After I finished my first McCalls 6696 Shirt Dress last year, I knew I wanted to make up some other versions. Time got away from me, good thing it did, as I finally found the perfect fabric to use for my second version.
I bought this novelty print from Emma One Sock sometime last year (I think). I didn’t have a pattern in mind for it at the time so it just sat around in my stash. I love the print, but didn’t realize the print was on a taupe/flesh tone background; not such a good pairing for a my pale skin-tone. But this spring, I didn’t seem to care anymore and knew it would be the perfect, light-weight cotton match for this pattern.
I really wish I could find a vintage shirt dress pattern that fits as well as this modern McCalls pattern does. I’ve tried over and over again to sew vintage 50’s shirt dresses but they never seem to turn out right. At least the novelty print gives it a more vintage flare, which feels more like me.
No shirt dress is complete without pockets. :D
Although you can’t see it in the images… I modified the waistband piece so that it’s easier to alter and fit.
The one thing that I always disliked about this pattern is the the waistband is one continuous piece around the body. Which means, if you ever need to take in/out at the waist, you have to disassemble the entire dress & button band in the front – which is totally NEVER going to happen!
So I made my waistband into 3 pieces: one back and two fronts – with a side seam at either side. That way, I can easily take in/let out the side seams to re-fit this dress.
As a side note: I actually do this modification now on nearly every dress & skirt I make. I know the waistband isn’t clean with a side seam, but practicality is always a win for me! And I do find my garments just fit better when I have that side seam as I’m curvy with a short waist.
And guess what?? I already have taken in the side seams before the first wearing!! Felix and I have been consciously eating better and as a result I’ve lost a bit of weight. (YAAAYYY!) What’s sad is that between the time I stitched this up to when I was adding on the buttons two weeks later, I found the waistband didn’t fit anymore.
So I unpicked the inside waistband finish, took in the side seams, restitched the inner waistband again and voila, a dress that fits once again.
I decided my dress needed some more flair, so I added this little pocket to the right bodice front.
Dark brown vintage buttons – directly from my time at the Paris Flea market.
Last but not least – I finally have a backdrop in my own backyard for photos! I know its just a plain old fence, but it’s a huge improvement for us! And my empty hanging basket has already been rectified with some pretty purple petunias.
Cheers & Happy Sewing!