What could be better than shirtdress in cool Liberty Tana Lawn to wear in this very hot weather we having in the UK. I bought this fabric from a sale at Alice Caroline last year. Occasional Alice Caroline hold a sale from their stone barn studio on the edge of the Cotswolds.
I have lots of shirt dress patterns but I wanted a quick sew and cut out a Maria Denmark Edith dress on Sunday, finished sewing the buttons on Monday after work and wore it to work on Tuesday and it was very cool and comfortable to wear.
I just met the deadline this morning to join in with the #sewingtogetherforsummer on instagram.
I didn’t have enough of this fabric for a shirtdress but I did have for a blouse version of the Edith pattern.
PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA
PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA
I can definitely recommend Liberty Tana Lawn as lovely cool fabric for hot weather. I am off to cool down, this laptop is sooo hot on my legs!
Back in November I finally joined a sewing challenge, The Autumn of 1000 Shirtdresses hosted by Mary over at Idle Fancy, I have fallen in love with shirtdresses and have already made 2 versions of McCalls 6696, which you can see here.
Inspired by this 1970’s book that suggests a shirt dress for evening wear. I decided to make view D again but with long sleeves, a sheer version with a slip to go underneath.
I bought the fabric from a little shop in Ryde on the Isle of Wight a couple of years ago and since then it’s been languishing in my stash, it was described in the shop as Crepe de Chine and I think £5 a metre. It’s very delicate, and sheer fabric.
The photos really don’t do justice to the fabric but it’s so hard to take photos at this time of year when the light is so bad. I have really struggled to get decent photos, but there was no way I was going to venture outside with the camera, it’s far too cold!
There is a lot of work involved in this dress, a lot of hand sewing and all the seams are French, thank goodness the deadline was postponed, twice!
The shirtdress truly is a dress for any occasion.
I have not had much time to sew lately but by squeezing in an hour here and there I have managed to sew two versions of McCalls 6696, the first as a wearable muslin, I made no alterations to the pattern. The only thing I am not happy about is the neck, which is too big, when taking body measurements I never thought about measuring my neck, turns out my neck is 4 cm smaller than my dress forms smallest size!
For version two I reduced the neck but its still a little too big, so if I make this again I will reduce the neck a little more. Many bloggers have mentioned the “poofy” back of the bodice, for the second version I reduced the amount of fabric to be gathered to eliminate a lot of the poofyness, but keeping the essence of the design.
Dress number 2 went together reasonably well until I attempted a buttonhole, I have made quite a few shirts recently and dress number 1 with no buttonhole issues at all. As I always do I tested the buttonhole on a scraps of fabric, two layers and and the interfacing and the button holes were fine. As soon as I started on the dress the machine would stitch the left had side of the button hole and just continue to stitch in the same place and not make the right hand side of the buttonhole, unpicking a button hole is a nightmare, apart from the damage to the fabric. After a lot of swearing, moaning and more swearing I went to bed in a very bad mood.
Having given it some thought the only thing I could think was maybe it was the thickness of the band was causing a problem, although it didn’t feel bulky. So after some unpicking, trimming, layering and restitching I was ready to try again. With some trepidation I attempted to make the first buttonhole, at last success!!
Fabric used: Blue chambray – John Lewis
I love this pattern and the result is an easy to wear, versatile dress.
Think I am going to have a rest from collars and buttonholes for a while!