Sunday, January 15, 2017

Two Shirt Dresses


Both of these shirt dresses were made a long time ago. Approximately six months or so ago in the summer.  These were the last two big projects I was working on before I got really sick with all my gall bladder nonsense in August.  I finished the multi-colored one back in July and hung it up in the closet.  It's never been worn.  The black and white shirt dress was finally finished a couple of weeks ago after sewing on and ripping off three different sets of sleeves/sleeve bindings.  I would have given up on it except I really loved the fabric.  And I did a pretty darn good job on that collar, if I do say so myself ;)  I also had already sewn a really nice, deep 3 inch hem.


The black and white shirt dress is McCalls 7314.  It is a pretty standard shirtwaist dress except it has a curved, raised waist seam.  The pattern calls for elastic in the back of the waist seam.  I did initially add the elastic but it made the dress look extremely maternity like.  In fact, this dress would be a really awesome maternity dress pattern.  I tried adding the elastic around the whole waist seam as well, but didn't like that either.  So I left the elastic off and was kind of digging the loose, Japanese sort of vibe I was getting.



I originally made this dress sleeveless.  But after finishing it, I couldn't get the idea of a long sleeved shirt dress to wear with tights and boots out of my head.  So I ripped out the sleeve bindings and added the long sleeves from the pattern.  I did not like them.  If I remember correctly, I then shortened the sleeves to be 3/4 length but didn't widen the cuff.  So I ended up with a really tight and uncomfortable shorter sleeve.  Then it sat on my dress form for a few months.  A few weeks ago, I ripped out the second set of sleeves and added the big, blouse-y sleeves from McCalls 7242. I had just worn my maxi shirt dress (which I am loving now, by the way) and thought the sleeves would be perfect.  I didn't do any measuring or anything to make sure it would work.  It was just a last ditch effort to try and save the dress.  So the armscye fit on this dress is pretty crappy.  Not only is the armscye all stretched out from ripping things out, but that sleeve head was not made to fit in to that armscye.  I made it work (hopefully?), but just barely.  Luckily the dress has so much ease that I didn't need a close fitting armscye anyway.  I also have lost a little under twenty pounds from when I originally made this dress.  It was already loose to begin with but is maybe even a little more so now. 



I don't love the end result, but I do like it.  I feel like it's a good teacher dress.  The fabric is fantastic.  It's a rayon poplin I bought from fabric.com.  It has the drape of rayon challis but has a tighter weave, so it seems more durable and is less see-through.  The crazy multi-colored fabric in my second shirt dress is also rayon poplin.  I bought several yards of some different prints at the same time.


The second shirt dress I made back in July is McCalls 7387.  I really liked this dress when I first made it but after putting it on for pictures now, I'm not so sure.  It's a funky pattern, which I like.  It is a very boxy shirt dress with a big pleat in the back and no waist shaping at all.  It has a covered button placket as well.  I spent an extremely long time cutting this out to match up stripes.  I also print mixed with some of the black and white spots from the other shirt dress on the placket and sleeve cuffs.  I'm pretty chuffed with my pattern placement.  The fit is off, though.


I did square the shoulder ahead of time.  And I'm not quite sure I did it right on a shoulder/sleeve like this.  I need to read up on it, I guess.  I still have some pulling from shoulder to the first button, which is what I'm trying to show in this awkward photo below.  Also, the covered button placket-- ugh.  I'm glad I did it because it was a good learning experience.  But it was a pain.  I've never done one before.  Not only that, but I couldn't make a button hole high enough on the placket because of where the covered part of the placket begins.  I had to scoot the first button hole down and it's too low.  I actually have it safety pinned in these photos and I'm planning to add a snap there.  I wouldn't do the covered button placket again.  I don't care enough about the look of it and my skills are lacking.


I like the overall shape of the dress and I love the unusual back pleat.  But, the back pleat is heavy and pulls on the back of the yoke.  The hem line is also dipped lower in the back, I'm guessing because of the pleat.  I don't mind it, but it's probably not how it's supposed to look.  I'm seriously thinking about chopping off four or five inches from the hem and turning this in to tunic to wear over leggings or skinny jeans.  I think it has too many fit issues for me to ever wear it comfortably as a dress. We'll see, though.  Maybe I'll let it sit in the magic closet for a little while.


