Thursday, 7 June 2012

Finished: Jubilee Shirt Dress

It's moment of truth time… did my finished shirt dress make me resemble the old frump on the front of McCall's 4769? Or did it not?

Well, despite the horror of the front cover, I can confidently claim that McCall's 4769 is a queen amongst patterns, and damn near perfect for a shirt dress.  As a couple of commenters pointed out on my last post, the pattern has great bones and I think it's this factor that really carries it. I was looking for a knee length, short sleeved shirt dress and view C was exactly that.  The cut is deceptively simple, but very flattering.  


When it came to cutting the dress out, I'm afraid my sewing slapdashery spiralled completely out of control.  The fit on the cover model looked a bit looser than I wanted, so for a tighter fit, I disregarded the size I should have cut out (a 14) and cut out a size 12.  I used the petite shortening option on the skirt section, but not on the bodice pieces.  My reasoning was that I'd need the longer bodice to accommodate my bust, especially as I was cutting a size smaller than my measurements. I did a quick tissue fitting on one half of my dummy and everything seemed to be in the right place, so with fingers tightly crossed, I cut it out - no muslin required.  Yet again, the sewing gods were looking down on me that day, as the fit was positively glove-like.  I did feel a bit guilty, especially after reading this post by Marie on the subject of making muslins (or not as the case may be). I think I'm just lucky.... for now. 

I only made a couple of tiny changes to the pattern.  I left off the sleeve bands which just looked a bit bleurgh to me, and I removed the pockets, having first sewn them in place.  For some reason they added quite a lot of unnecessary width to my hips, so out came the seam ripper and off they came.  As a final touch, I added larger than specified vintage red buttons and I think they make quite a difference to the look of the dress. 


It's such a lovely dress to wear, and has a really old fashioned feel about it that I just love.  Now that I know it fits well, there's tons of potential to fiddle about with details such as collar and sleeves.  In the meantime, if you want to vamp it up a notch, you can always cinch it in at the waist with a waspie belt…..
Steady on!



As I was feeling in an old fashioned mood, I actually baked some scones to celebrate Queenie's 60 years on the throne (shock, horror!)  Here I am  in full domestic goddess mode, inching my way over to the mixer, determined to actually use it for a change!  


I used a scone recipe from the current issue of Vintage Life magazine and they turned out perfectly, even if I say so myself.  


We invited some friends over for a fab, old style tea-party.  After stuffing ourselves senseless with scones, tea and Victoria sponge, we let the kids run riot and cracked open the champagne. A perfect day. x

55 comments:

  1. Yay! Looks great on you! I'm so pleased the pattern turned out well. I've had my eye on this one too and now I've seen your version it's definitely going on my 'to buy' list. Love the red buttons on blue.

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  2. Oh Jane it looks fantastic - what a wonderful fit you got. I can't wait to see more versions. On a side note - I love the colour of the walls on this pic

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-btBlCCNh4KU/T9BeG0WCyTI/AAAAAAAABhQ/IJa_GWqCEV8/s640/P1070829.JPG

    and this pic

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q8qx_-NSVOs/T9BeCz_8k7I/AAAAAAAABg8/CFBqBNcPx1I/s640/P1070805.JPG

    Would it be terribly cheeky to ask what colours/makes they are? I'm thinking of repainting my hallway and kitchen and I really like those hues!

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    1. Oh thanks Joanne! No, it wouldn't be cheeky at all, I sped my whole life getting ideas from other people! Both colours are from Farrow and Ball, the greeny blue one in the bedroom is called Teresa's Green (no 236) and the grey one is Pavilion Gray (no 242). Funnily enough, both colours are used in the kitchen picture too, we painted the kitchen and had loads left over so repainted the bedroom and loft! They're both lovely colours and seem to complement everything. Good luck with your repaint! x

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    2. Brilliant thank you Jane - love F&B colours :)

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  3. You should feel guilty Jane and thanks so much for rubbing it in ;o) Your dress is perfection though! I love the easy-to-wear style, your fabric choice as always is cool and the buttons are a great addition! All in all, you look smashing my dear...as do those scones!

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  4. Very adorable, indeed! Love your buttons, and you're correct: the style is flattering. Good job!

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  5. Glorious fabric and buttons combo!

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  6. Ooh lovely! the buttons are so cheerful and really set it off well.

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  7. Fabulous, Jane. Seriously! I love that you were able to look past the derptasticness of the styling on the envelope and see the cracking little shirt-dress that was lurking underneath! x

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  8. I love your dress! the larger buttons are beautiful and the fit is lovely. Seeing past the envelope is def a good skill to have, I have some '80's shockers which can be really pretty if you remove the poof haha!

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  9. That is nice! And I love the red accents, I think they really make it and they are very you. Those scones look great too!

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  10. You look fantastic - well done a complete success and I love it with the belt.

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  11. I love it, especially with the red belt! I think it looks about a thousand times better at your modified, shorter length than at the awkward mid-calf length the pattern looks like it was made for!

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  12. the dress is great, especially the colour withe the red dots.
    and the little Cakes(?) look delicate, now i'm hungy :D

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  13. So cute! The color scheme is perfect. I definitely appreciate your attitude toward muslins.:)

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  14. You look great and you dress is so cute. ( it looks a million times better shorter like yours )

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  15. I LOVE it! See, looks totally better than it does on the pattern envelope. It's a definite go to pattern for shirtdresses. I'm a huge fan! I too appreciate your muslin attitudes as I haven't made one in sometime and its nice to feel a bit of a freedom from that. After a certain point, especially when you know where to look if you are worried something is not going to fit you, they become superfluous. Brilliant job! You look fab!

