Liza's Vintage Pledge Project: The Disaster Dress

Liza blogs at The Vintage Knitter and is a freelance writer specialising in all things vintage who loves nothing more than a rummage in the charity shops - a lady after my own heart! In addition to her vintage knitting skills, she sews up vintage patterns too, dating from the 1940s to the 1980s:
Pattern Details
It's a McCall's 6334 pattern dating from 1978. Its in two versions: maxi or midi length with a gathered bodice and shoulders, v-neck, loose tie belt and a choice of either cap sleeves or bishop-style sleeves with elasticated cuffs. I decided to sew 'Dress A', the maxi length one.
What attracted you to this pattern?
I was browsing on Etsy for maxi dresses and came across this pattern - it was love at first sight. The length, belt and waist details, skimmed sleeves and v-neck are all dress characteristics that made it attractive to me. I usually wear maxis, so was pretty sure that this dress would suit my height (5'7") and body shape (curvy).
Fabric and Notions 
I'm a big fan of novelty prints and this unusual cowboy print fabric fitted the bill as its lightweight polyester and I love the colours in it. I brought it for about £2 per metre at Abakhan in Preston and it was lucky it was so cheap as according to the pattern I needed 4.5 metres of it! I also used a 55cm zip and medium weight interfacing.
Sewing it Up 
Cutting out the skirt pieces was a faff as they're quite long and it was a bit fiddly sewing them up as I couldn't get the tension right on my machine as even using a fine needle, my seams were still turning out puckered. I had problems fitting the zip too as, which is my usual sewing weakness.Otherwise, it was relatively straightforward to sew; the only other tedious bit was hand-stitching the hem but I thought it would be worth it to have an 'invisible' hem.
Final Verdict
After all that sewing and trying it on throughout the process, I hate the final dress. Its not flattering and I feel 'urgh' wearing it. I think that the heavily gathered waist doesn't help. If I was going to sew this again (which I'm not!) I wouldn't make the waist not so gathered and probably use a slightly heavier weight fabric to give more of a drape. I'll be sending the dress off to our local fabric recycling centre as it'll be more use there than relegated to the dark depth of my wardrobe, and as the old saying goes 'Out of sight, out of mind'!

Thanks Liza! I love both the pattern and fabric you used but what a disappointment that you didn't like the finished dress (I should point out that Liza named this project - not me!). I know that happens to to all of us though, more than we would like to admit, so keep stitching and I am sure that your next project will be a roaring success

K x 


  1. To me your dress looks lovely but know if it doesn't feel right then it will never get worn, there's a lot of that cool fabric in the skirt, enough to make a top or skirt, shame to waste it.

  2. I love it! But I get it. The pattern cover art implies a gored skirt with more shape than gathering and the pattern clearly isn't like that.

    1. Indeed, a pattern illustration full of promise! Once you have a project like this that you know you can just never learn to love, it's really cathartic to just get rid of all traces too.

  3. Thank you everyone for all your kind comments :-)

  4. Liza's done a blinding job and doesn't half look gorgeous! I love that quirky print and I'd definitely snap up that pattern if I spotted it in a charity shop. xxx


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