I think shirtdresses are the perfect seasonal transition piece. They can be buttoned up more or less, sleeves rolled up or down to adjust for warmth or sun protection and they layer well.
I used McCall's 6600, which is a tent shaped dress, and ended up giving it a slight bit of shaping at the sides so I could wear it unbelted. I did make the matching sash, but it gives the dress a very different, more formal vibe in this particular fabric. I tried it with a variety of belts, but I really like it loose. It's so comfortable this way, and I think it has attitude! Also, a belt would disrupt the drape from the back pleat which is one of my favorite features in this dress.
I was surprised when I realized I had sewn something in the Pantone color of the year. At least I think this is pretty close to Radiant Orchid (the color of this fabric varies depending how the light hits it). I do check out the Pantone color forecast every season, but it never really speaks to me. The fabric shops around here don't seem to care about what Pantone says either. As sewists, are you influenced by it? Do you find that those seasonal palettes are well represented in the fabric shops you go to?
This fabric has metallic threads in the warp. I'm not sure of its contents but the burn test seems to indicate it's cotton. The guy at the market said it has some silk in it. I don't know... maybe. In any case, I really like it. It's pretty lofty and has this crinkled texture and subtle sheen that make it unique.
I love the look of the slim cuffs, and check out the pretty vintage button!
I'm really pleased with the fit of the shoulders (the only part of this dress where fit matters, really!) They allow for forward shoulders, and contour mine well without any alterations. Shoulders are the area that I usually need to fuss around with the most, so this was a nice surprise. I think that with such a loose style it's very important that the shoulders sit well. Oh, I did size down though. When they say it is "very loose fitting", they mean it!
One unusual thing about this pattern is that the front placket facing is not turned under, so its edges show when it is unbuttoned. McCall's tells you simply to "finish the long edge of the facing", well, they really should tell you that it will be visible from the outside. I chose to cut the facings along the selvage, so they're self-finished and bulk free, and I like the look of that sliver of darker magenta at the edges. If I make this dress again though, I will probably adapt the facing so it is turned under.
I also used the selvage as a stabilizer in the shoulder seams, as you can see in this inside shot:
Another inside shot: the yoke facing.
I would like to sew a more wintery version, like in a cozy flannel. But I think I can wear this one at least through fall and most of winter, and then again in the spring.
If you liked this dress, you might also want to check out the shirtdress I made last spring: Classic Shirtdress