McCalls 6988: DIY Little Black Dress LBD Peplum Flounce Hem

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem
McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

Hi Friends,

I don’t tend to wear that much black. I know lots of you love it. But I can see the value of having a great LBD in your wardrobe, so I thought I would try my luck with McCalls 6988. I didn’t want something too evening-ish, but I didn’t want something boring either. I am going to be honest…I am not sure about this one.

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem
McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

I think the uncertainty is partly to do with the fabric. This is a (I think) wool viscose crepe fabric which, sadly, does tend to crease quite easily (and doesn’t like to be ironed that much either). Also, I didn’t line this dress (the instructions are for an unlined dress) and so I am wearing it with a slip underneath. Further, the sleeves are cut from a piece of silk georgette I had, and I messed the hem up first time, and ended up cutting them shorter that I would have liked. Sigh.

Here’s the back view (dislike. No amount of pressing/ steam will eliminate those zipper wrinkles – also need to add a hook to the top):

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem
McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Semi-fitted dresses have self-lined yokes, princess seams, and back zipper. A and B: flounce and narrow hem. B: front overlay. B and C: below elbow sleeves. D: short sleeves. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C, D.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I don’t think it’s the pattern I dislike. I think the pattern is essentially ok. I dislike my fabric because it didn’t press very well and creases easily; I think I wish I had lined it, and I messed the hem up on the silk georgette sleeves so they are shorter (and possibly tighter) than I would like. Nothing to dislike about the pattern.
Fabric Used:
I think it’s a wool viscose crepe with silk georgette for the sleeves.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I removed a total of about 0.5 inches in width from the front and back necklines to get it to stay on my shoulders.

I made a narrow 5/8ths inch hem on the flounce.

I added 2 inches in length to view B.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment.

I omitted the facings and substituted in bias strip facings.

I used an invisible zip.

I think I shortened the sleeves by about 3 inches.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know and yes. I think it’s the fabric and lack of lining in this particular case which have put me off this dress a little.

Hmmm…well, I made this a few weeks ago and I have not had an opportunity to wear it yet. I think my quest for the perfect LBD continues….

We are going to India in a month or so for almost 5 weeks and I am frantically sewing up stuff for then. I also have a school PTA ball to attend in less than 3 weeks and have yet to make a dress for it! I don’t know how frequent the blogging will be in these parts for a while, but hopefully see you all back here soon. Until then….

McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem
McCalls 6988 LBD with peplum flounce hem

Posted by

By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at

38 thoughts on “McCalls 6988: DIY Little Black Dress LBD Peplum Flounce Hem

  1. The style really is really flattering and in black too it looks a really versatile dress. Though the back us a little wrinkled when you look at the back of most ladies clothes they’re always a bit wrinkled and no one ever notices. I’d wear it with pride – it really is lovely on you 😀

    1. Thanks Ali. I will give it a spin at least once before deciding if it’s a wadder or not. I think remaking in a nicer fabric maybe the way forward.

  2. I say meh. But I think its because I like you in colours so much more. You did a nice job on fit. I think the sheer sleeves make it more eveningish than you may have wanted. And I can imagine your frustration at the zipper puckers. But I like that the dress has some style interest with the bodice seam lines and flounce.

  3. I think this is a lovely pattern for you. It really looks good on you and, I think, the only reason you’re on the fence about it, is the fabric. Consider this one a practice piece. Personally, I think you would be happier if you make this dress again in a lovely crepe or some other lovely fabric. It really is a beautiful style on you.

  4. See, Im lovin’ you in this! Its simple & understated chic….but I confess, I am a huge lover of wearing black 🙂 What I love about it is that you could wear it alone or pair it with any colour. Shoes, accessories, cardi’s – the sky really is the limit. x

  5. I love this dress on you. I think the style and fit are lovely. However I agree that the fabric isn’t doing it justice. I’d say definitely make it again…but perhaps a lightweight wool crepe with a lining.

    1. Oh, very yes! The silhouette is very flattering, and draws attention to your pretty legs. Call it a “wearable muslin” and then don’t feel guilty when you pass it along later, after you’ve made a version that you adore.

      I think that this particular black is a light-sucking color, because of the weave and fiber content. A smooth, finely-woven shirting might make you happier with the dress, even in black. Photos are so hard to use for judging skin tone: do you look better in warm (yellow-based) colors or in cool (blue-based) colors? Blacks come in all sorts of hues and shades. Find one that makes you happy and re-make this dress.

  6. I understand your gripe about the wrinkling fabric but, honestly the dress looks great on you. A perfect LBD in my opinion. Great job.

  7. This looks great on you! Too bad about the fabric though because this is a wonderful LBD. I second the suggestion that you should make it again 🙂 Black neoprene could be cool

  8. I love the dress–you did a great job with the seaming and the fit. It would probably feel better if it was lined. But from the photos, it looks good.

  9. This is a chic LBD, and it fits you well. I really like the multi-panels (I made a multi-panel Vogue dress). You could make another dress in different colour panels. The peplum makes the dress look more interesting and feminine. It suits you.

  10. I say, Wow.. nice dress! You do look better in colour but a LBD is always handy to have. How about your beautiful silk dress for the PTA affair, or is it a really posh ball which calls for Taffeta in great lengths and a splendor of colour?

  11. Yes make it again, as the color is useful and the style is flattering. It would also add a lot to wear a bit of color in the form of a necklace with colored stones or a scarf.

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