Kwik Sew Shirtdress, K4155
Kwik Sew Shirtdress, K4155
Kwik Sew Shirtdress, K4155
Kwik Sew Shirtdress, K4155

Hi You! As promised, I’m back before month end. I’m participating in The McCall Pattern Company Shirtdress Sewalong that was introduced late April. And oh hey…today is the deadline for inclusion in the random giveaway. I had already purchased a new shirtdress pattern, Kwik Sew 4155,  just prior to the announcement…so the timing was serendipitous. Meg Carter, from the McCall Blog, was indeed the hostess with the mostest…keeping those of us not on Facebook at least peripherally involved via an informative series of blog posts. I read every post…but, not having been actively sharing on Facebook…well…I feel like a bit of a party crasher, LOL.

All righty… my make today is Kwik Sew Pattern K4155. This pattern was featured in McCall’s spring 2016 promo video here. I was drawn to both the princess seaming and the narrow shoulder line. My fabric is a navy and white polka dot cotton voile. It’s crisp…yet also…has a lovely drape. Is that even possible…to be both crisp and drapey? The buttons….I handmade out of Fimo Clay. I added a little pop of colour to the collar stand facing and also the waistband lining{not shown}. Although the pattern doesn’t specify lining, I opted for bemberg for the bodice and….reluctantly….cotton/poly broadcloth for the skirt. Yep…there’s a story about that…a dull story…but please read on for the deets.

I made a couple of small changes to the design. Two intentional…another, a rescue situation. Right off, I noticed that both views on the pattern envelope were belted with purchased belts. Apparently I’m suspicious by nature, because I assumed they were hiding something. Did I really think that? Whatever…I decided to add a waistband to the dress. The pattern specifies armhole facings, but I chose to line the bodice with bemberg, thus eliminating the need for facings. The armhole opening was a little more revealing than I liked, so I sewed the bottom of the armhole with only a 1/4″ seam allowance. Once again, I didn’t make a muslin…once again I reflected that I should have made a muslin. My excuse this time? There is a lot of wiggle room for fit adjustments on a princess seamed garment. I took in the back seams and let out the front seams. And that rescue? I had to made my front plackets 1/4″ wider than the pattern specs. Making a placket wider isn’t necessarily a bad thing…however…doing so necessitated having a wider collar and collar stand. As a result I’m feeling a bit man collar-ish. And yes…I think I finally get it…I need to start doing a FBA adjustment on fitted bodices.

Minor fit issues aside, I’m actually really happy with my dress….it’s nearly impossible for me not to love anything polka dotted. The narrow shoulder silhouette….Love it! I’ll definitely sew this pattern again…with improved alterations….a proper FBA adjustment, and possibly a slightly smaller back bodice. The drape of the skirt also feels a little fuller than I like, especially at the back, and I’ve been wondering if the poly/cotton broadcloth lining is the culprit. It might be adding some extra volume. In looking at these photographs, I’m tempted to remove the lining altogether.

So, that’s about all folks…and oh hi…here I am…standing on the White Rock Beach Pier. It was a gorgeous evening…I swear every body was on that pier. So, once again I had to dare* myself to do photos. In my head, I reminded myself that at least I wasn’t wearing a bathing suit. And speaking of….I survived the publishing of my swimsuit photos. Thank you all for your kind words.

* They’re baaa-aack. Yep…Gillian of Crafting A Rainbow‘s #SewingDares are on the table. And if she hasn’t gone and dared me to make lingerie! Yikes! Well, I do love me a good dare…..and….to be honest…I have recently started sewing a few bras. But…I haven’t felt at all confident about showing any of my makes…and that’s flat modeled people, not modeled on me. So…just thinking aloud here…is a social media inspired dare fulfilled if it isn’t documented somehow through social media? Ermmmm….somehow, I think not….Oh Gillian…you’ve got me good this time! I think I can, I think I can…

Polka Dot Shirtdress : : Kwik Sew K4155


  • Reply oriole June 30, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Soooo cute Sue, and those buttons! I can almost smell the ocean, I've walked that pier many times.

  • Reply Hana Velvet Ribbon June 30, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Hi Sue, you have made a beautiful shirtdress. I love all about this dress, the collar facing is so cute. Well done! You look great and love the pictures 🙂

  • Reply McCall Pattern June 30, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Sue! We love this dress so much! Well done you. Thanks for being part of the Shirtdress Sew-Along. —Meg

  • Reply Melanie June 30, 2016 at 8:57 am

    That's the shirtdress. It's a beauty to be sure. I love the tweaking you did – like adding the lining and a waistband. I also love the buttons you MADE! with the tiny red dots on them and the collar band facing. I also can't believe you adding facing to the INSIDE of the waistband. How secret wonderful does that make you feel, right? Good one.

