Although I started this McCalls shirtdress towards the tail end of last summer, the weather turned cold before I finished it. It has been waiting patiently to have the buttonholes and buttons sewn and now I’m hoping to get plenty of wear out of it this summer. It was a super day – lovely and sunny but very windy! I didn’t have many photos where my hair wasn’t all over the place or the skirt was plastered to my legs. I took the photos at Threave Castle just outside Castle Douglas:
McCalls M7351 – Last year was definately the year of the shirtdress and the pattern companies responded with some great patterns. McCall Pattern Company did a shirtdress sew-along last year which had plenty of inspiration that you can look at on their blog. I used McCalls M7351 which comes with four options. I made version A but left all the patch pockets; instead I added the side seam pockets from view D.
This is a lovely pima cotton lawn called Strawberry Fields. It has a smooth finish and isn’t at all see-through; I’d say it is almost more of a poplin weight. It was so easy to work with and is really nice to wear. The print is busy enough that I didn’t bother with any pattern matching.
Construction was straightforward. I used the in-seam pockets from view D and made sure the top of the pockets were caught in the waist seam so they were supported and didn’t flop about. The armholes are finished with self made bias binding; the hem is finished with a pale grey pre-made bias binding, and the buttons are plain plastic red buttons.
The fit of M7351 is really good but I didn’t need the extra length to the bodice – as you can see my belt sits above the waist seam and I’m getting some excess fabric pooling in my lower back. I would normally make a 14C bodice so I’m getting a bit of gape at the front armhole. I could probably elimate on a future version by taking in this excess to the side and shoulder seam a bit (the photo below makes it look worse that I think/hope it is in real life!).
After wearing this for the day I have to say it is one of the most comfortable dresses I have. The skirt length is a bit longer than I normally make but I like it. It works perfectly with my red Lady Skater Cropped Sweater as well.
Total cost: £41.55
Fabric: 2.4m Strawberry Fields Cotton Lawn @ £12/m = £28.80
Pattern: McCalls M7351 = £8.75
Notions: Thread, buttons and bias = £4 (estimate)
When you visit Threave Castle through the season you can take a little boat trip across the river to the castle. They’ve got this cute bell set up to ring for the boat-keeper!