Shirtdresses are a part of most women’s wardrobe not least because they can be worn either very casual or more dressy depending on fabric, heavier for winter and lightweight for summer, sleeveless, short-sleeved or long.
I have no idea where this pattern came from – for the life of me I cannot remember and I think it may have remained in the back of my pattern stash and my memory only for seeing a neat little dress in a magazine which made me pull this one to the fore and give it a re think.
The dress in question was a graphic, I assume – cotton, in blue and white with a white collar, sleeveless and it just screamed summer to me. Check out that woe-full pattern match on the bodice tusk, tusk!
I also had a lovely cotton lawn in my stash which I was dying to use but couldn’t find the right pattern for. It’s liberty-esque both in design and colourway and the design of the fabric although not large could nonetheless overwhelm so the right pattern was crucial. The plain collar added a nice contrast and also making it sleeveless would stop it from heading into frump territory.
When it came to the buttons I decided I would double up and make them small – like a shirt and I had these buttons in my button box. They are vintage and one card was in a pale aqua blue and another in a darker blue. I didn’t have enough in any one colour for them all so I alternated them, as between them they picked out both the colours in the main fabric – All at once justifying the wholesale purchase of vintage buttons whenever I can find them!
The collar I had previously made in a cotton broderie anglaise but on application I felt it was too heavy for the cotton lawn of the main fabric, so I replaced it with a plain off white cotton which I lightly interfaced. I have kept the broderie anglaise collar as I can attach to a couple of round necked jumpers that I have – so all was not lost. I think if I was to do this again I would make the collar slightly smaller other than that I am very happy with this.
I didn’t use any of the recommended sleeve options instead I made some bias binding and bound the armholes. I can see this little dress being a useful addition to my wardrobe, it’s very comfy with a relaxed fit.
If ever I needed reminded of how great it is to handcraft your own garments, this reminds me. I know I am speaking to the converted but when I think that I paid half the price for the fabric – which is a lovely cotton lawn, and for a few hours of my time (which I enjoy) I know I now have a much superior garment than the shop bought one. In addition the hemline is where I want it, and I know no one else will have another like it. It also fits me in a way the shop bought one never could, freeing me from the tyranny that is vanity sizing and the dreaded changing room! Not to mention the ethical and moral question of cheap labour and the cost, not just in monetary terms, of making and shipping these garments in their 1000’s from the other side of the world. It’s really no surprise that the sewing revolution is with us. It’s a no brainer! ….