Hello Friends. I have a RTW shirt dress in my wardrobe which is probably around 9 years old now. It’s not a mega expensive or intricate one (princess seams with A-line shaped skirt). It’s not even a colour I would normally select (dark brown). But it just fits so well and is made of great quality cotton which has just been washed and worn so many times over the summers. Here’s the proof (you can tell we’ve upgraded our camera since these were taken):
Anyway, this year I want to find a shirt dress pattern that I love as much as that shirt dress. So, first off I thought I would try New Look 6180. Here’s a look at the pattern envelope. Are we all agreed this is the worst styling ever….I mean, the hair, the earrings and the pattern on the dress….well, nope, this is not a pattern from the 1980’s, this is a recent(ish) pattern.
Here’s my version:
I really wasn’t sure what the fit of the bodice on this dress was going to be like, so this is really a wearable muslin made from a heavy cotton that was in the reduced bin at the market. Overall, the fit is not too bad. I cut my normal size and it does fit, but I don’t know as yet if I should have made the sleeves a tiny bit bigger or the bust or a combination of both.
Let’s talk about the skirt, shall we? It has four little pleats kind of centre front and centre back. Then the waist band is gathered on to the bodice (you form a casing with the seam allowances). From the front it’s ok…I am not so convinced about how flattering the back is…
It does have a neat little sleeve notch detail:
I finished all the inside seams with flat fell seams…even the ones which were only 3/8 inch…
I used a Lauren’s and Jen’s tutorials on plaid matching, which are both very easy to read and understand, and overall I am not too displeased with the results. I cut my fabric on a single layer and cut the front and back yokes on the bias. BTW, have you seen the plaid matching on Lauren’s new coat? Yet another beautiful tailored coat. Sigh. And I used Andrea’s method for attaching the collar. Again, ok with the results, something I want to try again though.
Here’s my review:
Misses’ retro style shirt dress in two lengths has front buttons, elasticized waist, full skirt and 3/4 or full length sleeves. Tie belt included.
10 – 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Not as retro I don’t think.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. Very. Watch out for switching between the different seam allowances mind!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I do like the way the finished garment looks, but am not (as yet) 100% convinced about the gathered skirt (especially from the back). I think if I made this again I would need to either do a FBA or make the sleeves a tiny bit bigger or a combination of both.
A heavy cotton which has a kind of feint seersuckerish stripe in the checks.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None apart from a one inch sway back adjustment.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Hmmm….I don’t know. If I did it would probably be in a very light weight cotton. Yes, I would recommend.
Easy to sew and easy to wear. But I still have McCalls 6696 to try and probably a couple of others in my quest for the perfect shirt dress.
Now on to the giveaway!
I have mentioned that I do want to tailor a coat. So I am trying to collect the necessary tools to enable me to do that. I have been looking for a wooden clapper/ point presser and recently came across this ebay seller selling just what I was looking for in oak. I have already received the item, along with a point turner. I am extremely happy with both items and look forward to using them.
The ebay seller in question very kindly sent me some extra items, which I am happy to offer as part of this giveaway. So here’s what is on offer. First, a set of wooden sewing tools:
A lucet is an instrument used to make cords, something like this. Instructions will be included!
A stiletto is useful for holding fiddly bits or seams open during pressing or sewing. A paper folder is a piece of wood with angled top and bottom edges to neatly form an accurate crease in paper patterns or material. The point turner is used to turn out points and is also useful to hold seams open etc during pressing.
Additionally!!! I am also offering a brand new copy of the New Look pattern I used. It comes in sizes 10 – 22. So, you stand to win the pattern and the set of 4 wooden sewing tools.
All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me about a RTW garment that you love from your wardrobe that you wish you could find the perfect pattern for, before midnight GMT Monday 13th January 2014 after which time I will randomly select a winner. I am happy to post anywhere in the world. Please also make sure you use either a valid email address or blog address etc so that I can contact you after Monday. In any case, check back after Monday, just in case 🙂