A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

Blue Leopard Blouse: McCall's 6606 Review (Throwback Post)

This week's post is a major throwback. Since I've been going through a few of my old projects, I recently remembered this project and figured it was worth a blog post. During the summer of 2012, I made a blouse using McCall's 6606. It was the summer after I gradauted from high school, and at the time I was pretty happy with how it turned out. In this post, I'll discuss the sewing process, materials used, and review the pattern.

I know I've said this about other throwback projects, but this is one of the few projects I made at the time that I was actually happy with, and it encouraged me to keep sewing. However, there are several flaws found within the shirt that I'll discuss below.

Also, even though I took some recent pictures of me wearing this blouse, I actually photographed this blouse back in 2012 when I made it. So, this post will contain a mix of old and new photos.


Every time I try to take an up-close photo of this fabric with my phone it makes the light blue background look white. 

I found all the materials at Hancock Fabrics back in 2012. I still miss Hancock so much!! Although I'm normally not a huge fan of animal prints, I was smitten by this print that I found in one of the discount sections- I believe it was less than $5 a yard. McCall's patterns were on sale the same day (I miss those frequent 99 cent sales too!), so I found the fabric and contrast black fabric on the same day. For the buttons, I used 1/2 inch cover buttons to match the fabrics.

Unfortunately, I no longer remember anything about the fiber content of these fabrics. I believe the animal print is likely a synthetic blend. It feels smooth to the touch and has a very light sheen. It does feel less breathable than a cotton, however, so I'd guess its a twill woven poly-cotton mix. (Although I may be completely wrong about that!)

I did find the fabric to be easy to work with. This was one of my first few times working with a more "slippery" fabric, but it actually went much smoother than expected. It gave me confidence moving forward!


McCall's 6606, published in 2012, is a now out-of-print pattern for four variations of a button down top. The shirts are loose-fitting, feature a button placket down the center front, and a front and back yoke. There are two collar options, a normal stand collar and a peter pan stand collar. Other than that, the shirts vary based on shirt and sleeve length. I made View A, which has long sleeves, a normal length, a pointed stand collar, and contrast cuffs, placket, and collar. The pattern also includes an optional belt an neck tie to match the blouse.

I found the construction of the blouse to be fairly simple and straightforward. The pattern is marked as an Easy pattern, and I think this is probably true. If it's your first time making a button down shirt (like it was for me), I think this would be a good place to start! I found the instructions for how to sew the cuff buttons and create the button placket easy to follow, even though I had never done this previously.

As far as sizing is concerned, there is definitely quite a bit of ease. Some of this is likely due to the purposefully loose fit, but I also believe the pattern sizing is a bit oversized. I made a size 14 (which is actually a little smaller in the waist measurement than I actually am), and the shirt could easily fit me plus some. I think this oversized-ness is visible in the old photos where it became untucked very easily.


This blouse truly taught me about the dangers of too much interfacing, and I have erred on the side of using less ever since.  I applied interfacing to the collar stand, as per the instructions, but found that this made the stand incredibly thick. This is not a problem on its own, but I had a terrible time trying to sew a buttonhole into it. My machine couldn't sew through it very well, and I ended up with half of a lumpy buttonhole on top of the correct one that can't be removed. It's also difficult to use the top button now. This is okay because it's completely normal and acceptable to leave the top button open, but, as someone who enjoys being fully buttoned up, it's quite irritating. You might even be able to get away with no interfacing here, depending on your fabric choices.

When I looked inside this blouse after some time, I was also shocked to find that I hadn't finished the inside seams in any way. Looking back now, I probably would have used French seams for the side seams and the sleeve seams, and a mock French seam for the armhole. Or I could have serged it. I had never used a serger before, and I was still a bit unaware of different techniques. Ultimately, despite these flaws, the shirt is still wearable and I enjoy it.


In 2012, I originally styled the top with a headband bow, a black skirt, and Missoni for Target block heels. The black skirt was from ModCloth and was titled the "Picnic and Choose" Skirt. I actually recently sold the skirt. Even though I liked it, it was lacking in the structure that I now prefer.

Looking back now, this outfit is definitely similar to the styles I wore in 2012. I frequently wore bows and feminine fit-and-flare styles. (I still do to a certain extent). My hair has naturally gotten a bit darker since 2012, so looking through these old photos has made me want to spend more time outside. I'm a daily sunscreen user and hat wearer though, so I'm not sure I'd actually do this. Also, seeing the shorter layers in my hair makes me think I wouldn't mind trimming my hair a little shorter again.

When I recently styled this blouse, I chose to pair it instead with my American Apparel black tennis skirt and black flatform sandals (from Payless a few years ago). This is definitely more true to my current style over the last couple years. I haven't worn this shirt as much as I'd hoped for over the years, because I find the colors a bit difficult to style. But I do hope to get more use out of it after styling it with the black tennis skirt.


Thank you so much for reading this far! Overall, I would recommend this pattern. It is a relatively normal button-up shirt pattern that may be more forgiving size-wise if you're a beginner. The instructions are free from error and are relatively easy to follow. If you have some sewing experience under you belt, I would recommend this pattern (even though it is now technically out of print). As I said before, using this pattern was my first time sewing a button-down shirt, and I found the experience rewarding. I would definitely recommend using a lightweight interfacing with the seam allowances removed to avoid the problems I had with bulky interfacing.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments down below. Thanks for reading!

To see more of my McCall pattern reviews, click here.

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