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Made By A Fabricista: Sewing for Summer: A Summer Dress and a Men’s Button Down Shirt

Hello, fellow sewing enthusiasts! With the sun shining brightly and the temperatures rising, it's the perfect time to sew a easy little summer dress. I also attempted to sew up a button down shirt for my husband, but we will get to that later in this blog post. I dug through my paper sewing patterns to see what I had for this summery fabric I chose.  There are so many patterns from the big 4 pattern companies I had but I settled on McCall’s MP683. 

The fabric I chose was an easy breezy cotton.  The coral color is one of my favorite colors and I fall back on it often.  I did view C for this dress.  The pattern has options for cutting out the fabric so that you can play around with stripes if you wanted.  For me I took the easier route and cut my front piece out on the fold.  

On the topic of the big 4 patterns can talk about ease in these patterns? Can we collective agree that the amount of ease is just way too much.  I did make a muslin first and did my usually full bust adjustment. My muslin was way to big!! I haven’t sewn a McCall’s pattern for a while, but I remembered to go to the finished garment measurements and pick my size based on that.  When I sewed up my dress it still was kind of big in the arms eye area and needed to be taken in.  So if you are struggling with patterns from the big 4 just know, you will need to make adjustments to the pattern! It’s not your body, it’s the pattern!

This pattern was pretty easy and there aren’t many things I really had to say about it.  I do think this would be a good pattern for an advanced beginner.  You can play with stripes if you wanted to get creative with moving the print around.  You also have a zipper to put in too if that is something you want to learn.  The dress is sleeveless so you don’t need to worry about sleeve.  It’s the right amount of challenge for a beginner for sure!

Additionally, if you're looking to expand your sewing skills beyond a dress, you could try your hand at sewing a men's button-down Hawaiian-style shirt. My husband needs some casual shirts to where this summer. Now I would have totally finished this shirt but unfortunately my sewing machine decided to not hold it’s tension. So I did switch to one of my vintage machines BUT I didn’t have a button foot for this machine and couldn’t finish the button holes. 

The fabric I used for the shirt was a woven stretch performance.  I have never worked with this kind of fabric but I totally would again!  For a woven is super stretchy! It is definitely going to make a great comfortable summer shirt.  The only thing I wish I did was check my grainline more.  The front right of the shirt where the buttons go is little wrapped and now there is a ripple after I sewed it down.  Bummer! So my advice would be to really get the fabric to lay down nicely and make sure there isn’t any fabric hanging off the edge of your table, that will cause it to stretch while you cut it. To get the plaid to line up I did use my trusty fork pins to get them all to match! They are life savers when sewing up stripes, plaids or even prints you want to match up.

For the shirt I used a pattern company that is new to me that I found in Hawaii. It is from the Victoria Jones Collection and this pattern is the Hawaiian Classics 210 pattern. I even plan on scaling this pattern down and making a Hawaiian shirt for me!  It will be roomy for me but that is the look I’m gonna go for and I’ll crop it too. 

I hope you all have a great time sewing up some easy makes this summer, learn some new skills and try some new patterns!  Happy sewing!

HANNAH   @modistrasews


Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: COTTON, POPLIN, & SHIRTING

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