Pattern Review – Chambray Dress [McCall’s 7081]

chambray dress 1

chambray dress 5

Pattern: McCall’s 7081, view C
Fabric: cotton chambray from Metro Textiles

Sandals: B.O.C
Bracelets: J Crew

Behold, the first garment hot off of my new sewing machine (more on that to come soon)!  On my last day of vacation, I decided to throw caution to the wind and cut out this pattern with no muslin to test the fit.  It was a bold move…and it almost was too small for me in the waist because I didn’t pay attention to the finished measurements on the pattern piece (the usual size I cut was about 1 1/2″ too small, whoops).  But I recut the waistband and was good to go.  Whew, close one!

chambray dress 2

I love love love this dress.  Usually I’m not one for circle skirts, but there’s something about this silhouette with the nipped in waist and the full skirt that feels ultra-feminine and is fun to twirl in, an added bonus.  After seeing gal-pal Karissa’s version on Instagram, this pattern skyrocketed to the top of my sewing queue.

chambray dress 4

The pattern is really straightforward to make – the bodice has some pleats in the front, a surplice faux wrap (which I tacked in place at the neckline to keep things modest), side zipper, and a real collar with collar stand.  The skirt is a full circle skirt – let me tell you, it was a bitch to hem, but that’s the nature of circle skirts amiright?  Lots and lots of fabric in that skirt, but the method to hem circle skirts on the Coletterie was a sure-fire way to get a professional, neat-looking hem.  I cut out and assembled this dress in an afternoon and evening marathon sewing session, and then hung the dress up overnight for the hem to settle and spent the following evening hemming and hand-sewing the rest of the dress.

chambray dress 3

If I had actually sewn a muslin, I could have corrected the fit in the back, which I didn’t notice until I looked at these photos.  I think the bodice may be a little too long, which is a problem I haven’t encountered before with my sewing.  If I choose to make this dress again, which I probably will because it’s a great pattern and would look spiffy in a printed fabric, I’ll need to make that adjustment.

chambray dress 6

And lastly – chambray, why have I never sewn with you before??  So easy to handle and work with, and really comfortable against the skin.  I love that it’s denim-like in appearance, but much dressier feeling.  This is a great dress to wear to work (and it hides a full tummy after a big lunch)!



  1. July 6, 2015 / 5:28 pm

    I love it! Between your dress and a purple denim shirtdress I saw pictures of earlier, you're inspiring me to make myself a shirtdress with the lavender chambray I have in my stash.

  2. July 8, 2015 / 6:23 am

    That dress is so lovely on you, I don't think it would suit a lot of figure shapes. I love chambray especially robert kaufman dot chambrays!

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