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…..
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