achievement unlocked: floral shirtdress

Jared & I are having a disagreement about this dress. Is it orange or is it yellow? Possibly it splits the difference & is “goldenrod”?


I like to think it’s yellow, because I don’t like orange. & yet, I bought the fabric (Social Climber by Anna Maria Horner), which is possibly orange. We tried to use Ramona as a tiebreaker, & she said it was yellow, but when she heard Jared say it was orange, she sided with him. Then she said it was “yellow-orange”.

Anyway! It’s another McCall’s 6696. I am obsessed with this pattern! I was actually just working on a third one (pink gingham seersucker, sleeveless, with a full button placket) before I decided to sit down & write this post. This one implements all the fit changes from my wearable muslin: I added 1/2″ to the sleeve width & sewed all the side seams at 3/8″ instead of 5/8″. I lengthened the bodice 1″ in the middle, grading out to 1/2″ at the sides, & grading to nothing in the middle back. I lowered the dart points 1″. I sewed the waistband with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I made the pockets a little bigger by sewing them with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I cut 2″ off the skirt hem & added an extra 1.5″ of flare to the hem along each pattern piece, for a total of 6″.


I think there is too much damn blousing in the back, so I took out 1.5″ for my next version, & we’ll see how that goes.


But in general, I am pretty thrilled with how this one came out! When my friend Rebecca saw it, she exclaimed, “It fits perfectly!” & I was like, “I know!” Any changes I make from here are going to be pretty minor, like lowering the placement of the top button, & maybe bringing them hem up just a smidge more.

I also added a tulle ruffle to the hem of this dress. I originally bought this fabric with a different pattern in mind, with the intention of adding this element. Once this dress was finished, I pitched the tulle idea to Jared & asked, “Too much or just enough?” He voted for just enough.


I had three yards of this tulle, so I cut a 5″ strip three yards wide. I folded it in half, gathered it, & sewed it into the hem so the raw edge of the tulle was enclosed within the interior hem.

IMG_9939This is what it looks like on the inside. There’s probably a neater, prettier way to do this, but whatever. It’s fine.


I used a contrast fabric for the interior yoke this time. I had enough fabric to use the floral, but I wanted to see how this looked.


I used the same fabric for the pocket bags.


I used bias tape to enclose the seam at the armscye. I don’t know if I love the way it looks, but…eh. It’s fine.


The inside of the bodice.


Bodice close-up.


Collar close-up.


Another look at the tulle.

Not much more to say about this! I love this pattern & plan to make a million more versions. This dress taught Ramona what tulle is. When she saw it, she made a beeline for the hem & asked, “What is that called sparkly?” I did flummox myself trying to remember what order various parts of the dress are sewn in, in order to enclose all the seams. I kept screwing it up & having to get out the seam ripper. In my defense, I sewed most of this dress over the weekend while Jared was out of town. I wasn’t firing on all cylinders after doing all that solo child care. Hopefully I’ll do better with my next one, & I also hope to be more precise with my facings. They are not quite perfect on this dress. I should have done more pressing before topstitching. Live & learn.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

11 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: floral shirtdress

  1. I’d definitely call it yellow. The fit on this looks so good, and I really like the way that you’ve altered the shape of the skirt on this and your previous version. Great dress!

    1. Thanks! I did use yellow thread in the construction. It’s a little lighter than the fabric (as you can see if you look at the buttonholes or the topstitching), but it’s pretty close. Definitely closer than any of the orange thread at the fabric shop.

      I really love how this dress came out & seriously plan to make so many more. I’m so glad the skirt alterations panned out, & changing the shape was such an easy fix.

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