The Gillian Dress
by Clare Szabo Follow

It's no secret that I love the McCalls shirt dress (6696). I first made it last year to wear on a date with Elvis at Sun Studios. Ever since, it's been the pattern I heartily recommend and praise. With zero alterations (I can make a size 10 straight out of the packet with no fuss) it makes sewing up a shirt dress a breeze, and so I have been eager to make a sequel.

This time around I opted for the straight skirt version, which omits the belt loops, and has short sleeves and pockets. I wanted a more classic shirt that would be suitable for perching on the edge of a desk while I write down Don's lunch order, or out for a sunny stroll in Greenwich. And what better fabric to do the job, but glorious chambray.

The only alteration I made to this pattern was the gathering on the back bodice. I didn't mind it on my pleated skirt version, but for the straight skirt style I chose to omit the gathering. I did this by removing the gathering allowance and using the new line as the fold. As you'll see I had a brain fart and forgot the bottom of the back bodice has a greater gathered allowance. Doh! So, there is still some gathering there but I do like it and it's definitely less poofy than before.

Thanks to an overwhelming vote on Instagram, I used white thread for topstitching my yoke seams. However, after some deliberation I chose not to topstitch the collar. I've left this plain and prefer the finish.

The buttons are my favourite detail. I managed to find white rubber buttons in Kleins, Soho. They are really unusual and bendy, and because they are made of rubber, they have a nice 'grip' on the fabric.

Discussion 3

  • ModeEthik commented 4 years ago

    Your dress looks perfect! I just began planning my own denim/chambray dress for the summer. After seeing yours I really can't wait!

  • AllisonF commented 4 years ago

    So perfect on you!  Very practical dress too.  Easy to add a cardigan or a some beads.  I might try this one too

  • Laurel commented 4 years ago

    Love this dress!

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