Thursday, May 9, 2013

McCalls 6696 - Another Shirtdress!

After cutting out my new Butterick coat, and working with the silk/wool blend Vogue dress largely on the bias, cutting out this shirtdress from quilting cotton seemed so easy and enjoyable!  I saw McCalls 6696, and was inspired by View B, the little pink dress in the upper left corner:
There were so many things about this pattern that made it the near-perfect shirtdress:  the skirt is pleated, rather than gathered, so the skirt lies more flat against the hips; the short sleeves cover but aren't too long; the front bodice has darts rather than gathers for a more flattering fit.

I made size 12 and the only alteration I made was to lengthen the skirt by an inch and quarter so the skirt covered my knee - I am weary of dresses that hit me mid-knee.  Either above the knee or below the knee, dear readers - anything else makes it look like you grew out of it last year.  So with my lengthening, the skirt ended up being 24.5 inches long.  Unfortunately, I failed to lengthen the front bands as well.  Rather than buy more fabric and cut two more bands, I just pieced the additional length to the front band pieces before attaching to the dress. I figured no one would notice, and still few would care.  I also omitted the side pockets to avoid extra bulk, as I usually do.  I added way more edgestitching to this dress than the instructions called for (which was exactly none).  I edgestitched the shoulder seams, collar, collarstand, front bands, and waistband. I think the edgestitching makes the dress more finished and pressing in the future easier.

My original plan (and it still is a plan) was to make a shirtdress from Liberty's Tana Lawn, but I haven't been able to find the absolute right fabric print yet.  Given that the Liberty lawn is $ 36 a yard, I won't use Liberty unless it is the end-all, be-all of Liberty lawns.  And since I haven't been able to find the Holy Grail of Liberty prints yet, I settled for four yards of "Bouquet Splendor" by Vicki Lynn Oehlke of Willowberry for Henry Glass fabrics (I'm reading the selvage as I type).  Four yards of "Bouquet Splendor" cost me about the same as one yard of Liberty lawn.

The collar is constructed with a separate collar stand, and it has been awhile since I've made a collar with a stand - my collar stand skills have gotten rusty (not that they were very well oiled!).  I used David Coffin's book instructions again which have you attach the stand to the shirt, and then the collar to the stand, rather than attaching the collar and the stand together, and then attaching the collar/stand business to your dress.  Doing Daivd Coffin's way gives you a better chance of a smooth stand and while mine wasn't perfect, I was pleased enough:

The back bodice, like my Easter dress, is made with gathers, rather than darts, so the back bodice bousens a bit:

I'd rather have darts for a smoother fit, but I have noticed that the more roomy your bodice, the smaller your waist looks!  Here's a close up that shows the fabric better, and shows a little gaposis at my waist; I might add an extra button on the waistband area if it bothers me:

I enoyed wearing this dress all day.  My plan was to wear it with a white linen blazer/jacket that I ordered, which never arrived, to make the outfit more business-like.  Today was finally the first day above 70 degrees, so today was the day for the first wearing, jacket or no jacket.  I got several compliments on the dress - all from women over 60 - but compliments nontheless!  I realize the style is a bit schoolmarm-ish, but I love it:

This dress is so ridiculously me, I know I'll wear it all summer!

In more exciting news, Mezmerina Atelier has nominated me for a Liebster award! I'm still ponding my answers to her questions and who I will nominate, but please go read her wonderful sewing blog.  Bruce is waiting for you!


Vicki W said...

So very you! Glad to see you making so many things with sleeves.

Audrey said...

I swear your dress is what made spring weather finally arrive in Richmond. Thanks! It is really pretty fabric and that style always look good on you.

Carlin said...

cotton shirt dress
looks not only beautiful but very casual and easy! very comfortable to wear!! Especially suitable for wear in summer, you can also go out shopping with a coat.that's amazing.