One Pattern - Three Ways

A current challenge (February-April 2018) on The Sewing Place is to sew three garments from one pattern but each garment to be different; not just different views of the same or using different fabrics, but active modification of the pattern to ensure that the three garments look distinctively different from each other.

I have decided to use McCalls 7084, a button-through shirtwaister dress with a straight or a full skirt, optional collar and several sleeve options.
From the same pattern I made a shirtwaister dress, a princess line dress and a shirt.

McCalls 7084 image""my garments

Version 1
I chose a striped shirting 100% cotton fabric from Sherwood Fabrics. Described as pink and mint green I would call it red and silver grey. It has a lovely crisp feel with a sateen weave on the right side. Just right for making version D of the pattern.
striped fabric""shirtwaister dress
My alterations to the pattern for this version are minimal. For fitting I made a very slight increase in the front princess seams for a small amount of full bust adjustment and I chose the sleeves from version B because the fabric has a definite right and wrong side I didn't want the wrong side of the fabric showing on rolled up sleeves. I also thought it would look better with the collar cut on the grain lengthways instead of the suggested cross direction.

Test stitching showed that overlocking alone (4-thread) on this closely woven fabric looked loose with the stitching showing through and so I chose to make the seams with the overlocker and then run a straight stitch parallel to the overlocking about 1/8" inside of it.

The skirt was assembled first, paying close attention to the instructions to get all the godets in the correct order. After that the construction was quite straightforward. Princess seams, front button bands, collar and stand and set in sleeves with turned up cuff.


Version 2
For this I chose a 100% craft weight cotton fabric from Croft Mill and some plain red cotton for the piping.
flamingo fabric""dress

I made lots of alterations to the pattern for this version.
First I eliminated the waist seams by pinning bodice sections to the appropriate skirt sections (the godets weren't used) but I added as much flare as I could to the skirt pieces. I often increase the flare of princess line dresses; IMO straight skirts just emphasise a big tummy.

Then I eliminated the front button opening and re-drew the neckline, and then cut the front on the fold of the fabric. Despite measuring just where the CF would be the whole thing was about 3cm too wide! I didn't have enough fabric left to re cut the front panel and I didn't really want a CF seam so it has an inverted box pleat at the front and the break in the printed design is disguised with some buttons. Having eliminated the front button band it was necessary to insert a zip at the back.

I didn't have any narrow piping cord and so I used three strands of a thick wrapped gimp thread.

The sleeves are a shortened version B with turn-up cuff ommitted rather than the cap sleeve of version C.

The buttons are hand made Yorkshire thread buttons.
I used a no 8 pearl cotton and the cardboard disc was an inch in diameter, obtained by drawing around a suitable size cotton reel. I didn't use any stuffing, in fact I tried to get the buttons flatter by taking the working thread right though to the front and then back again after it had been pulled up tight. It was my first attempt at making thread buttons and I am pleased with them


Version 3
The main fabric for this is a grey pinstripe 100% cotton shirting fabric from Cloth Spot.
The contrast is a blue and purple splodgy batik type cotton from the P&Q stash.
grey fabric""shirt

The pattern adaptation was to use the top 30cm of the skirt panels joined to the matching bodice pieces. The curves at the waist were reduced so as to allow the shirt to hang looser.

I also curved the bottom hem at the sides and then added small inserts of the contrast fabric, copying the way it was done on a couple of Terry's RTW shirts.

The sleeves are version D of the original pattern which is OK with this fabric as it looks the same on each side. They were constructed shirt style; shoulder seam, armscye seam and then sleeves and sides in one pass.

Overall I am pleased with having made three very different garments from one pattern, although with a couple of drwaers full of patterns it wasn't really necessary; I have several princess line dress patterns which would have been easier than pinning bodice to skirt, but a useful learning curve.

PS. Please forgive the facial expressions, this head cold is showing.

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