M6885 Shirt Dress – More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

M6885 pattern

Want to sew a shirt dress with interesting details, but without sleeve plackets or a gazillion buttons? Welcome to the M6885 shirt dress!

This is a dream to wear. I can say that with confidence because I’ve already worn it for a meeting. The true test of a successful make is whether or not you sit twitching, fidgeting and tugging when you should be erudite, focussed and professional. I’m not saying I’m any of the latter, but at least I wasn’t twitching.

M6885 close up

Swoon. Swooney swoon swoon swoon swoon. Patch pockets – check. Sleeve tabs – check. Shaped hem – check. Button band and collar – check. Waist ties – check. Yet, the overall impression isn’t fussy. This dress is more than the sum of its parts. And the parts ain’t bad!

M6885 sleeve tab

A few construction details:

  • I was between sizes, so went with the smaller size. That being said, a small FBA is in order for the next make.
  • I lowered the shaping at the side hems by about 1.5 inches and am glad I did.
  • I shaved some depth off the collar and am glad I did. Why do so many sewing patterns draft collars that wouldn’t look out of place in the 1970s?
  • There aren’t instructions to finish the top of the sleeve tabs and you’ll need to if this project is to survive the washing machine.
  • You’ll want to follow the instructions to turn and stitch your sleeve seam allowances, because those sleeves will be rolled up. A neat finish is important.

Sleeve seam Collage

You’ll also not want to have a dog photo bombing your shoot. How rude!

ella photo bombing_edited-1

Other than that, I followed the instructions as they were given. See previous post for more details on construction. I also share a lot of my step-by-step on Instagram, so you should definitely follow me there for the finer details of a project.

I’m not sure I’d make this dress without the waist ties. That waist definition is fairly crucial. And a shout out must go to the Lady McElroy flying geese lawn cotton. It is heart achingly beautiful.

This is the ultimate comfortable woven dress. I can’t wait to make another in double gauze, cheesecloth or linen to wear with leggings for the summer. In fact, I can already picture myself strolling on the beach, sand squeezing between my toes as I paddle into the ocean. Come on, summer!

The M6885 is one of my #makenine2017 projects completed. With thanks to The Sewcial Studio for the fabric. 

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26 Responses to M6885 Shirt Dress – More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

  1. Thimberlina says:

    Love it, perfect fabric choice, I’m just wondering if you’re going to make the co-ordinating hat😍

  2. Allison says:

    OMG!!! Came out so nice! I just purchased that very same pattern for some summer sewing before your reveal. Can’t wait to get started on it! I will keep your tips about the hem and collar in mind.

  3. Helena Wagstaff says:

    Like the sound of a linen one for summer😊☀

  4. Oh my, this is such a lovely dress and that print is soo pretty. I’ve got this pattern too. I took a punt on it as not many sewists had made it but it looks like a goodie.

  5. Alison G says:

    Lovely dress, the fabric is gorgeous, is it see-through, I wonder if I would need to wear a slip underneath?

  6. Wow, worth the wait! That pattern was on my shortlist when I made my shirtdress last year. I went with simplicity 8014 instead as I wanted it to button all the way through. The collar on that one is enormous too – I feel like I could take off on a windy day!

  7. Dorothy Wood says:

    That looks really cool.

  8. Katie says:

    Lovely – the colour really suits you! The silhouette reminds me of the Named Helmi dress, which is reminding me I must sew another one…

  9. susew says:

    The dress style looks nice but for me, sorry, the print reminds me of Canada geese, a noisy messy plague in many Canadian parks – can I hope they are they swans?

    • PocketC says:

      Honestly, they look like cranes to me with those long legs, not any sort of goose at all, so I’d say enjoy them. (Birding person.) Gorgeous fabric and great dress!

      • Wowee! Had no idea I’d be igniting the great bird debate. Let’s call them turkeys. 😉

      • Robin says:

        I second the beauty of the fabric and the subject (not to mention the ability of the artist to render geese so sympathetically…achingly beautiful, so apt a description!). I feel strongly the geese cannot be faulted for a problem created by mankind, and only negatively impacts mankind; the geese have no issue doing what they do naturally – producing and rear their young responsibly.

        Sorry, I had to say something too.

        (And…superior look, Karen!)

  10. Sue D says:

    I have never made a shirt dress before, but am definitely inspired now. I will add to my pattern collection! Thanks for the tip about the collar.

  11. Julia says:

    Fabulous shirt dress I made one last year in white linen can’t wait to wear it this summer.

  12. iblameparis says:

    Superbly done! I have been looking for something like this for summer. Brilliant! Thinking of doing it in a light blue striped shirting cotton. Thank you!! Looks great on you (and I completely agree with the waistband; it’s what sets it apart).

  13. Lynsey says:

    It’s gorgeous, the fabric is lovely, I’ve seen it online and was tempted but now seeing it sewn up I’m in love. It looks like it is a dream to wear.

  14. Shauni S says:

    Love this Karen! The fabric works perfectly for the pattern – and looks great paired with those tights too 🙂 x

  15. I love your top! I’ve been busy making blouses (well really tunics that look like blouses! much like yours) for the past couple of months. They are so much fun to make! Who knew? All those fiddling bits, precision, pressing – heaven. And when they fit (I laughed reading how your scale is decidedly around “twitching, fiddling and tugging”) SO TRUE! You know you’ll never wear that garment again and the frustrating thing for a sewer of her own clothes is that this problem often isn’t revealed until you’ve worn it for a couple of hours.

  16. Ann says:

    Love your dress and it looks really great on you. Question: instead of ties in the back, would it work to have a bit of elastic? I am blanking on what you would “officially” call it, but say a 6″ gathered strip in the back at about the waist.

  17. I’ve been waiting for you to blog this every since you instagrammed the making. It is as stunning as I thought it would be! I’m with you on the waist definition, but the colouring and print is perfect on you! Also I have the same dog photobombing issue, perhaps we need a support group with cake and fabric shopping included?

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