    Next time I expect to see the Victoria's Secret version of A Colourful Canvas. Hahaha!!! I know you're up for a dare.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion June 30, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Melanie took all the words right out of my mouth. Fully agree with her comment.
    I wouldn't take the lining out, as I don't think it will diminish the volume. Not that I think the dress needs adjusting. I really like it. I only would have made it one inch longer, but don't know whether I am right in that. And I don't think the collar has become manly. Not at all. It is fine.
    As I am not a fan of flat shoes (you know that, don't you?) it is a bit difficult for me to love these shoes, which are a bit manly to me. I would have chosen pointy toed ballerinas. But hey… don't take me too seriously. I am approaching this from MY point of view. From what I like, from MY preferences. You (and many others) may think quite differently.
    As for bras… No, don't show them on the internet on your own body. Use a mannequin.
    I once put a photo of me in a solid blue bikini on Instagram. As I had taken the picture in the bedroom, one of my male followers (Josep-Maria) thought it was me in lingerie and he felt really embarrassed when he saw the picture. As if he was seeing something he was not supposed to see. I deleted it. I think bra photos on a real body will attrack bad boys.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Thanks Oriole! You know…I think that I sometimes take that pier for granted…but it really is a unique and special place in the lower mainland. I will appreciate it more now…being right over the ocean is indeed special.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Thanks bunches Hana! As much as I love navy and white, I knew that the little pop of colour would be so fun!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Thanks Meg! And thanks so much for hosting. The blog posts, and this pattern, really helped me to make a great shirtdress.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Yep…this is the one! The buttons turned out really well. I think that might be why I put soooo many buttons on the front, LOL. I wanted to use them all…well, I saved one in case I had a repeat episode of the lost/not lost button, which by the way, I have fixed with a thin layer of FIMO on the back of!

    Oh yah sure…Victoria's Secret look out! hahahaha

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I agree about the lining, thanks for saving me the hassle of removing a perfectly good lining!

    You know…I get so unsure about the 'right' length. Remember that dress from last year that was just wrong? I shortened it quite a bit before it looked right. And of course it depends a lot on the pattern, fabric, print etc. I read that for my height and body type, I have a 1″ leeway above or below the knee for my perfect skirt length….that's not a lot of leeway, LOL. Whereas a taller person such as yourself will look good with a skirt length all the way between much longer and much shorter. I can see by the pics that I'm not quite at the middle of the knee here.

    YES! YES! I know about the shoes…and I almost always photograph with heels. But, between only you and me…I often wear flats in real life, LOL. And these Skechers are so freakin' comfortable. I LOVE them, hahaha. I adore pointy toed shoes and must try and find some ballerina flats that are elongating to my leg line! You are always so right Greetje!!!!

    Yep…almost all sewing bloggers show their lingerie on a mannequin or flat background. Hopefully that won't make any men readers uncomfortable. Like my swimsuit post, I will make readers aware before the pictures.

    Have a great day! Sue xo

  • Reply Kelly Gatewood June 30, 2016 at 11:27 am

    You and your dress look so delightfully adorable! Polka dots are hard not to love. Btw, I too signed up for a sewing dare by Gillian. Can't wait to see the outcome! 🙂

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo June 30, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    What a fab fun dress! I adore that you make your own buttons to match. You look very comfortable in this.

    Unbelievable that you are now sewing lingerie! Next you will be freeing Tibet.

    Don't let Greetje talk you out of those shoes! They are perfect. Ballet flats only look good on people like Greetje that have legs that go on forever.


  • Reply Sheila June 30, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    What a gorgeous dress – and you made the buttons! So impressed!

  • Reply Anonymous June 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    a) It fascinates me that I couldn't see the polka dots at first. I kept seeing gingham on the diagonal, and it took awhile before my eyes could focus to the polka dots. Weird, huh?
    b) I, too, like the narrow shoulder line.
    c) I disagree about the shoes being mannish. They're cute, and it's nice to see flat shoes. They look great with this dress especially down at the pier.
    d) No need to remove the lining.
    e) Yet another clever creation for us to admire! 🙂

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks Kelly! And yay…another polka dot lover! Gillian's dares are fun…I really enjoyed the process last year and this year will be fun too! Have fun with yours!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks so much Suzanne! The lingerie thing is something I thought I would never do. Oh ya…never say never…must remember that.

    Oh the subject of shoes! Thank you for your thoughts! I love shoes so much, but so often, they just don't love me! I could say I have small feet, but really…I have short and wide feet LOL. Like a hobbit without the hair. So, it's often very hard to get a good fit. I actually bought two pairs of these Skechers…that's how much I love them…the other is a lighter shade of the faux leather that accents this pair. I did think that ballet flats would lengthen my leg line, but no?

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks Sheila! I did make the buttons, and in hindsight, I will likely leave the button making for larger buttons that are more prominently a feature of the garment…like my coats for example.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Oh, I totally get that now that I am looking at the photos again. When I was cropping the pics and was seeing a big vibrating blur most of the time. I guess because the dots are so close to each other? It doesn't feel that intense when I look at the dress in real life, thankfully!

    Another good point about the shoes, thank you. It's nearly impossible to walk the pier in heels, that's for sure. I've tried it…you have to step very carefully on each board, LOL.

