A few months back I made a chambray shirt dress from the ubiquitous M6696 pattern for the #sewtogetherforsummer Instagram challenge. I wear it all the time (despite accidentally cutting the collar corner and having to make the collar really narrow to fix it). For my next one, I wanted to make a few changes to rework the bodice for a better fit. The Sewaholic Granville shirt is one of my favorites, and thought a mash up would be exactly right.
I bought this fabric at Stone Mountain and Daughter years ago, before I’d really started garment sewing. It’s a quilting cotton, and I had dreams of a beautiful fit-and-flare dress. When I was shopping my stash for this idea, this fabric jumped out and me.
Though the quilting cotton doesn’t have much drape, I still like how it turned out. Plus it pressed BEAUTIFULLY which was awesome. I sewed a size 2 in the Granville bodice, and I think an 8 in the M6696. Then I eliminated the 2 outermost pleats on each side in the front (nobody needs extra volume there!), and cut view C for the skirt (which is without pleats) for the back. I had to do a little bit of math to figure out how to get everything to line up, and a few #makeitwork moments, but I think it turned out alright.
Since I didn’t take into account that the Granville skims the waist, rather than snugly fitting, I had a lot more fabric there than I liked. I took 2 big darts out of the back to get the shape I wanted. In the future, I’ll take 4 inches out of the back pieces. I think that will help with some of the wrinkles, though I might need a swayback adjustment too. Another thing I haven’t totally figured out is the darts down the butt. I may need to readjust those to lie flatter. I also adjusted the armscye for a better sleeveless fit. Because the bodice is drafted for sleeves, I had to add an extra bust dart to take some of the gaping out once I cut away some of the armscye. In future iterations, I’ll combine those two darts into one.
These beautiful buttons are vintage metal from my late grandmother’s button stash. I always feel close to her when I’m sewing, and I love giving some of her beloved sewing supplies a happy home. I altered the button placement so one sits right at my bust apex, which is reason number 739 that sewing your own clothes is awesome. And I haven’t sewn on the buttons above it because I keep forgetting! I’ll probably never wear it buttoned that high, so it’s not really that important, I suppose.
Overall, I’d say this is a successful first attempt. There are definitely some changes I’ll make, but I can’t wait to try another when spring rolls around again. Looking at these photos, I’m realizing I’d love this in a sleeveless top version! But for now, on to Autumn sewing!
I’m terrible at sewing ahead of season. Are any of you masters at that? Any tricks? Or are you like me, and perpetually trying to squeeze in one last summer dress before the weather turns?