UFO – Shirtmaker dress

This is a classic shirt style (McCalls 5433) that I thought would be worthwhile making. It has tab front and enough detailing to wrestle with a few finishing options to make the same dress look a bit different. You would remember this dress from Sharon’s blog. And I made the shirt version in December last year.

The toile fabric is from Rathdowne (Melbourne fabric shopping visit in 2009). It’s a chambray blue colour and light weight but stiff and very sheer. The fabric irons really well and the weave makes it unravel easily. So with that in mind, halfway through testing out this style I decided this version could be wearable, so I’ve lined it with a 3/4 chiffon and 1/4 poplin. I didn’t have enough chiffon in my stash, so I’ve made do with some poplin.

The original toile was going to have long sleeves with a cuff, but because the fabric is lightweight, I’ve decided on a short sleeve with cuff. I saw a someone on the street wear the same dress and it had short sleeve with cuff, so that helped me make up my mind.


As you can see, the sleeve has the same ribbon detail as the inside collar stand. The lining is the same dark blue colour  as the ribbon detail, so I think it might be worthwhile getting dark blue coloured buttons. What do you think?
With the left over fabric, I’ll make a belt.
I don’t love the sleeves at the moment so at some point I’ll have to either take them out or change the length of the sleeves. I can add another horizontal pleat if need be.

By the way, yesterday we visited Sydney’s first fabricabrac to see what fabric was on offer from other like-minded sewers who were selling from their stashes. The venue was probably large enough but it was packed with curious sewers. They also had a coffee bar so I think the organisers should have had a successful event.

Collar – two piece


Collars can be time consuming at the best of times and I love garments with great collars. Why?
They frame your face, can draw the eye to your face whether sewn correctly and can make a garment fit in with other jackets/vests that you have in your wardrobe.

So the main advice I can give is:

– use directional stitching to keep each piece balanced
– interface both sides of a collar to keep it looking crisp
– invest in good ironing tools and steam iron

The collar above was part of the Butterick 5328 wrap shirt that I finished last week. Do I take notice of notches? Not unless it’s a coat or jacket. This shirt was made with cotton quilting fabric and it leant itself to using armoweft.