Sunday, 5 March 2017

McCall's 7546 As a Shirtdress

Fifteen minutes at a time and I finally have a new dress. The timer feature on my cell phone came in handy during this sewing project. 

It was interesting to see what I could accomplish in fifteen minutes (the collar minus the collar band) and what I couldn't (the sleeve opening near the pleats), this project was a slow process. The timer kept me from overdoing it, but even without it my time sitting is limited right now. So this project feels like a huge accomplishment.  And the project:  I used McCall's 7546 as a starting point for a new shirtdress.   

McCall's 7546 caught my eye because of the attached sash and I started thinking that maybe it might make a nice shirtdress. I have to say that I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I really like the shape created by the darts. Oh my goodness, those curved darts are lovely and it's well drafted.

This fitted shirt pattern with shaped darts had me worried about the fitted description. Since I was cutting out fabric that I really liked instead of cutting out a toile, my thought was to go with some additional ease throughout the body. I cut the shoulders, neckline and armhole as a size fourteen. Then I extended to a size sixteen where the armhole and side meet, grading out to the largest size towards the hemline. So now it has more of an A-line shape. I have to say I like the extra ease especially since it is taken in with the sash.  

The fabric is a 100% cotton floral print chambray that I found in the discount section at Fabricland late last year. It has been pretreated with a tumble in the washing machine and dryer and then steam pressed before cutting the fabric. And it handled the pretreatment process well. The dress was constructed on a Janome sewing machine using a regular stitch at 2.6 and the slip stitch by hand. The buttons have been in my button stash for quite some time and were sewn by hand. The buttonholes were sewn by machine using the automatic buttonhole feature on the sewing machine. I did find that the cutting of the buttonholes to be a challenge because the front facing in interfaced and folded so I was cutting through two layers of interfacing and fabric. If I make this again, I'll only interface half of the facing, that would be enough.  

Alterations and Pattern changes:  

I raised the sash two inches so that it wouldn't sit at the waistline level. I like how empire styles look on my body shape and that was my motivation for this change. Shirt view D was lengthened by ten inches keeping the hemline shape. The sleeves were shortened and other than that (and adding the extra ease), it is pretty much true to the pattern design.   

The Stats:  

Fabric:  2.8 metres Chambray fabric ($26.00 / metre - 70% off + taxes = $24.86 Cdn / $18.56 US)

Interfacing:  1.15 metres fusible interfacing ($6.00 + taxes = $7.80 Cdn / $5.83 US)

Buttons:  14 - 1/2" buttons ($5.42 Cdn / $4.05 US)

Thread:  100% cotton thread for the sewing machine and hand-stitching, 100% polyester for the 4-spool serger (averaged out at $5.00 Cdn / $3.74 US)

Pattern:  McCall's 7546, circa 2017 Early Spring Collection  ($17.95 - 40% + taxes = $12.17 Cdn / $9.09 US)

Time investment:  11 hours and 30 minutes

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Coccyx cushion, sewing machine, walking foot, buttonhole foot, serger, 100% cotton thread for the sewing machine and hand-stitching), hand sewing needle, scissors, thread clippers, iron, ironing board, tailor's ham, sleeve ham, tailor's mitt, tailor's chalk, pins, cutting table, pin cushions, measuring tape, seam gauge, wrist brace, cell phone timer, Magic Bag®, breaks, naps, pain meds, exercise and stretching breaks, and some good tunes.

Happy Sewing!  

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