McCalls 6923 summer playsuit

Floral romper

You can tell it’s getting warmer here – I have summer sewing on my mind! I’ve been hankering after some more shorts and culottes because I find them much easier to wear than skirts. After yet another failed attempt at the Tania culottes (this pattern just looks horrible on me, I have accepted it now) I cast my net a bit further and found this cute thing.

Floral romper

It’s McCalls 6923, a sweet romper and babydoll dress with skirt and culotte variations. Like usual, looking past the horrible envelope fabric options was required (though I like the idea of a lace-overlay bodice version) but from the line drawings I could see that this would be a handy little pattern to have. My main issue with the Tanias is that there is just too much fabric in there, but these have just enough fullness to create a skirt effect without being a ridiculous full circle on each leg.

Floral romper

I made the culotte version up in a fabric from my stash, a light drapey viscose print bought from Fabricland in Brighton. I knew I wanted to play with the direction of the floral stripes, and even though I barely had enough fabric I managed to make a nice placement across the bodice, sleeves and shorts. This fabric was really nice to work with and feels lovely and cool to wear. I spritzed it with spray starch before cutting and sewing the hems for a bit of extra stability: this stuff is my new sewing BFF, it really helps to give floaty fabrics a bit more body and crispness where needed as well as preventing any shifting around.

Floral romper

It’s a quick and easy sew, though I didn’t really follow the instructions as I have my own weird methods for doing linings and zips by now. The fit is alright, but I’m going to make some improvements for next time. It’s too wide across the shoulders and upper back, and my sway lower back is doing its usual weird things to the waistline. For a casual summer romper I can deal with it though. There is a (pink!) CB zip in there, no close up as I did a really bad job with it. I’m going to take it out and re-do it. My only beef with rompers is that you really need a zip as you can’t pull the crotch over your head, ha ha.

Floral romper

Did you notice this boo-boo yet? – due to a silly cutting mistake, I had to piece the bodice to make it longer. Luckily I had an off-cut of just the right size and pattern position to fit in quite seamlessly. How often does that happen?!

Floral romper
Floral romper

The (original-length) bodice is lined in a very lightweight stretch mesh, because I wanted to add barely any warmth/bulk but to get the nice clean neckline edge that a lining creates. Again, I spray-starched the mesh to make it easier to work with. I bought a bunch of this mesh from Rolls n Rems in white and navy as it’s a handy lining to have around for summer frocks.


I can tell this playsuit is a winner because it got thrown into rotation as soon as it was off the sewing machine. In a stroke of good timing, I went to pick up my rather matchy-matchy shiny new bike from Nissa today, and gave the playsuit a road-test in the process. It performed admirably, staying happily in place for my little test spin to Clerkenwell and back home. Now to sew an army more rompers to take me through summer!

PS If I tempted you by the Zippy Top pattern, there is 40% off See Kate Sew’s shop until Saturday with the code SUMMER.

23 thoughts on “McCalls 6923 summer playsuit

  1. AvatarGinger

    This is so cute! I have to confess to a certain amount of fear of playsuits, but you look great and not too twee. The bicycle is so gorgeous, too- happy riding!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      I felt EXTREMELY twee tootling round on my matching bike and romper. At least I didn’t have a wicker basket full of flowers or anything.

  2. AvatarUte

    This looks so lovely! Great use of the flower stripes and the piecing looks totally intentional (and is nearly invisible!) I have shied away from rompers because of the bathroom situation but you have me rethinking it….
    And I would really appreciate it, if you could show how you make your sway back alteration, maybe just a picture of the altered pattern piece.

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Yes, I’ll share any amends I make for the next version. Yeah the bathroom situation is a small pain, especially since I just swapped in an invisible back zip with hook and eye. Next time maybe a side zip!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Yes, it’s a great pattern. Once I’ve fixed those small fit issues I’ll definitely be using it again!

  3. AvatarJenna

    I love it! The stripe placement is amazing. I have also fallen in love with your bike, I now have bike envy! (I confess to having a twee basket on the front of my bike but it is never filled with flowers!)

  4. Avatarhelen siddon

    Love the playsuit, It’s fabulous and perfectly practical! I’ve made two pairs of culottes from an eighties Simplicity pattern. I work on a gardening project so they are a great alternative to shorts. I’ve been tempted to try the Tania’s but might give this pattern ago as it’s worked so beautifully for you!

  5. AvatarNissa

    My bike is famous!!! Plus I can vouch for the loveliness of this play suit other readers. Am currently trying to convince my boy that this is a good idea and super useful for cycling in, using your photos. He almost agreed! You’ll get used to feeling a bit twee – the bike gets complements a lot (people have stopped me at traffic lights to ask)-I’d avoid a wicker basket tho. I’ll now by overlooking seams before sewing and using spray starch, great tips. Bye Bobbin Blue…

  6. AvatarSally

    So cuuuuuuuute! I love the fabric you chose – the added part is perfect! I really like the idea of this play suit pattern! I felt the same way about the Tania’s, but this looks so cute! :)

  7. AvatarKaty

    This is so gorgeous, I was thinking of making culottes recently or a playsuit, and this might just have to be the pattern I try. You look amazing in it, and I love the different stripe directions! And your bike :)

  8. AvatarFiona

    Gorgeous! I’m very tempted to try this pattern now. I can’t see where you pieced together the bodice at all! Great tip about the stretch mesh too, I might have to pick me up some of that!

  9. AvatarBec

    Lovely! And that bike looks pretty awesome too! Definitely tempted with the Zippy top. I wondered if I needed another top pattern after the Grainline Scout, but I think you’ve won me over with the nice facings!

  10. AvatarSarah

    It’s rather cute, especially with the bike. I agree, no Peter Pan collars or flowers in your basket and you’ll be chic rather than twee! Wish I lived in a part of the world that wasn’t so hilly – I need gears like a pro cyclist to even get out of my street…..

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