I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that – despite my continued intention to buy no more fabric until I’ve used some of my old – the only way this dress could be considered stash busting is if you count the reel and a half of black thread I used up. Oops.
Having said that, I don’t feel guilty about having made it. I’ve been hanging out for a shirt-dress since I tried on a very-nice-but-not-quite-nice-enough black cotton version at the A/X Armani Exchange store in Sydney. It pained both of us to leave it behind, but it just didn’t fit as well as the price-tag suggested it should. Indeed, none of the shirt-dresses I subsequently perused (and there were many) met with approval either. Too short, too shapeless, didn’t like the sleeves… it’s a hard road finding the perfect dress.
And then we came home, where there’s nary a shirt-dress to be found – at least, not in any shop windows – so I followed a new path, the path of PatternReview.com. If I was going to find the shirt-dress pattern of my dreams anywhere, it would be there. I checked out a few patterns. I pondered. I hemmed and hawed. And I decided. McCall 4769 it was.
Honest to goodness, I’d never have looked twice at that pattern if it weren’t for the photo accompanying Erica B‘s review. The McCall’s sample photo has to be one of the least flattering ever. And, would you believe, the photo on the pattern envelope is even worse? Same style but a light-blue fabric with cliched images of Paris printed on it, and a size too big for the model. They even went to the trouble of making another matching bag. I could only keep Erica’s picture firmly in mind and trust that the finished result would be more style than vile.
I think it is. The collar/lapel/facing had me stumped, in part because I’ve never sewn a collar before, aided by the instructions being… concise, and abetted by the fact that I didn’t transfer the markings from the pattern to the pieces. (Oh shut up. As if you’ve never thought ‘how hard can it be?’) In the end I hand-sewed them. I’m not sure I’m any the wiser about how the collar/lapel/facing is supposed to go together, but at least I know to mark the dots next time.