Do you ever finish sewing something and just go, dang, this turned out so well I can’t believe I actually made this?! That’s how I feel about this second shirtdress I sewed as part of the McCall Pattern Company Shirtdress Sew-Along. I love it! My niece—that’s her above—is the lucky recipient, and she’ll be wearing it to some wedding festivities over the Fourth.
What made this shirtdress a winner in my book? Well, let’s start with the pattern. Butterick B6333 is a classic shirtdress style, very similar to the ever-popular McCall’s M6696 shirtdress pattern, but it has princess seams instead of darts. Princess seams are easy to adjust to get a decent fit, and the vertical lines are very flattering.
Getting equal credit is the fabric, a lustrous cotton blend from Paron’s in the Garment District. Teeny silver flowers are embroidered in rows against a midnight blue background. The fabric has a soft hand and a crisp drape. It was delightful to work with.
And then there’s the piping accent. I wasn’t even thinking about adding any decorative touches to this dress, but when I showed the fabric to Carlos, Vogue Patterns designer, he suggested adding a contrast piping. Good call! This really makes the dress.
So, pattern + fabric + piping = really cute dress! My niece loves it, too.
A few construction points:
- After constructing the bodice I had a fitting with my niece. We decided to narrow the shoulder width by about 3/4″, so it has slightly more of a cutaway shoulder effect.
- The armhole facing was made from the same silver fabric as the piping.
- I added a back facing at the neck edge, made from the silver fabric. Not because a facing is needed, but just because it looks pretty. (Scroll down to see photo of dress interior.)
- After I attached the waistband I covered the seam in the silver fabric. Again, just for the prettiness factor.
- I cut the side bodice front pieces and the side back pieces on the bias. This was another Carlos suggestion.
All in all, this dress pattern is not hard to make and I think we did a good job with the instructions. If you like McCall’s M6696 but prefer princess seams, B6333 is a great alternative.
Note: A few people on our Shirtdress Sew-Along Facebook Group have asked me to share tips on sewing and working with piping. I’ll try to write a post about this in the next few weeks. Long story short: piping is easy!
REMINDER: Shirtdress Sew-Along Giveaway! We are giving away a brand-new Oliso Smart Iron, and a goodie bag from Clover filled with cool sewing notions, to one lucky Shirtdress Sew-Along participant chosen at random. All you have to do to participate in this giveaway is show that you’re finished with your shirtdress, or are at least half-way through with it, by July 31, 2016 [new extended date]. To do so, you can upload a photo to the “Shirtdresses We Made” photo album if you’re a part of our Facebook group (new members welcome!). Or, you can post a photo on your own social media—just tag us and use the hashtag #shirtdresssewalong. If those options aren’t your thing you can email a low-res photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to see what you’ve made! [8/22/16 update: This group is now closed as the sew-along is officially over. All shirtdress construction information and tips are located on this blog.]