Want a fast track to bonding with colleagues? Make a dress out of a ker-razy digital print and wear it to the office. This dress received a lot of attention. I’m hoping for the right reasons!
At stages during construction of the McCalls 4769, I did wonder if I was making the ugliest dress in the world. The fabric is just weird. Strange mustard hues, strange purple hues, strange strangeness. But a very nice cotton that doesn’t crease too much, and is surprisingly cosy once you wear it with a slip and tights. I bought the fabric from Croft Mill. They don’t stock it any more, but if you’re looking for your own crazy fabric from them, check this beauty out!
I fancied making a dress, but couldn’t cope with toiles, bodice adjustments or linings. I just wanted something easy. Enter the shirt dress! That open collar meant I could sidestep usual issues with my upper chest. I didn’t bother to toile, just cut according to my measurements – and, bingo! The dress actually fits. Bust darts point to my apex, waist fitted but comfortable, arm holes sitting neatly on my shoulders. A miracle of simple sewing!
Or was it…
This pattern, I discovered, is notorious for its insultingly scant collar construction details. I scratched my head, I swore vociferously, I unpicked, I threw, I swore again… Finally, I stumbled upon a blog post tutorial for this very dress written by – who’d a thunk it? – one of my best sewing friends. Thank you, Handmade Jane, for your glorious help.
I must mention the buttons. Dug out of my stash, they make me swoon with delight. Just perfect for this dress. The bakelite buttons I won a couple of years ago and they’ve been waiting for just the right project. I think I found it.
My one hiccup (other than the collars) was my buttonhole insertion. I sewed them horizontally rather than vertically and only realised my mistake whilst out walking the dog. Doh! The buttonholes should be vertical, you muppet. Which then led to all sorts of existential buttonhole angst. If a buttonhole butterfly flaps its vertical wings in Brazil, does it cause a horizontal buttonhole hurricane in Florida? I mean, WHY do buttonholes need to be vertical on a button band? Aesthetic reasons? Because my buttonholes are performing just fine.