January 22, 2015

New Look 6587 and 1000 Shirtdresses of Autumn

So, I totally admire people who take the time to construct and sew an awesome collared, button down shirt.  There's many examples to oooh and aaah over, like Lauren at Lladybird (I want this shirt), Andrea at Four Square Walls or Mary at Fancy Idle.  Speaking of Mary, she is finishing up her 1000 Shirtdresses of Autumn and I declare myself a last minute arrival.  Well, kind of, sort of, maybe...?

You see, I am truly in awe of people who sew collars onto clothes (seems like a lot of work) but I HATE to wear them.  It's like this: my former roommate tells this story of how, when she was little, her grandma let her eat as much cottage cheese as she wanted- no limit.  So she did, she ate cottage cheese until she threw up cottage cheese.  That's pretty much my story with collared, button down anything.  I threw it up.

Ok, so not TECHNICALLY.  I just feel like I could've. I had to wear them as part of my uniform for school, then as part of my outfit while traveling with a performing arts group, then to look professional at my first job that required me to fill out a W-4...  I pretty much threw them up then gave them all away 10 years ago (although I admit to having 3 in my closet for those times I have job interviews or meetings with my boss).  

Even with my total and utter dislike of wearing them, I still wanted to participate in Mary's challenge.  I might have cheated...  I bought a pattern off Ebay that I thought I could dig, collar and all, but the seller couldn't find the pattern and returned my money.  After that I finally found New Look 6587.  It has 3 views with a collar (but a fake button placket, let's be clear about my laziness) OR 2 views without a collar. Yes!  I figured if the pattern itself has lots of options for the (kinda) traditional shirtdress, it counts- regardless of which view I make, right?

Ignore my horrible, crooked top-stitching.  It was late and I didn't care.

I made view E, minus the lasce-on-edges-thing.  I went with a straight size 12 but adjusted the seams to get a little room to eat.  Then I put my buttonholes on the wrong side- it's SUPER awkward (maybe just weird) having to think about how to button my dress when I put it on instead of just using muscle memory.  Fun stuff, huh?

The insides are all finished nicely.  The fabric is a rayon that wants to be lots of loose threads.  Seam finishing was a must and time consuming but I like how neat and enclosed all the seams are (but in my laziness you not only get blown-out, unedited pictures, you also get no inside pictures).

I wasn't sure what I was going to think of this dress when it was finished.  I kept trying it on after each new addition and felt like I had a Harry Potter robe on (I haven't even seen Harry Potter and I still felt that way).  I kept thinking I should shorten the length or what the heck am I doing sewing 12 buttonholes and buttons?  Wanna guess what my final reaction is?

I love it!

I love the slight 40's flare it has and how it twirls and hits my natural waist perfectly.  All the reviews I had read said this pattern had a short waist and many lengthened it.  I know my waist is short or high or whatever so after carefully measuring and looking at numbers, I decided to keep it like the pattern.  I'm glad I did.  And even tho I was unsure about the length (5" longer than most of my dresses), I like that too.

Somehow the neckline is too loose, but I didn't make ant size adjustments there.  I have no idea, it just seemed floppy and big and loose when I sewed the bias tape on.  Anyone know how to adjust necklines that are too big?  I like the fit every where else, but I'm at a loss as to how to fix the neck.

How about you?  Make (or do) anything lately that you were sure you wouldn't like only to really like the outcome after all?


  1. By the looks of it, the neckline probably stretched out (I have had SO MANY garments with gaping necklines). Do you stay stitch? It's now the first thing I do before handling the pieces any more - and I have discovered the "stay-stitch plus" technique which eases the fabric rather than just stitching it. So, starting from each shoulder, sew ~1cm from the edge, keeping your finger on the fabric directly behind the presser foot. IT will cause little ripples/gathers in the fabric - not enough that you'll get gathering once you've sewn at a 1.5cm seam allowance, and it will press out easily, but it really does help!

    What also helps is pressing the bias binding into a curve before sewing it to the neckline, so you're not having to pull things to fit

  2. Nicole, this is so chic! I love the collarless approach to shirtdresses and those giant polka dots are a perfect match to your pattern! Love it.

    Also, I second Sophie-Lee's suggestion. Stay-stitching the neckline is the first thing I do, after cutting out a pattern, because necklines are notorious about stretching out, especially when finished with bias tape. If you find, though, that the pattern's neckline is just flat-out too big, I would take a small dart at the neckline, then rotate it out to the fullness at the princess seam. It's a super easy fix on a flat pattern!