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Sep 072016

I’ve been trying to expand my shirtdress repertoire lately; my last post was on McCall’s 6891, and soon I hope to post a couple versions of the Deer and Doe Bruyere that I’ve  made (which I know is supposed to be a blouse, but I’ve lengthened it to be a dress).  And let’s not forget about the Grainline Alder, which was actually my first shirtdress!  McCall’s 6696 is wonderful, but it’s good to explore the wider world of shirtdresses.  With that goal in mind, today I bring you Butterick 6333.

butterick-6333-frontOne of the issues I was hoping to address with this pattern is the huge collar of 6696.  As you can see above, though, the collar still looks too big.  I compared the two collar pattern pieces and found that the Butterick was only slightly smaller than the McCall’s.  Part of the problem is my short neck, so others may have fewer collar issues than me.  butterick-6333-side As you can see, I used the slash pockets from the Belladone rather than the side seam pockets the pattern comes with.  I so prefer this style of pocket (and I apparently love them so much that I didn’t get any pictures with my hands out of the pockets . . . whoops!).  In terms of other substitutions, I used the skirt from McCall’s 6696.  I think the skirt for 6333 is a little fuller, but the 6696 skirt is plenty full for me, especially in the obnoxious Chicago wind, which threatens daily to show my underthings to passersby.butterick-6333-front-2 butterick-6333-back

My fabric is quilting cotton from Art Gallery.  The collection is Bari J’s Millie Fleur and the colorway is Wisteria.  I had sworn off quilting cotton a while back, but I’ve been relaxing my standards when I find a good Art Gallery or Cotton + Steel print because I find their quilting cottons to have a better hand than is typical.  I couldn’t resist this one when I spotted it in a local quilt shop while at a Chicago Sewing Social.butterick-6333-closeup

As you can maybe see above, there aren’t any buttonholes on this dress.  That’s because I just sewed the two button bands together and then sewed the buttons through both layers.  This dress is tighter than some of the others that I pull over my head, but it’s still quite possible to do it without unbuttoning it.  The tighter fit is more flattering to my eye, but increases the likelihood of bust area gappage when I sit.  I can eliminate that by just sewing up the plackets and not bothering with buttonholes.  I don’t think it’s noticeable from a distance.  I like to think that rather than people saying, “Wait a second!  Is her dress missing buttonholes?!”, they are instead saying, “Wow, how did that busty girl find a shirtdress that fit her so well?!”

Since this is my first version of this dress, there are some things that did not come out perfectly, despite my doing a muslin beforehand (I never skip muslins!).  The next time I make this dress, I’ll:

-Add some length to the front bodice so the waistband sits lower.

-Cut the tops of the front bodice pieces and button bands on an angle so there isn’t as much fabric at the center front.  I had mentioned doing this in a prior blog post, and I tried it out on my most recent shirtdress (a Bruyere/6696 mashup), and it turned out perfectly.  There is less fabric at the neck to overwhelm me, but the angle is very subtle so it’s not noticeable.  It just looks like the dress fits better.  You can see in the closeup above that there is a crease right next to the button band, especially on the right side.  That fabric can basically be taken out through a slash and overlap on the pattern, which is what I’ll do.

-Make the collar smaller.  I just keep on shaving off more on these shirtdress collars!  One day there will barely be anything left!

-Narrow the shoulders a bit.  It’s not really visually evident, but the front is especially wide at the shoulder and I find that the fabric digs into my arms there, which makes this dress less comfortable than my other dresses.  I’ll probably take out half of what I need to take out at the center front piece along the princess seam and the other half on the side front piece at the shoulder so it’s distributed more evenly across the front at the shoulder, if that makes sense.  Otherwise I’m afraid my side front piece would end up being so narrow that it would look odd because it’s a pretty significant amount that I think I’ll need to take out.

Despite those things that didn’t come out quite right, I do definitely love this dress.  The fit on the princess seams is excellent, and I think it’s an improvement over the bodice fit on 6696 for me.  I’m looking forward to making it again!