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  16. Oh, this dress came out so good. Well done, well done!
    I too have this pattern, and it always seemed to me a bit frumpy, as you say. I have only used the top of the dress, making the skirt gathered, and it turned out very pretty (although in need of some alterations). You wound me up for another go with it.
    xoxo
    P.S.: The scones look delicious (all gleemy and golden-did you smear them with milk before baking?)!

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    1. Oh thank you. I brushed the scones with beaten egg to make them all gleamy and golden! x

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  17. Oh, this is so pretty. Very well done! You look amazing in it.
    I too have this pattern, and I've only used the top of it, making the skirt gathered, which turned out pretty (although in need of some alterations regarding the length).
    The scones look so delicious, all gleamy and golden. Yam.
    Xo.

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  18. Yay! So happy that your dress came out well. I've had that pattern in my stash for a while but have never gotten around to make it. :)

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  19. Looks like you found *your* TNT dress pattern! It looks amazing on you, and I love all the red details :) Glad you were able to eek it out without a muslin - I always feel like such a badass when I get a good fit without the help of a muslin, haha. So then that would make you a badass, too!

    Also, I want to see more pictures of your house. It always looks so pretty & full of sunlight (and CLEAN!) in your photos, and now I'm swooning over your kitchen too.

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    1. I agree! I want Jane or her husband to come and clean my house! The visible cobwebs tremble in draughts at Des Res Didyoumakethat!

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    2. Ha! Thanks both of you, I'll tell my husband, he'll be thrilled to know his cleaning mania has paid off! I need to get a tripod so I can take more interesting pictures around the house - they're always in the same place i.e. wherever I can balance the camera! x
      PS. Lauren, I LOVE being described as a badass by you, it's made my year! x

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  20. Jaaaaaane! I think you're wonderful and all that, but you really are mean looking so awesome in a dress that (a) fits beautifully and (b) suits you perfectly! And all without a muslin. Great dress!

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  21. Great dress skills, lovely house and scrummy-looking scones. Will you adopt me please? ;-)

    Suze x

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  22. Ahhh! This is such a winner. It's so cute with and without the belt. Options: gotta love 'em. Plus! How insanely cute is your kitchen. You win. and you have scones. Hmmm, must make scones first, then remodel kitchen.

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  23. Your dress is gorgeous, and the red buttons really set it off. Those scones look delicious too! :)

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  24. The dress looks just perfect on you! I love the polka dots, and the neckline seems just right. Sometimes they're too tight, but that just lays in the perfect place. Love the whole thing!

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  25. Very pretty!!!!
    I have the same pattern but cannot decide to start it...too many buttons and buttonsholes to sew :)
    The scones are mouthwatering
    xx
    Laura

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  26. So cute!! I love how you've styled it, too!

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  27. It's a corker Jane!!! I really like its dual looks:looser and prob v comfy and rather vintage, yet the red waspie girlies it up rather. Ra ra! Three cheers m' dear x

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  28. Your dress looks fabulous with the red accessories. I love your shoes!

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  29. Looks great! And love the polka dots!

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  30. Ooh, I absolutely love that, Jane. You look so pretty in it and it's really fresh. Hmmmm. Do I need to buy yet another pattern... Actually, I'm quite tempted to have another go with the yellow shirt dress I made last year, though I'd add more buttons for less gaping at the button band.

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  31. Absobloodylutely gorgeous!!!!!!! xxx

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  32. Sew fabulous! I would have passed the pattern in the catalog, but your version makes me want to sew this one. Well Done!

    Christiana
    sewamusing.blogspot.com

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  33. This post has inspired me to try a shirt dress. The fabric you have chosen is so cute. Love it!

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  34. Gorgeous dress, Jane! And the red belt really makes it look special. I love the shoes too, so cute!

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  35. OOh Jane what a beaut of a frock! I agree whole heartedly with you about this pattern. I used it last year to make Our Lady of the Sea dress and it was an all round win. It's now my absolute go to shirt dress pattern now.

    xxx

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  36. Just perfect! And very pretty on you too.

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  37. So pretty, Jane! Did you save a scone for me? xx

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  38. This looks gorgeous. And scones how domestic of you.
    Part of me wishes I had done something like this for the jubilee but instead I sat in a pub just off tower bridge to watch the pagent on TV having had to get off the boat I was on due to lack of a security clearance. :(

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  39. I love this! Perfect with the red accessories and buttons!

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  40. Great job! The fit is perfect on you, and the fabric and button combination are perfect on you too!

    Also..... MMMMM scoooooones :D

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  41. Great dress - love the polkadots! Fit looks perfect. I've got a modern simplicity shirt dress pattern I'm planning on making which looks hideous inthe pictures, so hopefully mine will turn out as good as yours did with this pattern!

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  42. Hi I'm new to you lovely sewing blog! I love sewing too.I mainly do patchwork but I'm halfway through a tiered skirt similar to one I made in the 70s at school! Looking forward to your future posts! You look fab in your shirt dress with or without the belt :) If you get a minute please visit my blog. Maggie xx

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  43. I'm LOVING your modelling Jane xx

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad somebody appreciates it, one of my so called friends was very rude about my 'modelling'!! x

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  44. I have this same pattern and made it up in a tiny pink/white gingham, using large, white buttons. It looked nothing like that smarmy cover photo, but looks every bit as cute as yours does! Great job, jane!

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    1. Ooh sounds lovely, can you send me a photo?! x

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  45. What a great dress and such a perfect fit! Bethx

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