Shirt Dress Love: McCall’s 7351

IMG_6748 2If I had to choose only one garment to take with me to a desert island it would probably be a shirt dress, because they just make me happy. This one gets bonus points for being a rayon shirt dress, which is pure bliss to wear in any weather. What’s different about this dress for me, is the raspberry print. Raspberry, not blue? I know – – I’m living on the edge here!

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You see, a few weeks ago, I found an old ‘personal color palate’ from a color analysis I paid for several years ago. I’d completely forgotten about it, and the raspberry pink that was identifed as one of my ‘top five’ colors. It’s supposed to make me glow, LOL, yet I rarely wear it. I guess it’s never too late….

I get weak knees over high low hems and I love the one on McCalls’ 7351. In fact, it might be the reason this pattern made it into my shopping cart. You might have seen this pattern on other blogs because it’s so popular.

As patterns go, this fit me pretty well as designed, even though I’m petite. I did modifiy it a bit: I shortened the bodice by 5/8″. I also shorted the skirt by 5/8′ as well, being careful to preserve the cool curved hem. I also ditched the collar, using only the collar band just because I wanted a simple neckline given the print of my fabric. I also raised the sleeve tab placement a bit so that I could roll the sleeves up more when it’s hot, but I think I over did that a bit. I love the yoke and back pleat detail.

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This rayon came from Fabric Depot and it did not disappoint! It wears like a dream and has just the right drape for this dress.

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I think a fabric belt would look good with this dress, but I ran out, so I skipped it. The raspberry color is growing on me… I think I’ll enjoy wearing it.  In fact, now that I’ve found my long lost color analysis swatches, I could start taking them with me when I shop. However, I must admit, my fabric love is color blind. If I see a fabric I love that doesn’t match my palate, it will likely still find its way into my shopping cart.

Are you a color analysis believer, or do you buy what you like and call it good?

Yes, I do love shirt dresses and will likely make this dress again, soon. I’m imagining a linen version, maybe cotton poplin… Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

Chambray, Lace and Pom-Pom Trim?

IMG_6494 3Chambray, lace and pom-pom trim… a funny combination I didn’t plan, but somehow, it happened.

If you think this new dress looks alot like the linen dress I made last spring you would be right. I loved that dress and wore it constantly until a trip to a hotel laundry shortened it to scandal level. I was so bummed! After a period of mourning, I accepted the fact that I’d have to replace it, and that’s how this dress came to be.

IMG_6385 I rarely buy fabric on-line, preferring to support the local stores, but when I saw this fabric on Fabric.com, it leaped into my shopping bag. The combination of chambray and lace would have had me, but then you add the blue….gotta have it! When the fabric arrived, I knew it was perfect for a simple shift dress, because the lace border was perfect to take center stage.

IMG_6354  Enter Mccalls 7532, a new pattern this spring that has a decidedly low key, boho vibe.

I love the swingy shape, the statement sleeves and the v-neck, a detail that begged for the pom-pom trim I had stashed away.

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The pattern went together easily, and the instructions were great, but I did make some changes. The skirt of this pattern is really swingy… and since my fabric was cotton chambray, it didn’t really have the right drape for the amount of ease in this pattern. So, I pulled in the side seams a bit to compensate. Trust me, I took out alot of that swing, and still had plenty of room, so you might want to size down. There’s alot of ease in the skirt that would likely work best with a crepe or a silk, or rayon challis, all recommended by McCalls.

I also modified the sleeves a bit. When I cut them as designed, it was clear to me that I would never be able to go out to dinner without knocking over a wine glass with that ruffle.  It’s true that my beverage of choice, white wine, doesn’t stain like red, but who wants to test that theory? To make the sleeves a bit more wearable, I shortened them by 3 inches and reduced the ruffle width by an inch and a half. That cost me a bit of ‘drama’ but I gained a dress I will wear.

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Do I love this dress more than last year’s linen/lace combo? No, but I’ve decided it’s not a comparison I have to make. This dress is cool for different reasons. It’s comfortable, the lace is gorgeous, and it will be the perfect travel companion for my trip to Spain. I love swing dresses so much, I already have another version in the works from a lighter weight fabric. It will be interesting to see how a different fabric changes the character of the dress.

I added the outside photos to this post just today, as the weather here is finally worthy of cottons, linens and silks. Yay! The only downside of beautiful weather is that I accomplish very little because I just want to play, play, play! Oh well. There’s always tomorrow when (sigh) it will probably rain.

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Tencel Love

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Since completing this pair of gray Jalie Jeans, I’ve been in a frenzy, sewing fun summer-y tops to go with them, hence – – this shirt!  I can tell it’s going to be a favorite because it’s made from Tencel, better known as lyocell, a fabric I grew to love when I bought a Tencel shirt at Anthropologie a few years ago. Not only is Tencel comfortable, it’s a sustainable fabric, regenerated from wood cellulose. It feels similar in hand to rayon and bamboo, both regenerated fabrics. I think I love this fabric because it has weight, yet it feels comfortable, even when it’s hot and humid. That’s because Tencel boasts the ability to absorb perspiration and quickly release it into the atmosphere, so it’s resistant to developing odors.

It sounds like the perfect ‘travel’ fabric to me! That’s why I chose it for my latest make; a button up shirt that will travel with me to Spain and Portugal this summer. It will be hot there, so I know this top will be in my suitcase!

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My pattern for this shirt is McCalls’ 7387, a pattern I had to have because of the cool back pleat.

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It’s those sort of little details that take a make from ho-hum to fabulous. This pleat is so cool. It’s a double pleat In other words you make one pleat then, fold another one over the top of it, creating this criss-cross look.

McCall’s 7387 took me about four hours to make from cut-out to hem. It probably would have taken less time if I’d resisted the urge to binge watch, “How to Get Away with Murder. “(I confess… I had to concentrate to follow the plot. The bonus for perservering though is the eye candy of Viola Davis’ wardrobe… she looks ‘chic’ but invincible. ) If you aren’t binge-watching, you could probably make this shirt in three hours.IMG_5804

Pattern Modifications: I left the flap off the front fly that covers the buttons because I wanted them to show. I visualized white buttons down the front of this shirt when I decided on this fabric, so I had to drop the flap. I added buttons to the pocket flaps too.

I also changed out the collar and replaced it with a collar band. I did this because I plan to wear this in warm weather and sometimes collars make me feel hot. To do this, I drafted a collar band by copying one from a tried and true button up shirt pattern.

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I’m smiling because I’m wearing blue Tencel!  This fabric was in the category of ‘special’, so I was a nervous when I decided to try a new pattern. I was so lucky that the pattern fit without modifications….phew!

My sewing energy is focussed on travel clothes right now. I’m trying to use the skills I gained from the Pattern Review Sudoku challenge to help me coordinate my travel wardrobe so that I can pack efficiently. Nevertheless, my efforts are a bit scattered. What will my neutral colors be? Do I pack skirts, shorts and tops, or do I just take a couple of dresses and call it good? What I do know for certain is that this shirt is going with me!

I’ve never traveled with Tencel, and one questions looms in my mind. Will it wrinkle? Have you sewn with Tencel? Thumbs up or down?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!