Blue Beaded Floral Shirt Dress (54)
McCalls 7351: A Summer Shirtdress
June 1, 2016
by Melanie for Following The Thread


I am declaring this the summer of the shirtdress, to help me overcome my fear of buttonholes and to challenge myself a little!

Luckily for me, I was able to choose McCalls 7351 (I used View D) to start my shirtdress journey, as it came recommended as a beginner-level pattern on PatternReview.

I received it as my latest Fabricville project along with this beautiful cotton – an exclusive print made for Fabricville in three colourways, and quite irresistible! I like all three colours, but was really drawn to this bright and cheery aqua.

The making of this dress has been delayed somewhat – ironically – by my recent trip to Chicago and Pattern Review Weekend! But I powered down when I got home and learned a lot of new things with my first ever shirtdress project. It helped that McCall’s is currently hosting a Sewalong – lots of tips and support on their blog and the FB group associated with it to keep me motivated.

I am really pleased with this dress! It fits well – I used size 14 at neck and shoulders and graded out to 16 by bust & waist. I do feel like it’s a teeny bit big at the waist but it is super comfortable so I can live with that! 🙂 Next time I might make it just halfway between 14 & 16 — a modified size 15, if you will, haha.

I love the way the neck fits and the swishiness of the skirt. It’s a really lovely thing to wear. It’s drafted well and it includes pockets, always a plus in my books. I had the perfect buttons in my stash, so I was delighted to finally use them!

The dress was straightforward, although I did make a few changes to the construction process as I went:

  • Instead of attaching the yoke as in the instructions, I used the ‘burrito technique’, or as it is called in my trusty Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, the ‘couture technique’. It worked great and the yoke looks lovely all enclosed.
  • I watched a Professor Pincushion video to help me understand how to attach the front bands. I really mean it when I say I’ve never made a shirtdress (or any kind of button down shirt) before.

This is a solid design – it works like it should. I did practice my buttonholes on scrap fabric quite a few times before I had the courage to make them for real. And I even have an automatic buttonholer to help me. But it all turned out 🙂

It took me quite a while, but I love the result. I am sure the next time I make a similar dress it will feel much easier!