Hi there everyone – it is summer dress time this week and after Indie Pattern Month I thought it might be time to sew some Big 4.
McCalls M6696 barely needs any introduction – it has been made by so many different bloggers – I love it in polka dots at Tabatha Tweedie, chambray at Make Something and of course liberty print at Dolly Clackett.
I have shown a complete lack or originality – swayed by a few weeks of sunshine I have basically sewn it exactly as it appears on the envelope! Usually you have to try to look beyond dodgy fabric choices on the pattern envelope – but I loved the white version (the pink one not so much..)This is my third project for White Tree Fabrics blog network. I wanted to try this beautiful white broderie anglais cotton. This fabric sews up like a dream; it presses beautifully, holds the pleats on the skirt really well and it is lightweight and breezy but not sheer.You can see some other projects using similar fabric here and here
I was undecided about whether to line this dress or if I would need a slip underneath it. In the end I decided not to line it because that would defeat the aim of making a really summery dress. I think it is fine without anything underneath – you would want to go for white or very light-coloured underwear but I think the pleats and pockets mean that it isn’t too easy to see through (feel free to tell me if you think I am wrong?)As this was my first time using this pattern I made a full muslin. Having looked at a lot of other versions online I decided to go down one size from where the pattern envelope would have put me and I also reduced the width of the back bodice piece by about an inch and a half to minimize the gathers. So I started with a size 12 shoulder and bust grading out to a 14 at the waist. After the muslin I reduced the width of the shoulders and the top of the arms down to a size 10 and I shortened the bodice by about half an inch. I could have skipped shortening the bodice so I was pleased with how little work the fitting needed.
It took about a week to sew this up – there are a lot of steps and quite a lot of hand stitching – the inside of the collar, waistband and front placket are all hand-stitched in place. You could avoid this by top stitching but I decided to follow the instructions this time.I am particularly pleased with the collar! I often find that I struggle to get the edges of the collar stand neat and this can result in a home-made look but I managed a really neat finish this time – possibly my best collar ever! My only slight niggle is that I need to do something to hold the waistband down – the buttons are just either side of it and it needs a little help to stop gaping there – I am planning to use Emmie’s cool hidden button trick.
I skipped the belt loops because I never wear belts and I didn’t put a buttonhole at the neckline because I won’t ever want to button it all the way up. Clearly I am now a sewing rebel…I am delighted with how this dress has turned out – I think it is possibly one of the best things I have ever made! Of course since I started sewing it we have had the coldest week of summer and it has rained pretty much non-stop. I had visions of getting photos of this in blazing sunshine (possibly in a corn field) but in the end I popped into the garden when it was a bit less grey than it has been. Luckily I will be going on holiday soon and this will get some wear in proper summer weather – hopefully accessorized with a tan, sunglasses and an ice cream! For now here is one of the last strawberries from our garden!Have I persuaded you that you need a perfectly summery shirt dress?
I received the fabric free of charge from White Tree Fabrics for this blog post. I purchased the pattern and other notions and all opinions are my own. Click here to follow White Tree Fabrics and receive a code for a 15% discount.