McCalls 6504 sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Sewing Projects

Leopard Mullet Hem // McCalls 6504 Sewing Pattern

While in Toronto a few weeks ago, I did the thing that sewists do when traveling: find the fabric district. Queen West has lots of great fabric stores; I found a good mix of cramped, crammed, cheap dives and higher end boutiques. One store in particular specialized in silk, which I generally find exceptionally difficult to find – their printed silks made me cry a little bit.

As much as I have been sewing lately, I haven’t made the switch to higher end textiles yet. Silk is so expensive, and I’m terrified of ruining a beautiful textile that FREAKING CATERPILLARS SECRETE FROM THEIR HEADS. Also, I’m the newly emancipated child of momma H&M and Daddy Forever 21. I may not be suckling at that teat anymore but I’m used to the polyester milk (wow, that metaphor reeeally got away from me). All this to say – I don’t mind a synthetic fabric. So while I was crying about being too poor/scared to sew with silk, I stumbled on this perfect mini animal print which was within my price range.

This print reminds me a lot of the one I used here. I think I love animal prints because they almost act as a neutral – a great base for adding colour. Also, I had been hunting for a fabric for a particular dress. When McCall’s released this pattern this season I immediately added it to my wishlist and ordered it during one of their frequent online sales (Sidenote: McCall’s/Vogue seems to have great sales pretty frequently where you can get patterns from $1.99 – $3.99. I assumed Simplicity followed the same model but the last “sale” they had was pretty sad. I think patterns were $9.99. Does anyone know if and/or when Simplicity has good sales?). 

It is a similar silhouette to my last project – scoop neck, vertical seams, full skirt, although I didn’t realize at the time how similar the patterns were. What made me snap it up was the longer hem in the back – so floaty and pretty. This “mullet” style as Lladybird so beautifully put it, is crazy flattering for your legs and I think puts a nice spin on a traditional shape. However, you really HAVE to wear heels with this dress. I am the valedictorian of the Never Ever Wear Flats With a Midi Skirt school (even if it’s only half a midi). Makes your calves look like tree stumps.

McCalls 6504 sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns
McCalls 6504 sewing pattern // Closet Case PatternsMcCalls 6504 sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns
McCalls 6504 sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns
McCalls 6504 sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns

Went neon with the zipper and belt (see? animal prints ARE a neutral!) and accessorised with my new favourite necklace. Muchos gracias to Sophie at Cirque du Bebe for reminding me of this tutorial for the gold-chain “collar” necklace. She looked so darn cute in hers, I went and whipped up one for me and my bff on her birthday.

Some shots of the inside. I serged the seams with some red for pretty contrast. I think I’m going to start doing this more frequently – I like the little flash of colour on the inside.

McCalls 6504 sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns

Zola wanted to get in the picture (or smell my feet):

 McCalls 6504 sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns

Leopard Mullet Hem:
Pattern: McCalls 6504
Total Cost: $25 for fabric, had notions in the stash
Time to Make: 8-9 hours to whip up, but a few episodes of Mad Men to hand hem that monster

  • Oh,I am loving this! I’ve always feared the mullet- thinking the hem will show all wonky, but you have stomped on that myth- with very nice shoes, I might add- Lovely dress!

    • Thanks love. There is a funny story about these shoes involving a really aggressive Italian shoe salesman who wanted me to buy a really ugly Jersey Shore pair instead.

  • gorgeous.. i love the cut and i love the print

    • Thanks! And hello AWESOME BLOG! Adding to blog roll…. now.

  • Amy

    Such a cook look – especially the leopard print paired with that zipper. I’m a big fan of mullet hems, so this pattern has been on my wishlist…

    • Get it! I’ll definitely make it again, maybe in something light, solid and pink?

  • Oooh, that is truly gorgeous!! I adore the hemline, and that fab neon zip… awesomely cool details!!
    Thank you for your lovely comment on my Mum’s kimono and I will be sure to pass your kind words along. She will be thrilled to have received so many compliments!

  • Gasp! Leopard print! Mullet hem! Neon zipper confection perfection!! I LOVE this dress! I’ve been eyeing the same pattern, but you just did it so much cooler than I ever could! I’m a pretty big fan of the mullet hem myself – a little fluttery nonsense at the back of the legs makes one feel very purdy!

    • “So much cooler”, yeah right Sallie “Everything I touch is gold”.

  • Bri

    Your dress looks amazing on you, bravo! My friend and I call these mullets too so I laughed when I saw you doing the same thing! I really like the neon zipper, that was a super fun touch. The chain collor necklace is really cool, I’m going to check that out for more info!

    • That necklace took 15 minutes and cost $4! DO IT!

  • Amy

    Oh this is fab. That neon zipper is so perfect… and it won’t take you long to get addicted to sewing silk. I love mullet hems! They do wonders, but you’re so right about the midi tree-stump-without-heels. Actually anything that’s not a maxi makes me tree-stumpy.

    • I’m hoping to find some silk in NYC in a few weeks. I need to just get over my fear already.

  • Amazing!! Seriously digging the dipped hem and the neon zipper aaaaand your inspired metaphor AND the red overlocking (my serged seams are all red too but mainly because I can’t face changing the threads!). Beautiful and sexy.

    • Thanks love! Have you learned the trick to easily change your threads? Just cut the thread and tie the new colour to your old one!

    • Thanks for the tip!! It’s a fine line of love and hate between my serger and me… I’m sure this will help our relationship enormously! xxx

  • The dress looks great! The high low hem and all the pops of color keep it from looking trashy, which leopard print can look like sometimes. And I can’t believe I’m reading that you’re a newly convert to silk. Although I don’t mind using/buying polyester, sewing natural fabrics is so much easier. They pucker so much less than man-made fabrics!

  • This is so fun! I am thinking about making this pattern but I’m not totally sure about the high low hem. Your version may have just convinced me!