suddenly, a shirt dress in progress

Hello! Many of you may have been basking in the sun for a while now, whether it’s meant enjoying the spring or autumn, and I have been quietly envious while reading your updates. So brace yourselves for unsolicited weather news. Here, in the northeast of the US the weather has been doggedly engaging in The Game of Thrones cosplay, hitting us with last-minute snow storms and clinging to grayish darkness. But today, finally, the sun broke through the cloud cover and the temperature rose pleasantly. I can even hear birds. And suddenly I had no clue what to sew and was not really up to the task of cutting out fabric for a new pattern.

So I confronted a UFO so old it’s turned a corner of my sewing nook into its very own Area 51. I usually miss out on all the fun sewalongs, but this time I spontaneously jumped on the bandwagon with #sewtogetherforsummer even if summer seems like a distant fantasy still. Here’s photographic evidence:


McCall’s 7314 is a shirt dress I spontaneously fitted and cut out last July (sic!) on the heels of that tricky McCall’s 6891 that taught me so many lessons… Well, that shirt dress had a convertible collar, this one has a collar stand and all that jazz. I fitted the bodice the lazy way, that is with pattern tissue and fit alterations Frankensteined from that earlier dress.

I don’t really remember why I got so distracted from that project. At first it was too hot, and then it was too cold… you know how it goes. This week I finally started putting it together and this is where things stand right now:


If like me you have very limited experience with shirt dresses but want to learn as you make one, I really recommend the Four Square Walls tutorial on sewing the collar and collar stand a different way than the McCall’s instructions tell you to. It definitely seems easier and more user friendly, in my opinion. I still have a lot of thinking, plus trial and error before I can make collars with more confidence (not to mention understand the language of David Page Coffin) but first steps have been made.

I arrogantly forewent the topstitching, so avert your gaze if you are a purist.

More on this dress coming up. Unless I get inexplicably distracted again, that is.

Have you made this dress? Are you sewing a shirt dress right now? Tell me your secrets.

And enjoy the sun. I’m soaking it up greedily, every ray I get.


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

9 thoughts on “suddenly, a shirt dress in progress”

  1. Ooh I can’t wait to see this finished! That’ll be satisfying to finish something that’s been a WIP for a while! I’ve never made a shirt-dress, or shirt, but I’d like to give it a go this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m loving the projects marked #sewtogethetforsummer on Instagram. The challenge hostesses are also really lovely and they comment on the photos, which is kind of thrilling for someone like me whose only sewing community is online 🙂
      Join in the fun, Kathryn. The deadline is some time in June, I think.


  2. Thanks for the link to the collar construction. I think that way is the best way I have seen to do a collar! I discovered it first in an McCalls shirt pattern and I thought why don’t they do them ALL like this! I want to make a shirt dress but some unexpected trips and sewing has put it farther down the list. Fingers crossed that I get one done!


    1. Oh, nice to know McCall’s uses this order of construction, too, at times. My current McCall’s shirt dress pattern has you put the collar and collar stand together first and then sew that to the bodice, which seems harder to me than this tutorial.

      And I am crossing my fingers for your shirt dress! May you discover a way to sneak that project into your busy schedule 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I want to post a somewhat comprehensive write-up on my Sew Together for Summer dress soon 🙂 I finally got it photographed and got wonderfully photobombed by Mr. Cat while taking the photos.


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