SHIRT DRESS |MCCALL'S 8030

SHIRT DRESS

Are you ready for a Sew Along? It’s about that time! Today’s blog is an informational post to inspire and prepare you for the Shirt Dress Sew Along that will be available on my YouTube channel this Friday. I’ll be sharing a few tips to help you get ready. If you’re a member of my Private Email Community, you may have already purchased your supplies because I sent out the email last week with links to the products we’re using in the Sew Along. If you joined the community after I sent that email, it’s okay. You will get an advanced notification email for the next sew along. If you’re not a member of my community, you can join HERE. It’s FREE! Let’s get prepared for the Sew Along.

SHIRT DRESS

Pattern Information

We’re using McCall’s 8030 to sew the dress. If you don’t already have it, McCall’s patterns are on sale for $1.99, starting tomorrow (April 18, 2024). The pattern is available in both print and PDF options on the website. The company rates it as EASY. If you are a beginner with basic sewing skills you should be able to follow me in the sew along to make the dress. If you have completed my Beginner’s Sewing Course, you are ready for this project.

The pattern is available in Sizes 4 – 22 (American) and 30 – 48 (European). There are 11 pattern pieces in the envelope and we will use 8 pieces for View C, plus the Buttonhole Guide piece. The dress comes in three different lengths, has front and back yokes, side seam pockets and a collar stand. View A has a collar and sleeve bands. Both Views A and B have a belt with D-rings. The dresses have hem variations: View A is slightly curved; View B is straight; View C has a full curve with split.

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Fabric Information

The pattern calls for Shirting Fabrics, Poplin, Linen, and Seersuker. I used a LINEN BLEND from my local JoAnn Fabrics. It’s lightweight, has a beautiful drape, and is available in multiple colors on the website. If you choose to use a stripe, plaid, or one-way design fabric, make sure you purchase extra to account for special pattern layout.

Notions Information

The dress requires  nine 1/2″ (1.3cm) Buttons for the closure. Views B and C suggest two 1 1/2″ D-Rings, if you will be sewing the belt. I used these SILVER BUTTONS for my dress and these D-RINGS.

GARMENT DETAILS

Here are some closeup photos of the dress, inside and out. 

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Alterations Information

  • I cut a Size Medium and merged to a Small at the waist and underarm. I will definitely cut a Small and merge to X-Small at the waist next time. My dress came out larger than I wanted, but I still like it. I actually made a muslin before sewing this dress, but the muslin seemed to fit better.
 
  • I closed the splits by sewing down to just above the hem curve. I demonstrate this in the Sew Along.
 
  • Somehow, my front bands came up a bit short. I mentioned in the video that I didn’t adjust the band after adjusting the dress fronts. But that wasn’t necessary because I adjusted the fronts along the side seams. So, measure your front band piece against the dress front piece before cutting your fabric.
 
  • Finally, I think the pocket placement is too low. I didn’t realize this until after my dress was already sewn. So, I suggest checking the placement by pinning a pocket piece to a dress front and holding it up to your body to see where the pocket lands. You can definitely change the position if it’s too low for your liking.
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Sew Along Preparation Steps

Here are a few steps you should take before starting the Sew Along. I will not be covering these topics in the video, so you should have them taken care of in advance.

  • Pre-treat your fabric. If it’s machine washable, make sure you wash before cutting. If your fabric frays, be sure to serge or finish the cut edges with a straight stitch before washing to prevent the threads from tangling during the wash cycle.
 
  • Make any necessary pattern alterations. Remember: If you make a change to the side seam on the front, you must make the same change to the back piece so that they line up properly during sewing. That will be the same for any pieces that join together. If you make a change to one, you must make the same change to the other.
 
  • Cut your dress based on the the finished garment measurements marked on the front pattern piece. You get to decide how much ease you want in your dress, so cut accordingly.
 
  • Interface the pieces that are shown in the photo below. If sewing View A, you will interface the collar piece also.
 
  • If you’re not sure about fit, I highly recommend sewing a muslin first (practice garment). When sewing the muslin, you will only sew the fronts and back together at the sides, after adding the yokes. Skip all the other details. Try on the shell to determine if you like the fit. Size up or down if necessary. I use old bedsheets when sewing my muslins. 

Styling Options

The dress can be worn dressy or casual. It’s very comfortable either way. I’ve styled it with a pair of cream pumps, a clutch purse, and silver jewelry to match the buttons.

