Minerva Blogger Network - McCalls 6696 in Chambray

For this month’s Minerva project I’ve gone a bit out of my comfort zone and made a shirt dress.  

I have long admired shirt dresses on other people, but have disliked the idea of them for myself.  When I realised that this was because I don’t like things with collars I decided I would make myself one and leave the collar off.  That’s the beauty of making your own clothes, you can often choose to omit parts you’re not keen on.

After doing a bit of research I decided to use McCalls 6696, which appears to be a very popular shirt dress pattern.  It comes with a few variations, either a straight or gathered skirt and long, short or sleeveless options.  I decided to go for the straight skirt and no sleeves.

The fabric I chose is a gorgeous indigo blue chambray, which unfortunately is now out of stock, although Minerva does have it in a skyblue. 


For the second month running I was very naughty and didn’t make a muslin.  Basing the size I needed on the finished garment measurements I cut a size 12 for the bodice and a size 16 for the skirt.  This meant that I had quite a bit of extra skirt fabric to squeeze onto the size 12 waistband, and I came up with the idea of gathering it on, instead of using the darts.  The back gathering is positioned directly below the bodice gathers, and I used the positioning of the front darts to place the front gathers.  I really like the result.

I was also a bit out of my comfort zone when it came to the finishing of this garment, as I hate making buttonholes – and there are ten on this dress.   I often avoid making buttonholes completely, but I knew I couldn’t on this dress.  Thankfully, most of them went quite smoothly, I think I only had to unpick one and redo it!

I really like the finished dress.  It’s a bit different for me, but I think it will get quite a bit of wear over the summer months.  Who knows, I might even be tempted to make a long sleeved one come winter! 


  1. Very nice! I think this is a perfect summer dress!

  2. Your dress looks fab!! And how timely for me as I'm contemplating a couple of McCall's shirtdress patterns myself and I NEVER wear shirtdresses either. Peer pressure is an amazing thing. lol

  3. I really like it, looks great on you. I love how you did the gathers.

  4. That's a really smart summer dress, I like the effect from the way you joined the bodice and skirt, really interesting. I barely breathe when making buttonholes - even though my machine now is well behaved 😊

  5. What a great dress. I like the fit and the cut. I am sure it will get a lot of wear.

  6. This looks like a great fit and I love what you did with the gathers.

  7. Your dress looks very stylish and the gathers are a lovely addition. Much nicer than darts. Well done on all those button holes. I struggle to do one!


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