McCalls 6696: DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

Hi Friends,

Remember a couple of posts back I outlined my sewing plans to try and enter the Wardrobe Contest? Well, this is my first item in the contest. Well, it is and it isn’t. First off, I changed my mind about my original plan to sew a denim dress using Vogue 9077. When I looked closer at that particular pattern, I thought it was going to take quite a bit of work to do an FBA. So I decided to go with McCalls 6696: you can see my first version here. Secondly, I have actually sewn 3 other items for the contest already, and am half way through the fifth item. I don’t honestly know if I am going to make the deadline or not (10 items in 2 months is an awful lot!) but there’s still time…

Anyway, back to this version of McCalls 6696. I am just going to go straight to the pattern review below. But I do want to say that I love this version. I tried to distress the (80z) denim somewhat using sandpaper, and for the most part I think it’s worked. I didn’t think I would like slimmer skirt option of this dress, but, surprisingly, I do. Even though this is a casual denim dress I still feel smart and comfortable wearing it.

McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress
McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress
McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:

Dresses have collar, collar band, self-lined yoke back, close-fitting bodice, and band. A: carriers, purchased belt. A, B: pleated skirt, side pockets. A, C: purchased bias tape finishes armholes. D: sleeve bands. C, D: semi-fitted through hips, side front pockets, stitched hems. Bias, close-fitting slip has shoulder straps and very narrow hem. A/B, C, D cup sizes.

Note: I made view D, with the belt tabs from View A, and I also switched the sleeves out for long cuffed sleeves with a continuous lapped placket from Vogue 9077.

Pattern Sizing:

8 – 24. This is one of those multi-cup sized patterns so no need for an FBA.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes, apart from the sleeves.

Were the instructions easy to follow?


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I don’t know why it took me so long to make a second version of this dress! Well, maybe I do. There are quite a few pieces that need to be cut, some with interfacing, and quite a few markings that need to be made. But it’s definitely worth it. There is nothing I dislike about this dress. Except maybe the gathers at the back, but I can live with them.

Fabric Used:

8oz denim throughout, including the facings.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I initially added 1 inch to the length, but ended up removing 1.5 inches from the length in the end.

I did a 1 inch sway back adjustment on the back bodice.

I had to cut the yoke on the cross grain due to fabric constraints.

I used the burrito method to attach the yokes.

I used contrast topstitching thread and didn’t do any of the hand sewing the pattern advised, except for the inner waistband. I would have liked to have topstitched this as well, but due to the belt loops being attached before the waistband is joined to the bodice this wasn’t possible. If I wanted to do this I should have bar tacked the belt loops on after attaching the waistband.

Any other changes are highlighted in my first review of this pattern.

I attempted to distress the denim by using fine sandpaper and a sanding block.

I set the sleeves in flat to get the faux flat fell stitch finish on the top of the sleeves: the inside of this dress is all overlocked.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes. I might sew this again. It’s a great pattern. Yes, I highly recommend.


I think this dress is flattering and comfortable, but the dark denim still makes me feel smart. Love the waistband detail and the slimmer skirt on this version.

See you all soon with hopefully some more Wardobe Contest sewing!

Until soon…

McCalls 6696 DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

Edited to add: check out this Boden denim dress….very similar in style, don’t you think?

Boden Denim Dress



Posted by

I love to shop, but I also love to sew my own clothes, and am currently on a mission to improve my (fairly basic) dressmaking skills. I confess to going into shops and being outraged at the prices of some (not very well made) garments (is it an age thing?) and think "huh, I could make some thing at least as good as that for less" (is it something to do with coming from the Indian subcontinent?) So this blog details my sewing endeavours, both good and bad....I love to nosey through other people's sewing everyone can get to see mine.

34 thoughts on “McCalls 6696: DIY Dark Denim Shirtdress

  1. This is just so beautifully made! Love the double hem stitching. With your speed of sewing you will make it for the comp. Looking forward to more of your makes. Hila

  2. I love it too, following inspiration from Boden I too have made a denim dress however I really like how you have topstitched around the armholes looks really together. Good luck with all that sewing!

  3. This is lovely Manju. It fits you beautifully and the slimmer skirt is very flattering. Great copy of the Boden dress!

  4. I just love your veersion!! I find that you never get fed up of making variations of this pattern! Funnily enough I am finishing off my version of a Colette Hawthorn bodice/M6696 skirt pattern mash up and have plans for more variations!!!

  5. I keep seeing both handmade and RTW denim dresses and I love them all! Bet you will get lots of wear from this as it will be ideal to style in lots of different ways 😊

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