This was the loveliest project ever! After dealing with whole array of slippery and sheen fabrics in last few projects, I was eager to get back to some sort of normality and again feel stable fabric in my hands. And what can be better than lovely liberty fabric and summery dress design!
I bought this fabric somewhat by accident (ah, so many of my fabric purchases get described as “accidental” – it is quite amusing by now!). Back in autumn while shopping for autumn/winter fabrics, this liberty cotton for some reason jumped in front of me. I was almost scrolling past it, but then I saw those awkward mushrooms and all the other weird things going on in the print, and immediately got tempted. It is fair to say, that I bought this fabric only because of mushrooms 😅 (Just like I bought the fabric I used for Jungle wrap dress only because of parrots and toucans 😁).
It is absolutely gorgeous fabric – rarely do I find this kind of quality actually. It is light weight, even somewhat sheer. And it has some sort of luster to it – very subtle and so beautiful. The background is not quite white, it’s more like milk white or ivory. I just LOVE it!
As for the pattern, it was quite obvious that this crazy mushroom world should become a shirt dress. So I just had to decide which shirt dress pattern I’d like to use and chose one out of a handful of shirt dress patterns that I own. I ended up choosing McCall’s M7351 and am very happy how it worked out.
Ok, so there is actually little to report on this project as it went very smoothly. My hassle gauge for any project takes into account how many seams I had to rip and how many adjustments / deviations from the pattern I had to execute. Hassle ratio for this project was very low as there were practically no adjustments needed and I had to rip like two short portions of the seam, which is nothing. Quite remarkable really!
I cut the top of the bodice in size 8 and graded to size 10 at the waist. Did not make a mock-up out of muslin this time (I really do not like making muslins!). The only adjustment I decided on was lengthening the bodice by 1.5 cm. Later on it became clear that this was not really necessary, or maybe something like 0.7 cm lengthening would have been enough and would have worked better.
I started by stitching darts. Then installed yoke – for yokes I always use so called “burrito” method which allows to hide all seams in between yoke and yoke facing. For side seams I used French seams. Intended to use this seam method also to install the sleeves. But unfortunately had to abandon that idea as I had quite a difficult time to ease the sleeve cap into sleeve opening and making it in French seam would have been too complex.
The skirt of this dress is full circle skirt. I installed the pockets, stitched skirt side seams and went on to check if the skirt was opaque enough. But it was not. So I decided to install a lining of sorts, it’s just that it’s more like another skirt than lining. I made it of white cotton batiste. It has more structure than regular linings and adds volume to my beautiful skirt, which is exactly what I wanted! It was quite a feat to hem two full circle skirts. At first I intended to iron the hem and stitch using the regular foot. But then I figured that ironing alone will take ages, so decided to reach out to my good old rolled hem foot. Used 6mm foot for lining, but had a bit of trouble with it. So for the main skirt took 4mm foot and it worked so much better, without any problem at all, which was nice to see!
Then the time to install the closure band came. It took me few good hours to make, but I eventually managed to deal with it. The last sewing stage was about installing the collar. I decided to interface the collar with medium weight interfacing, which I’m not sure was a good idea – the collar looks rather sturdy, on the other hand it is very crisp, so maybe it’s for good. And then I was unsure which piece of collar stand to interface. I ended up interfacing the one at the back and leaving the inside one not interfaced – this was exactly the opposite of what instructions were telling me. I am still uncertain, which way is the correct one.
Then I only needed to make button holes and stitch the buttons on. Just exactly as with my Evergreen jacket, I determined that my button hole foot makes too big button holes with button squeezed in it. So I removed the button, reduced the setting a tiny bit and went on to stitch 11 button holes and attach the buttons. And with that my new summer dress was complete!
For this project I used a bit more than 2 meters of gorgeous liberty cotton which I bought at Guthrie&Ghani online store. Fabric is called Soho a Tana Lawn. Pattern used was McCall’s M7351, I chose to make view D. Skirt is lined with white cotton batiste which I bought at my local fabric store, I needed some 0.75 meters of it. Other notions were: a bit of interfacing of two weights, a bit of interfacing tape, and coordinating thread. I just love those white glitter buttons that I bought from Textile garden online store, I needed 11 buttons. This dress cost me 80 Eur, it is quite expensive really, but the experience and the end result are absolutely worth it. I made this dress in June, 2021.
My new awesomeness twirls like a dream! 💜 When I finished it, I could not stop twirling around and smiling. I made a zillion photos while twirling, and was proceeding on until my head became light from me spinning around. I love it so much that intend to continue with the remainder of fabric. I’ve got some 90 cm of the fabric left, so will make a top out of it. Meanwhile, can’t wait to wear my new awesome mushrooms dress soon!
Let’s all stay healthy!
6 thoughts on “Epic liberty shirt dress”
Interesting that you disclose how much the dress cost, something we don’t often see talked about. This weekend I bought fabric for 2 t-shirts which was £35 at a nice trendy fabric shop. The same day I bought a ready made t-shirt for £3.50 at a charity shop.
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You are making fair point, Helen. Sewing may be cheaper than RTW, but also may be more expensive. I guess, my point in sharing the cost of all the resources for each project is to simply have a track record. But in fact it transpires so that my projects’ cost range is quite wide, depending on the fabric choice. Cost calculation is also probably a bit related with my day job, which is finance. I am very used to calculating 🙂
Glorious fabric and a wonderful dress. I well understand why you love it!
I quite like to read about the costing for projects. I have the luxury of sewing as a hobby, rather than sewing to reduce my cost of living. But I am still interested in how much I spend on my hobby.
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You are making a very good point here, Elle. I also have a luxury of enjoying sewing as my hobby rather than a means to economize. But still, I am curious how much my hobby costs in general. Also I look at it as some sort of socioeconomic research / experiment. Sewing may help save, if one has this goal. But also, as a hobby we might blow costs out of proportion, if we only wanted 🙂 There are expensive fabrics out there, and that is great to be able to try these out too. So keeping track of all that is simply very interesting 🙂
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