McCalls 6887 Impressionist Dress

Posted | 0 comments

Impressionist Fabric ArtRS

Impressionist Fabric


When I stumbled across some fabric at Joann’s (no I was not drinking!), for whatever reason, I saw it as perfect for making this  McCall’s 6887 dress.





So what does the fabric look like? Well, the picture below is it.




When my son, Jared, saw it, he said it looked like impressionist fabric! My mind was whirling away as I heard him say this… the word was familiar, it had to do with art, but who was I kidding. I never paid attention to the art part of any lecture in my college classes. Nothing is worse than when one of your children seems to have one up on you; so I decided I better investigate and educate myself quickly!  Because I like to share, I’m going to present a cliff notes version of what I learned. A glass of wine to sip while perusing my ramblings would fit in nicely about now! Hint Hint!



In the early 1860’s four young painters met while studying under a Swiss artist, Charles Gleyre. They were Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille. They were all interested in painting landscape scenes but wanted to accomplish this by paying less attention to details, instead using lighter brush strokes and brighter colors. It is said that at an exhibit, a reviewer-humorist Louis Leroy, who wrote his criticism in the Le Charivari newspaper, coined the word “Impressionist” from Monet’s painting entitled Impression Sunrise. He said that he considered Monet’s work to be nothing more than unfinished sketches.

He sarcastically wrote:

Impression- I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it… and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than that seascape.


What an A-hole right!  Below is that picture, Impression Sunrise, Louis Leroy was speaking of.


Claude Monet Impression Sunrise


Anyways, Impressionist art depicts scenes where there is less definition and specificity, with the intention of portraying an image that leaves some of the perception to the viewer.


Please keep in mind that my son is not an “art nerd”… he’s a “history nerd!  He’ll probably have some interesting words to describe me if he happens to read this particular blog article!


Since I’ve now talked a wee bit about Monet, I think I’ll go one step further and share one of his pictures that I think resembles my fabric. It is entitled “Garden at Bordighera, Impression of Morning” by Claude Monet, 1884.


Claude Monet Impression of Morning


One thing for sure, I’ve concluded that I most definitely made an Impressionist dress but not because of the fabric,  but rather because I was less focused on detail, and instead paying more attention to the bright colors of the fabric!  I was so mesmerized by it during the construction process, I don’t think my brain was functioning properly.  There were tell-tale signs when I made my bodice muslin but I guess I was too eager to sew my Impressionist fabric!


The afterthought… should have made the whole damn dress out of muslin first and then I probably would have made something different out of my precious fabric!  There were a number of problems. Here is the list:


1) The band across the back seemed a smidge too high when I put on my muslin, showing my bra strap but my thinking was that after I sewed the skirt to the actual bodice, its weight would pull it down. WRONG!




2) After finishing the bodice, I discovered that the shoulders had a weird curve that caused them to not lay right over my shoulders.  So I would do what any creative soul would, I cut off the outer curve portion of the straps, AFTER I removed under-stitching seams and stitching seams.  All that time and work and I was redoing it!  This did not set well for me! In the end, the shoulders still aren’t right! In the picture, they do extend wider in the back and that’s what I slimmed down! I think I’m starting to hate this dress!




3) Attached the skirt and discovered that the back waist was 2 inches to much and sagged down my back.  Lots of cussing commenced at this point!  Since I had already put in the zipper this meant tearing it back out for my adjustments!  More work!




4) When I was done hemming the skirt and skirt lining, I held my breath as I tried it on…the stinking back waist was still to big! I took 2 INCHES out of the center back!  To top it off, the left shoulder was still doing something weird (probably because I have a weird left shoulder!) and the cross strap in the back did not cover my bra strap!


I left my sewing room, gulped down a glass of wine, and decided that I would sew elastic on the seam allowance in the back waist and call it good.  Maybe when it’s 90 degrees I’ll wear it because it will feel cool on my back and everyone else will be so hot that they won’t pay attention to my wardrobe malfunctions!


Well I guess I better get this over with.  I decided to do a photoshoot in my backyard.  It’s beautiful outside and after a long winter indoors, I plan on spending as much time as I can outside!


Here it is!




Here is a view of the back which I am going to do some more work on but decided to share it and then tear apart later so I could get this posted! (Part of my bra strap in the back popped out – I didn’t Photoshop it out. This is one of the problems!




And just because…




Honestly, I did like the pattern and the instructions were easy to follow but because of the styling in the back of the dress, I sort of failed at getting it to fit properly so a word to the wise, be careful with this one!


Almost forgot… remember the picture at the very beginning of this post? Well that’s fabric for my next dress! Wish me luck!

Salut, Jessica

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *