Friday, February 6, 2015

Miss Clara Predicts an Early Spring: McCall's 6696

Hello, lovelies! Perhaps you thought that, with the end of 1000 Shirtdresses, I would be finished with McCall's 6696. However, spring looms in Texas. That means the lighter, brighter fabrics in my stash are demanding buttons and collars of their own. While I do have many other things on the docket, I made two shirtdresses in late January, especially for those warmer months: one floral and one plaid. Even better, I finally photographed one of them! 

This pastel cotton lawn has been in my stash for five or six years. With Liberty-like softness and all those pretty purple flowers, it's ideal for a sweet, springy shirtdress. (God, that's a lot of alliteration. Forgive me, friends.) Unfortunately, it was also really, really narrow. With four-and-half yards, I was just able to squeak a sleeveless 6696 out of it. 

After five previous iterations of this pattern, there shouldn't be more to say about it. However, I went for a different finishing route with this one. After all that sitting around in a closet, this particular fabric deserved extra flourish. With such a dainty print, why not throw in a few pretty techniques, as well? 

Instead of my usual shirtdress methodology of Topsitching All The Things, I instead hand-sewed all the details. The button bands, waistband, yoke, and hem were secured in place, using simple slip stitch. Meanwhile, the armholes were finished with self-bias tape and a catch-stitch. It all made for a beautiful, clean finish. Woohoo for unnecessary attention to details! 

One certain detail really makes me swoon over this dress, however. Instead of picking clear buttons, or contrasting ones, I covered eleven half-inch buttons with the same floral lawn. Sure, they blend in in these photos, but they add a lovely, feminine touch, in person. My fingertips hurt for two days afterwards, but it was worth it! Oh, sewing...

There's not much more to say about this dress, dear ones. The only fit change I made was to raise the armholes another half-inch. So interesting, no? In the end, this is a fabulous dress for spring. The colors come off a little washed out, in the winter light of these photos, but they're quite pretty in real life. It's going to be cute with a coordinated cardigan and espadrilles. 

Best of all? Next week, our temperatures hover around 70 degrees. It's always nice to actually wear the dress you've recently spent five hours hand sewing! 

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