Hello, Lovely People! I have a couple of posts backlogged but I wanted to get this one in by the deadline. There are a few reasons why I chose to make a Shirtdress for August. The first one is that Ruqayyah started a Facebook group and the first sewalong for the group was a Shirtdress. Second, Michelle contacted me about working together for the TMS challenge this month (Two is the Magic Number). She suggested we make the same pattern or different patterns but the same fabric or any other combination.
First let me say, I was honored because I'm still surprised that people actually read my blog! Plus Michelle is the winner of the Rippin' Ain't Easy sewing competition run by PrettyGirlsSew as well as one of the judges for the 2nd round of The Super Online Sewing Match run by Sew Mama Sew.
I more than happily accepted and suggested we make Shirtdresses out of African Print fabric. We decided on McCall's 6124, picked a day to meet and set off to make our garments! The deal was done!
We obviously chose view E of the pattern which is the dress. I didn't particularly feel like learning how to correctly sew a collar with very limited time so I just did the collar option from View A. I also decided that I would ditch the sleeves, 1 because it's still summer and 2 because I didn't have time to learn cuffs either lol.
I got this fabric from Jenese while we were planning the N&F Sew Social Meetup (will link when posted). I originally had an orange and black fabric I was going to use but the print design was WAY too big to be matching up with all of the princess seams that this pattern has. This fabric was just a series of vertical stripes and I found it easier to pick and choose what colors I wanted to stand out. In the end I chose the blue to be the accent color.
I used the blue in the fabric for the button placket as well as the mandarin-style collar.
For all of the raw seams, I decided to bind them with bias tape. Same for the hem. The only seam I didn't bind was the shoulder seams. Mostly because I forgot but luckily it hasn't show signs of fraying.
I did hemmed the armholes with bias tape as well and catch-stitched them down. I didn't want any waving that sometimes comes when you stitch around the armholes without clipping enough. I really like the clean look it gives.
I only hemmed the dress 1/2" because I always forget that I'm tall and I need to add length lol As a result the button placket sits 1/2" higher than the hem.. it's cute though and not very noticeable.
I used buttons that I bought at JoAnn Fabrics. I only sewed them on horizontally. I found it much faster that way lol. Also, I put an extra button and buttonhole in to take care of any gaping that I was having between the buttons around my largest but point. Got that idea from Jane and I still think it's GENIUS.
The adjustments I made were to let out 1/8" of an inch on the both sides over my bust curve. And on the center back seam, I took in 1/2"from my shoulder blades down to my low waist. I thought that would fix the obvious sway back issue but I wasn't thinking clearly. I obviously needed to make that adjustment to the actual pattern pieces before I cut my fabric.
OKAY! Now on to the second way I was insinuating in the title lol. When I got to Philly to meet Michelle and her daughter, Mori, she told me that she was wearing the dress as a jacket. I was like "Shoot! I can too!" because I actually liked the way it looked open lol So now I not only have a dress but I have a cape/jacket/vest lol
Last, but certainly NOT least, these are some of my favorite shots of our dresses/jackets together!
I genuinely had a great time meeting Michelle and Mori and getting to know them better. Such nice women and so generous! I'm convinced that sewing friends are some of the BEST friends and I hope see them again sooner rather than later. A HUGE "Thank you!" goes to Michelle for all of these pics as well!
You can check out Michelle's TMS post here and see more pics of me and Mori rocking it in Philly! Be back soon!