dress that didn’t work out lives on in pocket form in another dress. 🙂

    • Thanks, Kristin! This green fabric has been staring at me in my stash for far too long. Sad that it’s almost time to put the dress away for the season, but who knows with this weird weather we’ve been having all year!

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