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.
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!