    And done…the lining is here to stay. I do like how it finishes the insides so nicely and no worries, ever, about sheerness…not that that was really an issue with this fabric.

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  • Reply idaaidasewing June 30, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    that's so pretty, polka dots and shirt dress together are my favorite combination, I will have to make one soon! I also have never made a fba although it is necessary, unlike you I'm not at the point of giving it a try just yet.

  • Reply Connie June 30, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Yes! We all love polka dots so much. This is such a cute dress and you look pretty darn cute in it. There used to be an American clothing line in the 1950's and 60's called The Villager. Have you ever heard of it? Everything in the line was crispy shirt dresses and peter pan collar blouses and wrap skirts and Capri pants and jumpers with pockets and little cardigans. Cute preppy 60's prints. I used to get hand-me-downs from the cool older girl across the street and the thing I liked the most about these Villager things (besides the sewn in label that said “The Garment Belongs to Helen Cleary” was that they always used some kind of contrasting trim or lining and colorful buttons. Every time I see one of your designs I think “The Villager”! You could single handedly bring back that style. Oh please do!!

  • Reply Shybiker June 30, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    What a beautiful dress. I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to wear this. And you have mad skills to be able to make it. I can't sew a button on…

  • Reply sewmanju July 1, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Looks great: Classic but definitely not boring. I realised I need to do an FBA on pretty much all bodices and it does make such an improvement to fit for me.

  • Reply Margo Bergman July 1, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Fabulous Sue! I really need to make another shirt dress. I think that my last was so labor intensive that I've been deterred. Yours is rallying me to have a another go. The polka dots are both classic and so you…fun! I'm loving your pics too. The golden hour light is loving you!

  • Reply Louisa July 1, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Very cute dress, Sue! I especially love the buttons and the full skirt. And your shoes are perfect for the outfit. (I apologise to those who love them but heels were invented by evil sadists! Torture devices.)

  • Reply Jessica Cangiano July 2, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Such a sweet, beautiful summertime look – and what a breathtaking setting to capture it in. I feel like, a zillion years ago, I've been to this same pier before. It instantly felt familiar to me and I'm thinking that my folks must have taken us there when I was little and we still lived on the coast.

    Many hugs & joyful Canada Day weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 2, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Thanks Ida! I think once I get the hang of doing the fba, it will become easy enough to do. But you know….the first one can be the worst one! I'll definitely make mention of it, when I try it!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 2, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Thanks Helen….I mean Connie, LOL. I'm not familiar with The Villager, but a quick google search might bring me a little closer. I'm curious for sure! If you had asked me a couple of years ago if I would sew/wear anything sixties inspired, I would have laughed. Now…I'm quite drawn to the era.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 2, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Thanks Ally! I admit…I take sewing buttons on for granted…although it's the buttons I sew on that seem to be the ones that I lose….why is that, LOL?

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Thank you Manju! FBA, here I come. I'm so looking forward to your NYC trip…I hope to have a trip there in my future too, and it will be fun reading about the many fabric/notions sources! You will share, won't you?

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 2, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Thanks Margo! This Kwik Sew was really lovely to put together. It is geared for more novice sewers…it labels the shoulder line etc., things we might consider obvious…but the pattern really does sew up nicely. And yes…you do bright sun beautifully…me skin tone seems to like golden hour best!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 2, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Thanks Louisa. LOLOL…see you soon!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 2, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Thanks Jessica! Happy to have taken you on a wee bit of a nostalgic tour! Happy Canada Day long weekend back at ya!

  • Reply Flo July 3, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Such a cute dress and I loved the shoes you paired it with!

    A friend of my mom's used to make her own bras. It started as an experiment but then she discovered she could make them fit so much better than anything she could buy, so she started making them all the time. The hardest part now is finding the materials needed in regular fabric stores, you almost always have to order them.

  • Reply Patti July 3, 2016 at 6:29 am

    What a lovely summer dress, and you wear it beautifully. You live in the most beautiful place, eh? xox


  • Reply Sharon July 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Love polka dots and your shirtdress looks so fresh and summery.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 4, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Thanks Flo. I'm with your friend's mom…I just wanted to try it, and the bonus is a really well fitted bra. I can't imagine going back to RTW. And I totally agree about the difficulty in finding materials. I thought, being in a big city, I'd find what I needed, but I ended up ordering most of my supplies from Bra Makers Supply in Ontario. I'll be listing resources when I do my dare post.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 4, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Ah…you're getting the lingo, eh? Must have been your weekend in TO, LOL. Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by Patti! Can't wait to hear more about the new digs!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas July 4, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Thank you Sharon! Do I need another polka dot dress? Probably not…but I too love polka dots!

  • Reply Louise Perry July 5, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Another beauty Sue, I love the pop of colour at the collar and those buttons. I have fimo somewhere…. I bet I end up turning the house upside down trying to find it now! Really looks good on You Sue.

  • Reply Vix July 5, 2016 at 4:08 am

    Well that's just fabulous! Gorgeous print, stupendous fit, modeled like a pro and what can i say about those buttons? An addition of total genius! xxx

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