#SewTogetherForSummer take 1

Hi there!

So how’s it going with you?  Are you settling in nicely to the summer sewing yet? It seems to have slightly crept up on me this year, but I think I’m in the swing of things now.

I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve decided to take part in a few challenges this year.  One that has really appealed is the one launched by Sew Sarah Smith, @sewinginspain and @rocco.sienna, the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge whereby you make a shirtdress using any pattern you like.  Any at all.


Now there are some perennial favourites out there, all of which I was looking at, when I saw a post by Roisin about her version of Butterick 6333.  I loved the princess seams and thought that might help get a better fit.


So off I went.  From previous, bitter experience with the big pattern houses, I looked at the finished measurements printed on the tissue paper rather than the guidelines on the envelope when picking a size.  Which was totally the right move, as there was something like 4 – 5″ of ease at the bust and waist, on a supposedly fitted garment.


There are multiple skirt / sleeve options; I chose to make the cap sleeves with the pleated skirt.  Clearly, I skipped the belt!

This gave me a total of 11 pattern pieces to cut out of my goldfish print fabric (strictly, they’re probably koi carp or something, but it’s my dress and I’m calling them goldfish).  I figured it was nice enough to make a very wearable toile if it worked out, but that at £5/m I probably wouldn’t cry too much if it didn’t work out.

I graded between the 12 at the bust and 14 at the waist; apparently the finished measurement on the waist on the 14 should be 31.5″.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I’m confident it’s more than that.  Quite a lot more than that.


The fit on the bust looks good but there’s way too much ease in the shoulders.  I prefer my shoulder seam to sit on my shoulder on a style like this, whereas this is some way past there.


I think these things are fixable but with my level of experience, I generally find I need to make up the whole thing to work out where it’s going wrong.  Hopefully one day I’ll get beyond that!

I made great progress on this, right up until my machine broke.  Just before I got to the buttonholes! So I was without machine for a week and there was no way I was attempting buttonholes with the old machine.  Cue a slight pause in progress (and an awful lot of other projects getting cut out whilst I was without machine)

I used the tutorial on Sarah’s blog to make the collar and I love it!  It’s just so much easier than the usual method of sewing up a stand collar.  However, when reading Roisin’s original post, I really should have noticed the repeated mention of the clown like size of said collar.


I think this is probably the main reason this dress makes me feel a little frumpy on.  I got lots of compliments the day I wore it but somehow it still feels a little granny chic to me, heavy on the granny, light on the chic.  It also feels too big, so I definitely need to work on that.

However, I do like it enough to make another attempt likely.  I think with some reduction in collar size, some work around the shoulders and on the waist line, and possibly with a slightly less stiff cotton ( which I knew would probably be a problem before I started), this could be a great dress.


So thank you to #sewtogetherforsummer for reorganising my priority list for me; it’s been great making something that takes me away from my usual style a little and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself.

How about you, will you be joining in? If so, you have until June 21 to post a photo of your progress on Instagram, check out the hosts’ feeds for details.

Becca x



Pattern: Butterick B6333

Fabric: 2m of Rose and Hubble goldfish print fabric from B&M Fabrics in Leeds market

My measurements:  bust 35″, waist 30″, hip 41″

Size cut: 12 – 14

Adjustments made:  Graded between a 12 at the bust and a 14 at the waist; with hindsight, I didn’t need to grade up even though I went on finished measurements.

Make again? Probably, although I’ll have another think about the size.  And the collar!

10 thoughts on “#SewTogetherForSummer take 1

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  1. I love it, but then again it is my favourite colour.

    I have this pattern too and have grand plans for it but I’m not sure I am going to get my version finished in time for #sew together for summer boohoo 😦

    Oh Lloyd, I shall just havery of admire your version instead 🙂


  2. Ok, so I’m 100% with you on this. – find a pattern you like then make it twice to get the dress ypu want! You did great with this, I really mean that – it’s a shame this didn’t totally become the dress of your dreams but your next one – well, you’ll totally nail it! Always really interesting to follow your sewing Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fabulous fish-print fabric – (I wonder if they do it in swimwear fabric?)! 5″ of ease in a shirtdress for anyone under the age of 80 is clearly crazy, thanks Butterick. Looking at how wide this is at the shoulders and the waist on you, I think I’d try sizing down yet again and adding an FBA to retain enough room at the bust. I hope you can work it through and get to a version you really like. I’ve got M6696 on my list to make but I’m not sure if I’ll get to it this summer.


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