Finished: McCall’s M6885 Shirtdress and Beach Coverup

McCall's M6885 shirtdress and beach coverup as made by Meg Carter of McCall Pattern Company

We New Yorkers love to dress in black all year-round, but when it comes to beach coverups we break out the bright prints. I snatched up this floral cotton voile (from Mood Fabrics, no longer available) with the sole purpose of making it into a shirtdress-slash-coverup using McCall’s M6885.

McCall's M6885 shirtdress and beach coverup as made by Meg Carter of McCall Pattern Company

This is now the second time I’ve made this pattern, and I’m still really pleased with it. I like the fact that it’s a pullover, and I like the tab-placket feature.

McCall's M6885 shirtdress and beach coverup as made by Meg Carter of McCall Pattern Company

A couple of notes:

  • I sewed View B, adding the sleeves from View D.
  • This pattern has a center front pleat that starts just below the tab. For me, I felt this pleat gave the dress a smidge more fullness than I was comfortable with. So I pressed the pleat and just stitched it in place. This eliminated the extra fullness and visually broke up the print, which I think makes the front of the dress more interesting. The next time I sew this pattern I’ll probably omit the pleat.
  • I skipped the sleeve tabs, mostly out of laziness, but I’m not really a sleeve-tab person anyway.
  • I edge-stitched rather than topstitched. And edge-stitching is so much easier than topstitching anyway.
  • Some people who’ve made this pattern have noted that the sleeves are a bit on the narrow side, and I think they’re probably right, though I’m fine with the sleeves as is. If you think you might have trouble in this area, just measure the sleeves (width) of a shirt that fits and compare that measurement with the pattern piece’s width.
  • A tutorial on how to sew the placket in this pattern can be found here.
  • It might have been fun to play around with contrasting collar and placket—maybe a small black gingham, for example.
  • I added a back facing, which I drafted using the back pattern piece. This facing adds support to the neckline area; plus, I just like the way it looks, inside and out. (photo below)

McCall's M6885 shirtdress and beach coverup as made by Meg Carter of McCall Pattern Company

McCall's M6885 shirtdress and beach coverup as made by Meg Carter of McCall Pattern Company

Bottom line: Surf’s up! I want to sew this pattern again for the fall, maybe in silk like this dress. How are you coming with your shirtdresses? #shirtdresssewalong

We’ve been sewing since 1863.

  1. Meg: your blog is outstanding. the prose is clear, the photos are engaging, and your writing is pitched at just the right level. i’m learning new sewing techniques in real time from your blog and so enjoy it. Please continue perhaps with fall/winter jackets that include linings. Thank you very much.

    1. Thank you, Angela! I really appreciate your compliment. Thanks for being a reader!

    2. Yes a jacket or coat with lining….scared to death of lining…….YIKES!

  2. This turned out so well, I really like the facing detail you added and stitching the pleat was a great idea.

  3. I really like the fabric you used for this dress! Did you line it?

    1. Thanks, Elena! No, I did not line it because that would have made it too heavy to wear as a lightweight beach coverup. This particular voile isn’t that transparent anyway.

  4. Oh boy a success…..the fabric is FANTASTIC…..and makes the dress, just enough details to be happy with, but that fabric is a succcess in any make! Where did you get it, is that a fair question….hope so.
    All my company has left plan to get out my shirtdress fab and this pattern out! Today!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. That came out lovely I love the print!

  6. How did you prevent the hem from rolling? Did you consider facing the hem? It looks wonderful and your handling of a very large print inspires me to try!

    1. Hi Mary, and thanks! Before I stitched the hem I basted it in place. This gave me some control and kept the hem from stretching and rolling.

  7. Meg,
    Your dress turned out beautifully. Gorgeous fabric!
    I’m getting ready to cut my fabric and I’ve realized I’d like to remove the pleat, as well. I’ve folded it out of my pattern piece, which narrows and flattens the front skirt section, but I’m unsure how I am to handle the top front. With the pleat folded out, the sides of the neck, where the placket attaches, butt up against each other until the top, where they curve out a bit. I still need to leave that 1 1/2″ space, right? I’m having a hard time visualizing this, and would appreciate any help. Thanks!

    1. Hi! Removal of the pleat won’t affect anything else. I wrote a tutorial about attaching the placket. It’s on the blog. Take a look at it before you go further. Good luck!

      1. Oh, okay. So, cut the front piece, as is – don’t fold out the pleat. Attach the placket (really great instructions, btw), and just don’t do the pleat.
        The shirting I chose for the dress has a little bit of body, and I feel that a pleat there in the front is just going to look bulky.

      2. Hey Meg. Just wanted to report back, in case anyone else reads the comments before starting a project, and in case you do, in fact, wish to make a version of this dress without the pleat under the placket. Do not cut the front piece as written if you wish to remove the pleat; you do have to fold it out, or the two sides of your placket aren’t going to overlap to button.
        Also, it’s a good reminder to myself to always make a muslin!
        Good luck!

        1. Hi Nicole! I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to reply to your comment over the weekend. If you ever have questions about our patterns or how to do something pertaining to them, you can always send an email to, or call 1-800-782-0323. Our help hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm ET. Hope everything is going along well for this pattern. —Meg

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