Holla, howdie, hey hey, Sanibonani Sewcialists!
I’m really really excited to be back with you today and boy, do I have something exciting to share?!!! [calm down, I’m NOT pregnant] jeesh lol
If you’re new here, WELCOME to Unsewcial where we full a flavor and vybe; if you already ‘custom to the island vybes, welcome back! Grab ya tea, a glass of wine or a pina colada and lets catch up!
Today, I’m getting to trade places with one of my favourite people on the internet, my sew-sista @sewstartino. Tino and I made initial contact on Instagram well over a year ago, and quickly developed a rapport. You know when you spirit tek s’mady’, yes! That’s us!
Now, we live in 2 very different places: me on Montserrat (under a rock in the Caribbean *eyeroll); her in South Africa; have a 6 hour time difference; and are unlikely to ever meet IRL, especially with this never-ending Covid debacle. We talk sewing, amongst other little things, and have similar tastes in patterns and fabrics, so it’s no surprise that we have collaborated more than once.
This time, we decided to sew up McCalls 8030. Instead of posting our makes on the same day, as we’ve done in the past, we leveled up and have also taken over each other’s Instagram accounts for 24hours. Soooooo if you went looking for me on Insta today, you would have noticed an (un)familiar face on my account. I’m hoping that y’all show[ed] Tino even more love than you show me, because guests should feel welcomed, am I right?
Anyways, about the pattern. McCalls 8030 is a shirt dress pattern released back in 2020. It is designed for woven fabrics and has 3 views. For my make, I nicked the collar and sleeve cuffs from view A, and added them to View B.
My measurements put me squarely within the size Large, but the reviews I read on this pattern, led me to grade out to a size XL at the hip for a little extra wiggle room, and I am GLAD I did!
Once I had traced out my blended sizes, I made only 2 adjustments to the flat pattern: I shortened the front yoke ¼” between the shoulders and bust and did a ¼” sloping shoulder adjustment. When I wore the dress, I noticed that the side seams swing inwards just a tad, and I have deduced that I need to do a hollow hip adjustment and perhaps a small sway back adjustment. Since hindsight is 20/20, I shall have to make these changes next time I sew up this pattern.
I made this dress using a gorgeous striped cotton shirting from Mood. The fabric has blue, purple, orange and pink pastel stripes. The striped fabric was a great choice for this dress, IMO, because it allowed me to have some fun! I kept the main body of the dress on the vertical plane, but opted for horizontal yokes. The collar follows the neckline, the button plackets are horizontal and the cuffs are on the diagonal. If you ask me, the end product is quite striking! Hubby bought me a piece of fabric from a recent trip home (to Dominica), as well as some matching blue buttons. Well, I decided I needed THOSE buttons for THIS dress. Obviously I’ll be hunting for buttons in the near future, but I’ll cross that other bridge when I get to it.
But. I. Digress.
When I was sewing the collar, it was all going swimmingly, UNTIL I attached the inside of the collar stand. Usually, I would press the collar stand into place, put a million pins to hold it, and take my time easing in the excess whilst hand sewing it into place. This time however, I had the not-so-brilliant idea of using stitch witchery to fuse the collar stand into place prior to sewing. The problem with this, is that I did not do a great job of easing the stand in, and by the time I made my way ¾ of the way to the opposite side, I realized I had a lot of excess fabric. I tried to pull the stand back up but was unable to get a lot of it to budge. After a lot of frustration and barely overcoming the inclination to discard the entire project, I managed to sorta rectify the problem (such that when I’m wearing the dress you’ll have no clue I actually F’ed it up), but I KNOW ITS THERE. I was sooooooooooo annoyed with myself over this mistake… like I shoulda known betta, you know? But what ev’s. I’m still gonna rock the hell outta this dress! On the upside, the top stitching on my button placket is probably the neatest its ever been so I’m gonna celebrate that small victory!
WARNING: This dress does come with pockets (hooray) but I feel like they are sooooooooooo small….(booooooo). Perhaps I’m being unreasonable and my hands are just huge but it’s so much more fun to blame it on the pattern, dontcha think? When I make this pattern again, I’ll definitely have to megasize these pockets!
FAST FORWARD now to photoshoot day. Before I had finished sewing this dress, I had already told my brother that he’d be taking my pictures. Yes! You read right. I didn’t ask… I told him. I mean, there must be SOME perks to being the older sister right? Anyways, thankfully he had no objections (which I would have ignored if he did), and we set out on the hunt for a ‘good spot’. Truth be told, it’s always so much fun driving around with him, hopping out the car at random spots, and snapping a few pics. For one, it’s valuable time I get to bond with him, and for two, I usually get the benefit of a couple awesome photos (snapped on an iPhone btw).
I decided that I wanted to style my shirt dress 3 ways: the first being without the belt. Now, the dress is a loosey-goosey sorta dress thats meant to flow from the body…but, as you already know, I just don’t feel like I got the loosey-goosey, looking-like-a-goddess-in-a-flowy-dress sorta body… so off we go to option 2, wearing it belted. This pattern did come with a belt piece but I ended up narrowing it to a finished width of 1” as I think this is a flattering width on me. I could be wrong *shrugs. I cut the belt piece with the lines running horizontally, just to contrast with the vertical stripes on the dress, and I ain’t mad about it. Unsurprisingly I preferred option 2 over option 1.
For option 3, I opted to wear my dress open like a duster. There is something about shirt dresses over jeans that I find appealing, so I threw on a blue cami with my white jeans, and topped it off with my shirt-dress-duster, and I’m here for it. 1 dress, 3 styling options = versatility, and when it comes to my clothing, THAT is a plus!
So tell me, which one is your favourite?
Anyways thats enough rambling from me today. Lemme leave you some time to go check out our instagram switcheroo!!!!
Gotta luv ya and leave ya.
Until next time,