Subversive Femme

FO: A Shirt Dress with a Difference, McCall's 9635

This dress has been sitting in my Must-Sew list for a long time – McCall’s 9635, circa 1953. I call it the shirt dress with a difference, because, well, its a little bit different!

It’s got some wonderful elements, like a peter-pan collar and pleating around the neckline. The only thing I wasn’t happy with was the pleated wiggle skirt – I had a suspicion it wasn’t going to be flattering on anyone with a tummy!

And here’s my version with the standard 1950s pose…
miss l fire shoes boardwalk
The pattern itself is really straight forward (I didn’t do bound buttonholes though, I find them too fiddly).  I admit to cheating a little bit – I used a stretch cotton sateen from my stash! I just wanted something quick and easy, and didnt want to mess around with making two or three muslins to get the fit perfect.
1950s sewing pattern mccalls
I’m not normally a fan of polka-dots, as they just feel over-used in the Rockabilly scene.
This black and pink one from my stash was just crying out to be used on something, and I think I can cope with polka-dot trim.
I’m planning on making a belt out of the leftovers as well. Eventually.
– used stretch fabric (zero to negative 1 inch ease all over).
– self covered buttons.
– normal sewn button holes
– self drafted circle skirt instead of pleated wiggle skirt in the pattern.
– cut the bodice shorter by half an inch (I’m short waisted).
Next time:
– cut the bodice shorter (1 inch in total) still a bit long.
– very light shoulder pads might be nice.
Yes! Perfect transition dress for work to dinner plans. Really, really happy. The blouse is going to be my go-to pattern for stretch fabrics (there’s some amazing mid-century-inspired stretch sateen in Spotlight at the moment) and I really want to try it with a fitted skirt next.
I was trying to get my cat, Calamity, to give it her seal of approval but she was more interested in bugs.
Shoes – Miss L Fire Boardwalk
Telephone Cord Bag – Belmont Army Vintage
Belt – ASOS
Scarf – Opshop
Earrings – Etsy

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No Comments

  • Reply
    May 5, 2013 at 3:51 am

    A really lovely dress – well done. The pattern is quite different and the peter pan collar in the contrast fabric really suits you. Your cat looks gorgeous – mine is often in my photos.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I LOVE you version! Much nicer and flattering, I think, than the original. You look perfect in it, too!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    love this dress and love your blog. great style!

    can't wait to come back.

  • Reply
    May 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    That looks great! I often use a circle of pleated full skirt to hide my belly. I feel it also makes my waist look smaller.
    I need to get some stretch fabric for some of the dresses have planned.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    Mid Century Pink
    May 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Perfect!!! I really love it!! And I adore a Peter Pan collar. You make the prettiest clothing!

  • Reply
    Claire Gittins
    May 11, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Lovely dress and I love the pleats and peter pan collar x

  • Reply
    Charlotte Victoria
    May 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    This is gorgeous !

  • Reply
    Jessica Cangiano
    May 16, 2013 at 3:50 am

    What a timelessly beautiful, elegantly fantastic dress. I adore the crisp dark shade you opted for and the lovely swing in the skirt. Wonderful work!

    ♥ Jessica

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