Pattern: McCalls M7084, View A
Size: 18 (but should've made a 16)
Modifications: Shortened bodice 1" (and then a bunch more stuff :D)
Fabric: Robert Kaufman 6.5 oz in Indigo Washed Denim
Pictures: At the Paramount Ranch, in 97 degree heat!
Last year when Jen released her Alder shirtdress pattern, I quickly snapped it up, splurged on some awesome linen at Joann's and made it up in the size that matched my measurements. Fast forward several hours later, and I had a dress that was too big, and I was too sad/lazy to fix it (it still hangs on my dress form, so at least I can look at it). I was encouraged to try again by my friend Heather, so I performed an FBA on a smaller size with success (despite an accidentally NSFW v-neck), and I now feel confident in my Alder fit... However, I tell that whole story because during my grieving time for my never-to-be Alder, I bought M7084 as a "replacement" pattern.
McCalls M7084 is a princess seamed shirt dress with options for both a straight skirt and a fuller skirt with godets. The shape appealed to me in my post-Alder funk - I figured it would work better on my hourglass frame, had easier-to-fit princess seams, and was a little more form fitted with a bit more of a defined waist. Turns out I was mostly right - and now I have two shirtdress patterns that fit well (post-tweaks) and have different looks...
To start - sizing. I never seem to learn my lesson (that McCalls patterns tend to have too much ease), and I made this initially in a size 18 (which matched my measurements). I looked over the finished garment measurements, and I still felt confident in my choice - this pattern has much less ease than M6696 (which I've also tried to make before). M6696, however, turned out to be a unmitigated disaster (too big, hadn't yet realized my short waisted-ness, used rayon that I let hang and it stretched out, etc) - but I was able to work with the excess ease issues while sewing M7084. The one smart thing I did from the offset was to shorten the waist pieces by 1" - although this still wasn't enough.
From the beginning the bodice was a bit too large (see ease issues above), and I ended up removing another inch from the waist during the sewing process. I just lopped the extra 1" off the bottom of the bodice, in not the most professional manner. I also brought in the side seams, and cut the skirt pieces down to match. The sleeveless version of M7084 (i.e. leaving off the sleeves) results in shoulder seams that are way too long, and almost cap sleeve in nature. I shortened the shoulder seams by about an inch (maybe more, I took sparse notes), and reshaped the armscye.
Overall the fit was acceptable, but I still felt it was a bit too large looking all over. A belt helped immensely (finally a use for my skinny belts that I literally have never worn), but the arm holes were still gaping. I fixed this (again, in an unprofessional manner), by sort of folding the side seam under the arm over itself, and sewing it down. This results in a tuck, but it's pretty hidden under the arm, and I really never notice it.
I think this pattern could be a good base shirt dress that is a little different from other popular options (it has a v-neck unlike the standard collar/neck of M6696). The addition of the godets in the skirt could be really beautiful, and I'm looking forward to making this again in the spring.
This is also officially the last item I'm going to post from my Spring 2015 (and Summer!) Wardrobe Plan. I'll have a wrap up of that soon, as well as my Fall/Winter 2015 Wardrobe Plan. I'm so excited to get started on it, and I've even finished something already! :D
What's your favorite shirt dress pattern? Has anyone tried this one? Another I've got my eye on is Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress pattern - so pretty!