McCalls 8030: DIY Shirt Dress in Natural Hemp Linen

McCalls 8030 shirt dress in hemp linen

Hey Everyone,

Hope you are all doing well. A little while back, The Hemp Shop, based here in the UK, reached out and asked if I would be interested in making something from one of their hemp based fabrics. I was allowed to select a fabric of my choice and also paid to write this blog post. As ever, all opinions are my own and I always try to work with businesses who provide quality products that I am genuinely happy to promote.

McCalls 8030 shirt dress in hemp linen

I decided to make something from their fine hemp linen. Don’t be fooled by the name. This 100% hemp linen is not lightweight. It is a substantial cloth which would be beautiful for any number of garments, including, shorts, shirts, trousers or blazers. It has a great weight to it, but also good drape and a wonderful soft hand. It is a finely made cloth, and I love the neutral, natural colour. So versatile. This fabric washed, sewed and pressed like a dream. If you interested in finding out more about this sustainable and organic fabric, please head to The Hemp Shop’s website to read more.

McCalls 8030 shirt dress in hemp linen

I paired my hemp linen with a classic looking pattern: McCalls 8030, and I love the finished result. This is an easy to sew pattern (cut on sleeves and no waist seam means there are minimal pieces to cut), and the finished look is so classy. I know the weather is now too cool to wear this dress, but I also know I will be able to take this dress out of my wardrobe next summer and for many summers after that.

McCalls 8030 shirt dress in hemp linen
McCalls 8030 shirt dress in hemp linen

See below for details of adjustments that I made, but overall, I really love how this one turned out.

McCalls 8030 shirt dress in hemp linen

Pattern Adjustments

  • This is view B, with the cuffs from view A
  • I cut a size L through the sleeves/ shoulders and graded out to a size XL at the hips
  • This dress is very straight, and I ended up adding about 1.5 inches extra to the side seams from the waist to the hem, and took a 3/8ths inch seam allowance there
  • In lieu of a full seat adjustment, I added 1 inch to the width of the back piece which was then cut on the fold. This resulted in 2 inches of extra width, which I gathered at the top to fit the back yoke seam
  • I added 5.25 inches length and added side slits
  • I added front patch pockets

Roll on next summer when I can hopefully get lots of wear out of this organic fabric dress!

McCalls 8030 shirt dress in hemp linen

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By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at

16 thoughts on “McCalls 8030: DIY Shirt Dress in Natural Hemp Linen

  1. I really like that dress on you. And the fabric seems perfect for summer! The neutral color could be paired with anything!

  2. Very interesting to see this fabric & fibre in use, and read your description – thank you, Manju! The pattern sounds like it can be fairly easily hacked by beginning sewists – would you agree?
    (Being a natural fibre, hemp might also dye beautifully, in case someone wanted to play around with colours! 😉)

    1. Hi Del, yes the pattern could be hacked fairly easily. I might make a shirt from it at some point. Also yes to the dyeing and The Hemp Shop do carry a range of dyes that would work.

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