McCall’s 6559 — Knit Maxi Dress

11 Jun



Ladies and gentlemen, I have found my official pattern for summer — McCall’s 6559.  This knit tank dress pattern (post-tweaks, of course) is nearly perfect — easy, casual, chic, and comfy.  On top of that it is quick and easy to sew up since it only involves two pattern pieces plus neck and armhole bands.  My fabric for this dress was one of my treasures from last year’s NYC trip.  I don’t know the exact fiber content but I would guess some viscose and elastane.  It is a lightweight, soft knit with great recovery.




I strayed from the pattern instructions (didn’t even look at them, actually) for the neckline and armhole binding.  I have never been satisfied with the bands that most patterns call for so when Lauren at Lladybird posted about this binding method from Megan Nielsen, I was all over it.  I LOVE the results and don’t think I’ll ever go back to the bands unless I have a fabric that is uncooperative.  I stabilized my neckline with knit staytape from Emma Seabrooke and used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 and a twin stretch needle for my hem.  I have gotten so many compliments on this dress, especially about how professional the finishes look.




As with all Big 4 knit patterns I have encountered, this one runs huge so I just based my size choice off of finished pattern measurements, going with a 12 in the shoulder, grading to a 14 at the bust/under the arms for a cheater FBA, tapering in to a 10 at the waist and then back out to a 14 at the hips.  If I had gone by the measurement chart I would have cut a 16 in the bust, 14 in the waist and an 18 in the hips!




I started with a wearable muslin from a sturdy cotton knit and realized that I would have to make all future versions with a center back seam if I wanted it to fit my figure.  I had to take a 3/4″ swayback adjustment and then added a 1″ wedge back in over the derriere to accommodate for the swayback adjustment plus some for the junk-trunk.




There will definitely be more versions of this dress in both the long and short varieties.  On the next rendition, I think I will go ahead and trim the seam allowances down to 1/4″ for serging and I will raise the neckline a bit to make it more work-friendly.  I will also take a bit more out for the swayback adjustment so it hugs my low back better.  Finally, because my fabric is a bit heavy, this dress could use some reinforcement in the side seams to support the weight.  I will be adding some clear elastic to the seam allowances from the underarm to the hip to prevent stretching and will keep this in mind for future versions if the fabric is really stretchy.  I don’t think it will be an issue with less stretchy knits.

So what do you think?  Could knit dresses be your go-to this summer?





26 Responses to “McCall’s 6559 — Knit Maxi Dress”

  1. Lynn June 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Holy moly! That is one sweet maxi! That fabric is killer – how many yards did you buy/use? Also the fit is perfect…

    • Susie Homemaker, MD June 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      Thanks, Lynn! You should make one. I think I bought 3 yards but I will look tomorrow to see how much is left. Looks like you had an awesome time in Japan. I loved all your posts and videos. Can’t wait to see what you do with all your fabric 🙂

  2. KM June 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    Wow! I think you nailed the fit and construction. Looks fantastic!

  3. Marlene June 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    I have made this dress twice, once with ITY knit and the weight does pull on the neckline to make it lower and I made it in a stripe cotton knit and is perfect. LOVE this and I may have to make another.

    • Susie Homemaker, MD June 11, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

      Thanks, Marlene. Glad to know I am not the only one hooked on this pattern 🙂

  4. Breenie June 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    You did a beautiful job on the dress. Very inspiring!!

  5. Bruna Pulka June 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Love it! It’s Beautiful and the fabric is stunning!

    • Susie Homemaker, MD June 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

      Thanks, Bruna! I hope you figure out the dress you are dreaming of making. Let me know if I can help you! 🙂

  6. goodbyevalentino June 12, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    This dress is so cute and fits you perfectly! Such a smart choice to select your size based on the finished pattern measurement. Which store did you find this fabric?

    • Susie Homemaker, MD June 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Thanks, Sarah. The fabric was purchased at Elliot Berman. Hope you’ve been doing some sewing 🙂

  7. Becki Chitwood June 12, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Love it. Great choice on the size, it fits perfectly.

  8. Glenda Ganus June 12, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Susie, the dress is awesome and looks great on you! How do you think this pattern would work for my plus size figure. You cuz, jgmganus PS: I am addicted to your site and in my down time I admire all you are able to accomplish. Once I finish the baby quilt I am working on I plan to attempt some actual sewing.

    • Susie Homemaker, MD June 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      Thanks, Glenda! I think this dress would look very pretty on you. If you google “McCalls 6559” and then click on images, you will see the same dress on lots of body types. Would love to see what you sew up 🙂

  9. Mary in FL June 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Oh, yes, I love long dresses. I like to wear long tank dresses with short-sleeved shirts, a’ la Coldwater Creek. Thanks for the reminder to use a center back seam to adjust for the sway. This dress is in my queue.

    • Susie Homemaker, MD June 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

      Thanks, Mary. Long dresses definitely are a versatile piece of the wardrobe. I look forward to seeing your version of the pattern!

  10. Rikki June 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Wow, this dress is fantastic! Looks very professional indeed, and you look amazing in it! Love your fabric choice 🙂 I have this pattern but have yet to use it. I find patterns with a curved centre-back seam always fit me better. I’ll have to adjust the tissue once I get around to using this one. Thanks for your great review! 🙂

    • Susie Homemaker, MD June 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

      Thank you, Rikki. You should definitely pull this pattern from your stash — it is a quick and satisfying make.


  1. 2013 in Review | Susie Homemaker, MD - January 1, 2014

    […] Knit Maxi – McCall’s 6559 […]

  2. McCall’s 6559 Again — Poster City | Susie Homemaker, MD - March 2, 2014

    […] have seen me in this pattern before but in the maxi length […]

  3. Me Made May 2014, Part 1 | Susie Homemaker, MD - May 13, 2014

    […] knit tank dress that was my muslin of McCall’s 6559 — you can see my other two versions here and here. I know this picture is crazy but I sent it as a joke to my office RN who HATES […]

  4. Me Made May 2014, Part 2 | Susie Homemaker, MD - June 1, 2014

    […] A day off spend running errands again. This is one of my favorite me-mades of all time — McCall’s 6559. I paired it with my jean jacket and some flower-adorned flip-flops. The necklace is from […]

  5. Megan Nielsen Eucalypt Tank | Jungle January | Susie Homemaker, MD - January 17, 2015

    […] garment and that perfect garment just never materialized. Sure, I have sewn some things that I really love and am very proud of, but I have not made many daily basics that work well for my usual routines. […]

  6. McCall’s 7121 | Stripe Matching Victory! | Susie Homemaker, MD - July 5, 2015

    […] know I love a good knit dress. Exhibits 1 and 2. And there are more that I haven’t even shown you but that make regular appearances in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: