McCalls 9193 – the fake shift dress

October 5, 2009
So I had a major craft FAIL when it came to the Mad Men dress competition, but I licked my wounds over the weekend and came up with this dress instead. It’s McCalls 9193, a misses “easy to sew” 1968 pattern, which was indeed easy to sew although I had to go and make it a bit harder of course!

Since I’m still breastfeeding my daughter and probably will be during the rest of our forthcoming summer, I picked this dress to sew because I thought it was front opening. Until you start nursing a baby, you don’t actually realise how hard it is to access your ‘girls’ in most clothes without stripping half naked! But it turns out that the button front band and those pocket bands are in fact just decorative bands topstitched to the front and the dress is just a standard shift with a centre back zipper.

Easy fixed though, I just sewed the centre front seam closed beneath the band, attached the button band to one side of the dress, added a band of matching fabric on the other side to sew the buttons on and with a few black buttons from the stash I had a functional dress. I did however leave the pockets as they were, because although pockets are immeasurably handy in a dress, I don’t need extra bulk around my hips and thighs so they were sacrificed in the name of vanity.

The fabric is also relatively vintage, I think it’s 1980s or earlier and came from my gran’s stash. In fact I’ve refashioned it from a UFO that she had started who knows when. It is a lovely textured cotton in a gorgeous deep coral colour, and the white bands are also textured cotton leftover from another project – so combined with buttons from the stash this was very much a zero cost project.

More details over at my blog.

  1. LOL! I totally understand the breastfeeding clothes drama! I have been going strong for 4 monmths now and cant wear half of my pre pregnancy clothes… not b/c they dont fit but because I cant get to "the girls" :)!!
    I love the dress! I might have to try that trick… it will still be warm here in SW Florida past Thanksgiving and I have been wanting to do a shift dress for the Holidays!

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