achievement unlocked: pink gingham seersucker shirtdress

Are you ready for more shirtdresses? Because I have another one!


Another McCall’s 6696, with many of the same changes I made to my last two. Just in case anyone new is joining us, I will recap: the biggest change I made was to cut the straight skirt, rotate the waist darts into the hem, & add another 1.5″ inches of flare to the seams of each skirt piece (for a total of 6″). I also kept the side-front pockets from the straight skirt version. The other changes I made were all for fit:

  • graded from a size 18 in the shoulders to a 24 in the waist & through the skirt
  • dropped both bust points 1″
  • added an inch of length to the front middle of the bodice, grading to 1/2″ at the side seams & nothing in the back middle
  • took 2″ off the hemline

I think that’s it, but previous posts on this pattern have more detail.

I also switched things up & went for the full button placket this time. I added 1.25″ back to the skirt front to accommodate this, & I added some length to the waistband too. I want to say 1/2″, but I think it was more.


This is why I think I must have added more. I did remove about 1.5″ of gathering from the back waistline, but when I sewed on the waistband, there was NO gathering. The waistband is cut on the bias, but it’s stabilized with interfacing, & the interior waistband is cut on the straight grain, so it’s not a stretching issue. Somewhere along the way, I just miscalculated & added too much width. At the end of the day, this dress is a little too big. I’m not complaining, because it’s going to be so breezy & comfortable on hot days. But obviously all that extra fabric pooling in the lower back is a bit of a question mark.


I made this one sleeveless since, you know, it’s pink gingham seersucker. Obviously a summer jam. I finished the armholes with self-fabric bias strips. I do like how it shows off my Charlotte tattoo (cattoo?). It was around 80 degrees the day after I finished the dress, so I got to take it on a test drive. I overheard some surly teens talking admiringly about the tattoo, so that was kind of nice. I can also vouch for the fact that it’s super-comfy in hot weather, & also totally lifestyle-appropriate for mothering a small child. I was literally crawling around on the floor of the library with Ramona while I wore it (they were having a board game day, & Ramona loves board games, even though she doesn’t know how to play them), with no fear of my skirt being too short, my neckline being too low, or my bra peeping out of the armscyes.


Collar detail. I think this is my best collar yet in terms of the collar points. The buttons are natural shell & kind of way too expensive. I bought them straight out of the box delivered by the wholesaler, which means I got to see the wholesale price. I was not prepared for the 1500% mark-up (really) the fabric store charged me. For buttons that might not even survive their first trip in the washing machine. They’re pretty, but plain ol’ plastic buttons would be fine too. I really need to start harvesting buttons from thrift store clothes to feed my shirtdress habit.


Armhole binding. Could have come out a little better, but flimsy seersucker is pretty fiddly when it’s cut on the bias. All it wanted to do was stretch & distort.


I cut the yoke on the bias too. The only thing I don’t like here is that I have removed so much of the gathering from the yoke detail that the tiny amount remaining just looks like a sewing mistake. Like I got a pucker & couldn’t be bothered to try to fix it. I either need to remove all the gathering or add some back.


Pocket bags. I had just enough fabric left to cut gingham pocket bags, but instead I fussy-cut some images from my beloved A is for Apples yardage. One pocket has a library in it & the other has a little girl standing underneath a rainbow (which always makes me think of Ramona). No one knows they’re there but me.

Sorry not sorry about my gross fingernails. I’ve been an obsessive nailbiter my entire life. I’m almost 37 & have no plans to stop.

& hey, this is freaky:


A photo that I’m not in. I used the self-timer on my camera to take these pictures & this one is at the end. The timer only lets me take one picture at a time & there’s no reason I would have set it & pressed all the right buttons for no reason. Haunted camera! Spooooky!

I have some new shirtdress fabric scheduled to arrive tomorrow (not that I need it–I have several other lengths also destined for shirtdressdom), so rest assured that this shirtdress party isn’t ending anytime soon. Or ever! I actually sat down the other day & wrote up the details of all the future shirtdresses I want to make: fabric, half-placket or full placket, sleeves or no sleeves, sleeve alterations, yoke alterations, gathers or no gathers, pintucks, piping, ruffles, lace, patchwork…I came up with eleven completely different, fully-realized ideas, not including the three I’ve already made, & who knows what else will come to mind as I experiment with more embellishments & fabrics. I’m already planning another seersucker with gathered shoulders, a chambray with a pintucked bodice, a Swiss dot with keyhole puff sleeves & lace piping, a cat print with a ruffled placket, a different cat print with organza overlay details & a ruffled skirt, a Western-style yoke piped with ric-rac…Stay tuned! Same shirtdress time, same shirtdress channel.

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.

7 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: pink gingham seersucker shirtdress

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: