More craft camp sewing! More of that one same shirt dress!!

I bought this fabric from Lincraft because it reminded me of a shirtdress I had when I was a kid. I suspect handmade by my mother or grandmother, it was a twin of this one

I'll probably give the socks and sandals look a miss, though.
I’ll probably give the socks and sandals look a miss, though.

but with 80’s coloured spots, like this



So yeah, clearly throwing the ‘do I look like a child’ caution to the wind.

I wanted to make a couple more M6696s (natch) but I wanted to try a couple of fit changes so I thought I’d use this fabric first. That way, if it didn’t work out I wouldn’t be too upset since it has limited wearability anyways.

The main alteration was at the neck. I took a small wedge out of the pattern at the centre front. Just under 1cm at the top, tapering down to nothing. Then I took the original pattern piece and traced the neck curve, so that it is the same length but angled further down. I was pretty apprehensive about this because I was making it up as I went along but it seems to have worked and totally eradicated the floppy, loose collar issues I was having before. What a difference half a centimeter makes, huh?

My adjusted bodice on top of the original

Adjustments from last time include doubling the vertical dart and moving it 1.5″ to the left (although I forgot this when I traced it off this time, and had to re-add it), armscye shape changed by taking a dart out of it and then closing it up and retracing. I also added an inch and did the centre front/collar adjustment I’m talking about. I’m not sure I don’t still need a bit more length in the bodice, it’s still sitting on my ribs rather than my actual waist, which makes it a bit tight when I’m sitting. But when I look at my black voile one it looks too long in the bodice at the front, and that was the unlengthened pattern so… I just am not even sure. What is this, is it a fabric choice thing? A bust thing? I have now shortened the back a couple of cms, and lengthened the front 1cm, and the front is STILL longer than the back.

Despite not setting it properly before taking photos, that collar is still sitting so so much nicer.

I also traced the horizontal dart a couple of cms higher, which I am not totally sure is right, but seems at least better than where it was before. I re-traced the whole pattern piece and forgot that I’d initially moved the vertical dart over by quite a lot, so the dart is in the wrong place in this dress. It’s not terrible, but just not really where I want a dart, either visually or in terms of shaping. I’ve made the fix change on the pattern piece above now so we’re all good for next time – you can see how different the placement is.

I need to trace the skirt pieces, and I also need to spend some time thinking about how I’ve adjusted things because I made the front dart a lot deeper, so the front skirt piece is now too big for the skirt. It would be good to iron that out and trace off a correct pattern, because for the last two I’ve just adjusted the depth of the darts on the fly. Which works ok, I guess that’s the benefit of a pleated or gathered skirt, the fitting of it can be independent of the bodice. But it’s not a really exact way of doing it. I also just winged it with the back, I simply lined up the side seams, found the CB, and made a pleat on the fly. So it doesn’t really matter how big the back is, as long as it’s bigger than the bodice.

Wussy little back skirt pleat. I think I could do with making that bottom pleat two smaller pleats, maybe. And I could also do with being more neat and precise with my gathers (but, eh) AND with checking my collar is sitting properly before taking ding dang photos.

I cut the waistband between size 20 and 22. And it’s a bit tight still. I’m not sure about this, it’s maybe the fabric? [shakes fist at imaginary gauge swatch] The fabric is fairly polyestery and doesn’t have much give at all. It was ok to sew with but not as nice as cotton. It’s from Lincraft’s ‘sunprints’ range, and I have no idea what makeup it is. You can see strain where there isn’t strain in my other two version of this pattern, including noticeably the arms being way to tight to the point where, when I take it off, it hangs off of my arms like some kind of trapped cape, and I have to either ask for help getting out of it, or jump up and down swearing about it until I can shake it off. Or both.

The above photo demonstrates both the strain lines on the bodice, armscye (STILL) and arm hems, and also the fact that I’ve given up on the freezing outdoors for photos, AND got a camera remote. So welcome to a glimpse of my craft area and also sorry for the deadface – the remote is pretty finicky and I’m still working out how to use it and also make expressions at the same time. Those strain lines make me think I shouldn’t have taken that centre front wedge out, but it sits so much nicer now so??

Demonstrating how I need all that room in the back,

I did the contrast button band to break things up, after a quick poll of the craft campers. I probably would have struggled to get it out of the fabric I had, anyway. The fabric was pretty narrow, so I couldn’t cut the full width of the skirt.


I cut the back on the fold to give myself a bit of extra room, too. When it came to the pleats I winged it (wung it?) again in a highly unscientific way, so they are a bit wonky and small and weird. At least they all point the same way this time, and the skirt still seems plenty full enough to me. I also used plain white fabric to back the waistband, the collar and collar stand, because the fabric is see through and if I used a double layer, the dots peep through. I thought about underlining the whole thing but couldn’t be bothered, and besides, I’ll probably wear this with just a white bra and light coloured bike shorts in summer, and who cares? It’ll be floaty and nice (although I am wearing a black bra + white thermal singlet for this, because I couldn’t be bothered to change.

You’re welcome. I also couldn’t be bothered ironing it. Keeping it so real.

I do wish I’d spent more time thinking about how the dots sat on the waistband, but I was too busy trying to make sure they weren’t wonky because they are slightly off grain, and I didn’t think about centering them or anything. But maybe random is better? And I am cross that I forgot to put the dart in the right place.

That dang dart

I also, annoyingly, put the snap for the waistband slightly too high, throwing the whole dang placket off, and didn’t notice until they were very very securely hammered in. Note to self, you can be sloppy about a lot of things, but a placket is NOT ONE OF THEM. Ugh it’s so annoying. I’m going to put a press stud or something in between those yellow and red snaps.

The snaps I already had from sewing baby clothes
The snaps I already had from sewing baby clothes

Putting the press studs on was what took me a whole two months (and then it took about ten minutes). It came home from camp totally done except for that. I wasn’t particularly motivated because it’s too cold to wear it. I also should fix the tight sleeve hems and the wibbly bottom hem which I just dashed off in a rush, but technically it’s now done.

All in all, this is a pretty silly dress. I don’t know how much wear it will get, being polyestery and also a bit transparent, and definitely NOT work appropriate. But it was good to work out some of the tweaks I needed for this pattern, and man. I am so not blind to all of it’s flaws but the bottom line is, those spots make me stupidly happy.

I’m calling that a win

Whadya reckon?

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