McCalls 8030: Liberty shirt dress

Sunday 3 October 2021

A shirt dress is fast becoming my favourite style of dress in these weird 'stay at home business casual' kind of times. I made Simplicity 8014 four times last year (see the round up here) but this time I thought I'd try a new pattern just to mix things up. And why not use beautiful and expensive Liberty on an untested fabric right!? Sometimes my cavalier attitude appals me, but hey it's only fabric.....

This dress is McCalls 8030, one of the new trendy instagram age patterns that has its own name - 'Josie'.  It's a loosefitting dress, hence it comes in the s-m-l-xl range instead of actual sizes.

I've seen some really great dresses made from this pattern, with some clever sewers doing interesting things with stripes and colour blocking. But I had some Liberty cotton bought earlier this year (not during their recent 40% off sale unfortunately) that I was keen to use for a casual summer dress, so I elected just to line up the pattern instead which frankly made the yoke pointless. Afterwards I realised I should have put some navy piping along that seam line to make it stand out, but as a consolation I did match up the pattern fairly well.

Liberty cotton can be very crisp when it's new, but over time it will soften up and that will probably help this dress wear a little better than it does now. Right now though I'm not loving it. Without the belt  it's really shapeless and unflattering, but when worn with the belt it needs constant tugging down every time I lift my arms.

Not having separate sleeves to set in makes this a really quick sew, but those cut on sleeves are the culprit for the poor fit: they are open to quite low on the body (just above my waist). And in this crisp cotton fabric they really stand out from my arms.

So if you're contemplating this pattern I'd recommend a drapey fabric or a stripey fabric to make the most of the pattern lines. It is a really quick and simple project to make, so perfect for beginners or those short of time. I'll still wear this lots over the upcoming Australian summer since I'll be spending the rest of the year working from home and the roominess of this makes it almost like wearing a nightdress but business appropriate! But I think I'll go back to my beloved Simplicity 8014 for any future shirt dresses.


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