Fall sewing – shimmer gray dress

I’ve been meaning to make some adjustments to my T-shirt dress frankenpattern. I’ve used it to make the short-sleeved and the long-sleeved version earlier this year, both of which I liked, but there was room for improvement. After a bit of pinning and transferring changes to the paper pattern, it was time to test the new version.

Front 2

Pattern details
I started with the same pattern as the long-sleeved black dress, which is a combination of KwikSew 3003 on the top and McCall’s 6355 on the bottom, and made the following adjustments:

  1. shortened the back ½” all the way across, below the dart ends;
  2. increased bust dart take-up by the same ½” in the front;
  3. added ⅜” at the back underarm point, tapering to the waist;
  4. took out ⅜” at mid-armhole in the front, tapering to nothing at the neckline (this made the front shoulder seam more sloped);
  5. copied scoop neckline from Pamela’s Patterns Perfect T-shirt for the front, and added ¼” to CB.

You can see in this comparison picture how much difference that ½” made in the back. The two black dresses have a baggy-bumpy silhouette while the gray dress is nice and smooth.

Side view comparison

I am quite pleased with the neckline. My first attempt was just a stab in the dark, which I thought turned out reasonably well, even if the sides looked a bit too angled. The second attempt had nicer scoopy sides, but was a little too straight at CF and maybe a tad too wide. This third time is the charm, I think. It’s a pretty shape and just perfect under a cardigan.

Neckline comparison

Fabric and construction notes
I used a mystery sweater knit from Fabric Mart. It was marked as “shimmer gray sweater knit”. I didn’t do a burn test to see what’s in it, but when I washed it, it got really heavy the way cotton usually does. So maybe a cotton blend of some sort, with a thin shimmery silver yarn to add sparkle.


The fabric feels smooth and soft to touch. It’s also fairly thin (thinner than the Sophia knit of the other two dresses) and somewhat more sheer than what I’m used to wearing so a slip will definitely be required.

I had planned to use a double needle for the hems but there wasn’t quite enough matching thread left for that, so instead I just used a 2×2 zig-zag stitch. The neckline is stabilized with bias stay tape and folded over. Pretty easy.

Front 1

I think this dress will be a great basic for my wardrobe. It’s simple and free of ornamentation so it should pair easily with cardigans and scarves. Also, this is now a TNT knit top pattern. Yay! I’m going to put it to good use in the upcoming year of RTW fast.

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6 responses to “Fall sewing – shimmer gray dress

  1. Looks great. Nothing better than a nice simple garment that will pair beautifully with jackets and cardigans.

  2. The fit is spot on!

  3. Alex, this dress is “simply” beautiful – looks very good on you!

  4. That is a great, versatile dress that has a lot of room for variation! I love that you can make small changes in the sleeves and colors and make totally new dresses!

  5. That dress is beautiful, and the fit is astonishingly perfect. I’m wildly impressed!

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