Dress · Sewing

Pleasing Plaid or Terrible Tartan?

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to make  my favorite and most made dress pattern, McCalls 6696 Shirtdress  in a tartan fabric, with so many pieces to pattern match, cutaway pockets, yoke, bodice, wasitband, sleeves, cuffs, buttonband and gathers and darts to think about (or not in is case).

McCalls 6696 Shirtdress


Nearly matched the pockets.

When cutting out I though a lot about matching the pattern across and down, but didn’t take into account the effect the gathers and darts would have on the back of the dress.PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAI cut the wasitband, yoke, buttonband and cuffs on the bias, mainly to save on the pattern matching!

I altered the sleeves by adding  a simple cuff cut on the bias instead of the wing cuffs.PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAI feel I should have cut the pattern so the dominant black lines were centralised on the back and more equal  on the front.  I also had a problem with the gathers and darts on the back of the dress as the pattern disappears.PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAAh and the buttons, these grey ones were  my original choice, but I have lost them, yep lost in the depths of sewing room so I gave up looking for them and used some from my button tin,  I can’t remember where they came from!PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA




Overall I am pleased with the finished dress in that I wanted a  cosy winter tartan dress  and that’s what I have but disappointed that I didn’t think it through more, but its a lesson learnt on the great sewing experience!


The fabric is  a grey and turquoise polyviscose tartan fabric from Oh So Crafty.

And if you are interested  in the difference between tartan and plaid……..

Plaid’s original definition is ‘as a woolen cloth having a checkered or tartan pattern’ It evolved to mean any such checkered or tartan pattern.Tartan’s first definition is a ‘woolen cloth woven in stripes of various colors at right angles to form a rectangular pattern; also, the pattern and design of such a cloth’.

So now you know!









11 thoughts on “Pleasing Plaid or Terrible Tartan?

  1. Lovely neat job. Look at some rubbish RTW, we put our makes under the microscope don’t we. Look more at the neatness and the lovely top stitching and be proud. I will be chuffed when I can make a dress with so much detail K xXx

  2. Very pretty dress. I love that you used the bias for yoke, cuffs and waistband….nice contrast. This looks like a very involved pattern and you did a great job!

  3. I love it! I always flick through the photos then go back and read and nothing jumped out wrong about the pattern matching. It’s great! I’d have had to drink a lot of wine to get me through all that pattern matching! Lovely job 😃

  4. Tartan (or plaid!) is my nemesis so I am mightily impressed with your dress and matching. The colours are lovely and I bet it looks fabulous on.

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