Phew! Glad I blogged these two dresses.  Now onwards and upwards...

21 comments:

  1. I love that print and trim on number 2! And I'd love to know what happened and if there is an easy fix. It looks like it went off grain/got sewed wavy at the back yoke? I love that pleat too. When it's on your body, the stripes on the back have a definite curve up at the side seams, down in the middle. Can you pin out the back to the yoke and leave (those beautifully matching) side seams and sleeves out of the change and get a better hang?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if my square shoulder adjustment affected the line of the yoke? Because it definitely is pulling lower there in the middle. I would totally try and sew it up a little higher through the middle, but there is a yoke facing, too. Too much unpicking! I'll just have to live with it. Or let it sit for a while and see if I feel like tackling it again!

      Delete
  2. I love the first dress a lot. It looks like a great teacher dress. I also like the stripy one but I think the boots are not right with them and makes it look off. Maybe you just took the pictures with the same shoes but with more open shoes it would look better. not sure about the back... it looks too wide to me... maybe make the pleat bigger so you don't have to do too much to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would look better with sandals! I really wasn't sure about what shoes to wear it with. It's an unusual style. Maybe I'll hold off on chopping it in to a top until summer time.

      Delete
  3. I really like both dresses as they seem like they would meet two different needs in your wardrobe. However, may I encourage you not to give up on the hidden button placket. It's a cool design feature and now that you've done one the next one will be easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The button placket is growing on me. I just wish my machine had an easier time with button holes. If the area I'm doing the button hole on isn't completely flat, it won't sew. i wish there was an easier way to sew button holes.

      Delete
    2. You can use snaps in that area instead of buttons/buttonholes because the placket hides it.

      Delete
  4. I love both the dresses! I'm going to have to look for some rayon poplin--that sounds like a really nice fabric. With the fit issues, dress #2 still looks super cute. I know how that is though, if it doesn't feel right to you, it won't make you happy. I have dresses in my closet that I never wear because of that. I'm sorry to hear you were ill with your gallbladder. I hope all that is behind you now. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like both dresses too! I love the pattern mixing on the 2nd dress and you look so slender in it (probably because you are : ). The hemline dip looks intentional--reminds me of the hemline in Stylearc's adeline (?) coccoon dress.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi!! The B&W dress is super flattering and it looks comfortable to wear. I love your fabric combo on the multi-color dress and the placket looks lovely from here!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love both dresses. They are very smart, stylish and look super comfortable at the same time. Thank you for the links to the patterns. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. They both look nice! I am glad you are feeling better. I had issues with my gallbladder before, and it was terrible. I hope you continue to do well. Your shirtdresses look professionally made.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the black and white dress, and before I got to the bit where you talk about the sleeves, I was thinnking "I love those sleeves!".

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love them both but I'm with you regarding the hem issue on the hidden placket dress......The dresses and YOU are so cute! I'm glad you are feeling better and are still sewing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. They both look great on you. They may have a few minor issues but I think you're overthinking them. I love the stripy one. Fun fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think both dresses are really cute on you! I especially love the second—the print mixing is perfect. If you don't love it as a dress, I think it'd look great in tunic length. I need to do square shoulder adjustments as well but haven't tried it on a button up yet. One of these days I'll work out how to accomplish that!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love the second dress. You fabric combinations really make it. If it was just the stripe, it would have been too busy, but your contrast breaks it up perfectly. The fit issues are not noticeable because of the busy print, and the lower back hem looks like it was meant to be that way, so I say wear it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the long sleeved dress but am unsure about the second. I think it needs a fabric with body to do it justice and bring out the line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just want to clarify.Tthe second dress is beautiful too, but I would shirt-tail the hem to make the dip look deliberate.

      Delete
  15. I love them both!!! I think taking the elastic out of the first one was a brilliant idea and it looks like a lovely, comfortable shirtdress. It looks amazing on you! I also love the second one as is, but if you don't like it as a dress, I totally support you chopping it off because it's just too pretty not to wear. I love your makes as always Liza! You are such a brilliant print mixer!

    ReplyDelete