shorts and wrap top | mccalls 6689

a while ago i placed and received an order from and had ordered a smokey black with white polka dot cotton lawn. pretty sure i would classify it as a stretch poplin. not sure who is categorizing their inventory, but i think a lesson in fabric identification is in order. after getting it i wasn’t sure what to do with it. i only had a narrow yard, so it was destined to be a kid something. i did know that some khaki twill i had ordered was going to be shorts for my oldest daughter. i had mccalls 6689 on hand which includes a super cute wrap top/dress, a pair of slim pants, and a mini skirt. that, my friends, is a lot of pattern for one pattern envelope.


clearly the top/dress is the star of the show here, and the mini might be okay, but the pants are most definitely a throwaway pattern. the drafting is beyond terrible—there’s no way anyone tested it! so let’s talk about the pants first. i decided it would be cute to make the pants as slim knee-length shorts. she measured exactly the waist/hip for a size 7 so i went with it. these have an at-waist waistband, so i chopped off 1″ all the way around the top and adjusted the waistband to match.

PicMonkey shorts

i made them up and holy smokes are they poorly drafted! the front rise is way too long, and the back is way too short. a simple moving of the crotch seam forward would solve all this, and had anyone actually made them, this would be so very obvious. a size 6 would have been a much better fit, but it just doesn’t feel right sewing up a size 6 for a nine year old. i know we all love to hate on the big 4—and this is why. yeah, i’ll probably re-draft and adjust the pattern because i really like the idea of this pant, but jeez louise. test your flippin’ patterns. don’t just throw them out there thinking no one will actually try to make it!

somehow, all the fit issues aren’t readily obvious in these pics, and as it stands, she loves the shorts and sees nothing wrong with them. they will be worn (and have been worn many times already) but they could be so much better. final verdict: unless you plan on doing a muslin for those pants and know how to make crotch adjustments, STAY AWAY. just walk away. that pattern sucks.


on to the top… when i went to cut out the shorts it dawned on me that the cotton lawn stretch poplin would be a perfect match for the cute wrap top. of course after the debacle with the pants, i was hesitant to attempt the top. but, like i said before, clearly the pants were a throwaway pattern never intended to be made up, so i decided to give it a try. p.s. this top has a billion pieces! i had just enough fabric to squeeze it out of the one yard i had. i strayed from the pattern’s directions quite a bit though. it has the top fully lined (bodice, peplum/skirt, and sleeves!), and honestly i think that is just a lazy way out of  writing alternate directions for finishing a non-eyelet fabric. so instead of the lining, i used bias tape to finish the wrap edge and around the neck, and used the inside waistband piece to neatly finish the bodice and skirt seams.

photo 3

while the pants were quite large, the same size top is a great fit. maybe too good, i probably could have made the size 8, never minding that the last time i made her a size 8 of something it was practically falling off of her…. you never can tell how crazy the fit is going to be on kid patterns!


anyways, this top is super duper cute! and the girl loves the whole outfit. i may even do the dress version at some point because who doesn’t love a little DVF-inspired wrap?

—lisa g.

8 thoughts on “shorts and wrap top | mccalls 6689

  1. dokucug says:

    Wow, I’m kind of stunned that the pants pattern was so horrible. But you managed to get a great outfit out of the pattern, and if the girl is happy, that counts for a lot!

    • lisa g says:

      it was a bummer about the bad drafting, but i really should have known better! fortunately i can make some pattern adjustments for future makes, but sheesh. she’s not keen to tucking her shirts in, so for the most part it won’t be noticeable.

  2. K-Line says:

    Oh, she looks so darling in this outfit. I can’t see the bad drafting in those shorts. Whole outfit looks great. (Must be due to your great sewing!)

    • lisa g says:

      thank you! the ill-fit is more apparent with a shorter top, but for the most part no one would ever notice but me! and i chose not to post pics that highlighted the problem areas (think bulging in front, near-wedgie in back… not a good look).

  3. Shar says:

    It’s a shame about the shorts but the top more than makes up for it. I love polka dots and this is so cute (I really like the style)! Did you notice that your daughter’s first picture is right next to you profile pic and you are both doing the same pose – I love that!

  4. turtleandi says:

    This top is too cute. I clicked through to the McCall’s website to look at the size chart for kids patterns and I think I’m going to have to get this pattern. You said you don’t feel right sewing a size 6 for a 9 year old, try a size 12 for a 30+ year old!

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