Spotty chambray sheath dress

I’ve been really wanting some easy to wear dresses this summer. Last summer I was all about the Southport dress, but I’ve had a couple of nasty sunburns this summer (bad Kiwi! Should know better!) so I was wanting something with a bit more coverage. I bought McCalls 7464 in the post-Thanksgiving sale last year, and I thought the jewel neckline and sleeves would give me a bit more protection. It helps that a sheath dress was one of the items in my #2017makenine too…


I used a lovely Japanese chambray from Miss Matatabi. It’s so soft and comfortable, but I think I bought the last of it sorry! It was really lovely to sew, and I have a chunk left over for a top. I find some chambray too blue (I know that sounds stupid, they’re obviously all blue), but this softer cornflower blue is the perfect colour for me. I imagine it’ll be lovely in the heat, though I haven’t had the chance to test that theory yet due to our stormy, chilly summer!


M7464 is a ‘petite’pattern. I wasn’t 100% sure what that meant, but it turns out that it means the patterns have a shorter nape to back waist length which is perfect for me! It was a simple enough pattern to sew up, I read through the instructions once before starting and then didn’t really refer to them again. I really like the shape of this dress, with it’s front and back princess seams, I think it’s really flattering but not too form fitting! I made view C, but with everything cut on grain rather than cutting the princess panels on the bias (so technically probably view A without the pockets. Either/or.)


I do wish I had a better match with my zip colour. I thought this pale blue one would be best, but I might have been better with a navy one! Either way, it isn’t too bad really.  One thing I did change from the pattern was to omit the full lining, as I was after an easy breezy summer frock. Instead I used the tutorial for drafting Non-Flip Facings from What Katie Sews. It worked really well, they haven’t popped out of the neckline once! next time I will make the front facing an inch deeper at the centre front neck, as I failed to take the seam allowance into consideration and so it’s only about 1 and 1/4 inches deep at the CF. Even so, it stays put!


I am really happy with this dress, but there are a few changes I’ll make for next time (and I have two pieces of fabric set aside for another summer version and a winter version already). I feel like the waist of this dress is sitting at the right place, but I have about 2 inches of excess fabric in the upper chest. You can see it bubbling around my collarbones in some of the above pictures. If I pinch it out, the whole dress just feels perfect around the upper chest, rather than feeling a bit sloppy. I’ll need to do some research into the best way to remove that excess fabric and how to modify the sleeve to fit the new armhole (any suggestions or tutorials appreciated!). The back length feels fine, but I might experiment with removing excess from the front and back as well as removing it all from the front. There are toiles in my future! Once I’ve got that sorted, I think I’ll have a perfect dress pattern.


Furry photo bomb! Zelda is so nosy, she always needs to know what’s going on when  I have the door of my sewing room closed. She must get terrible FOMO when I leave for work every morning…


11 thoughts on “Spotty chambray sheath dress

  1. Lovely dress, just a little more tailored than Deer and Doe’s Arum. I could be converted to chambray yet! It’s a pity it’s gaping – shop bought clothes normally inclipude a narrow upper bust adjustment in petite sizing but obv sewing patterns don’t. My go to tutorial is I don’t do the measurements but I use her cutting technique and overlap by the amount I would pinch out in a triangle from the neckline to the bust – if that makes sense!

    1. That’s interesting about RTW petite clothing, I wonder why they didn’t do the same here? That tutorial sounds perfect, thank you. I wasn’t quite sure what I should be looking for!

  2. The dress is great! I’ve done the alteration for a shorter upper chest, which is to just take out a wedge of the pattern piece with the wider end at center front, tapering to nothing at the armhole notch where the easing begins. I think if you make the armhole shallower, you’d have trouble raising your arms. Getting rid of just the wedge did the trick for me.

  3. Looks great – I was going to suggest a similar alteration to Martina, based on no experience whatsoever other than other vertical adjustments like a sway back or crotch adjustment where the side seams aren’t altered…. good luck!

    1. Thanks! I’ve been playing around with little paper cut-outs, and I think I’ve sorted out a way to do it. It’s basically taking a wedge out across CF, but with slashes and little paper hinges to make it feel fancy. A toile is imminent!

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