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I like the idea of wearing it without the belt and a pair of flip flops to lounge around the house.

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You can also wear it as a lightweight cardigan over jeans, or a swimsuit coverup.

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What do you think?

Will you be joining me for the Sew Along? I would love to hear your feedback about the dress. Scroll to the very bottom of this page to leave a comment.

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Thank you for stopping by today! 💕

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This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Anita Morris

    Hi Katherine! Yes, the patterns are on sale at JoAnn Fabrics. I totally forgot to mention that but I’ll update the post to include the information. YES! I think the dress would look great with tennis shoes. Have fun sewing your dress, Katherine.

  2. Hettie

    I love how you closed the slits. Your dress looks classier than the one the model is wearing on the pattern. I will be joining the sew along.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yay! I’m glad you’re joining the sew along. It’s a great pattern.

  3. De

    Love, love, love this color. You look great wearing this; and as always, your styling options are a plus. A great summer sew, Anita!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you De! I can’t wait to make another one. 🤗

  4. Laraine Longinetti

    Love all the styles, especially with jeans! You look great in all your makes!!

  5. Lenice

    Hi Anita, yes I plan to join the sew-a-long! I am so excited about it and have purchased the pattern, material, interfacing, D rings, and matching thread but still need to find buttons that I like. Thank you so, so much for offering this opportunity. Looking forward to getting started.

    1. Anita Morris

      Yaaaayy, Lenice! I’m excited for you. It’s a great sew along. Have fun sewing your dress.

  6. Diane Johnston

    As usual you look so classy and the dress is perfect. Not a pattern that would have drawn my attention until I saw it on you. Will order in the next sale and will do the sew along.

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome, Diane! It’s a great pattern. Have fun sewing your dress.

  7. K. Miles

    I love the way you styled it with jeans and a top, I would have never thought of that.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you! I love that it can be dressed down for more comfort.🤗

  8. Wendy Beadel

    This like a great dress to make for a wedding I am attending in May. Of course you make it look terrific. I think a sew along could be the inspiration I need to get it done but I am not sure how your sew along works. Is there information to read about that on your website?

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Wendy!!!!! The sew along is a video that I post to my YouTube channel. On Friday, you can just log on and watch the video. Some people watch the full video before sewing. Others sew right along while watching the first time. If you receive my emails, you will get a direct link to the sew along video on Friday morning. If you’re not sure if you’re on my email list, here’s the link to join: https://anitabydesign.ck.page/fb7ce23d4e

      Have fun sewing your dress, Wendy.

  9. Kim

    Absolutely fabulous job as always. I’m tellin’ you. JoAnns NEEDS to hire you as their garment sewing ambassador. You do their fabrics proud. You really do.

  10. Jill

    Hi Anita,
    Thank you so much for this post – I am definitely going to join the sewalong and cannot wait! I loved watching how you styled the dress in completely different ways and you wouldn’t think the different looks are the same dress! I love all the looks but if I were forced to choose, I’d say the casual look is my favourite. Fabulous.
    Kindest regards, Jill

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Jill! I LOVE it when I can find multiple ways to wear a garment. I’m glad you joining the sew along. Have fun sewing your dress.

  11. Esline

    I love how you styled it in different ways. Looking forward to my first sew along. I don’t have a serger so will do a basic stitch on the edge of fabric. Thanks you for the tip.

    1. Anita Morris

      Hi Esline! Oh, I’m so glad to hear that I get to walk you through your first sew along. Yes, you can do a basic straight stitch and that will prevent the threads from unraveling. I’m so excited for you, Esline. 🤗

  12. Diane

    Like how you style the dress in various ways. Love with the jeanss. Looking forward to sew along. Thanks

  13. Gerri

    I love how you styled the dress open with pants and cap!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you Gerri! I like it dressed casual the most.

  14. Colette

    That is an absolutely gorgeous shirtdress. You wear it so well. Wish i had the height for it.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you, Colette! You can totally sew a shorter dress. The pattern comes with length variations.

  15. Laura

    Thanks for the tip in serging the edges before washing the fabric. I am ready and can’t wait for the Sew-A-Long. I think I will make the one with the straight hem.

    1. Anita Morris

      You’re welcome, Laura. Yes, serging before washing was a game changer for me when I learned that tip years ago. No more balled up, tangled fabric coming out of the machine.