Sunday, 5 July 2015

Vintage Shirt Dress

Over the past year I have watched many shirt dresses pop up in my blog reader. The almost constant supply of inspiration made me want to join in but I didn't go looking for a pattern. Then the Vintage Shirt Dress from Sew Over It appeared and landed in my letterbox a few days after it had been released.

Vintage Shirt Dress 1

I hatched a plan to use this gorgeous white eyelet that has been sat in my stash for a few years. I bought it on my first visit to the Birmingham Rag Market. It was a piece that I was happy to let sit there as I knew that the perfect pattern would eventually come along. I'm sure the eyelet is polycotton as it didn't take well to a hot iron which caused a few problems getting the facings and the collar to sit properly. Underlining was essential for modesty. As the eyelet is fairly thick I chose a lightweight cotton in a bright blue from Minerva to add a fun element to the dress. The two fabrics work well together and I hope that you can see the glimpses of blue through the squares. 

Vintage Shirt Dress 3

I was surprised by the amount of ease in this pattern. It's not a bad thing, just that I like my clothes to be a little more fitted. I went down a size or two and then did a 2cm FBA, sharing the additional fabric between the pleats and the gathering at the shoulders to ensure the pleats weren't too deep and noticeable. I made no other changes to the pattern, although I'm starting to think that I should have lowered the armholes by a centimetre - they feel a little too high but are comfortable enough to wear. The hem is the suggested 4cm and it hits higher than my normal hem level which is perfect for summer. I would lengthen it for an autumnal/winter version. 

Vintage Shirt Dress 5

Stitching this was an enjoyable experience. The dress goes together very well and I didn't find any of the steps too complicated - a beginner willing to tackle buttonholes should be able to get through this as the instructions are very clear. I had to seriously grade the facings and collar seam allowances to reduce the bulk from the eyelet. The button holes took some figuring out as I needed to avoid the bulky squares as much as possible - my test samples showed the needle struggled a little. To prevent fraying I used Fray Stopper from Hemline and it is only of those products that I should have used many projects ago. The finished result is very neat. I'm also happy that the rows are continuous across the buttons. The buttons are pale blue to allow them to blend with the dress.

Vintage Shirt Dress 2

I love the little details of the pattern - the gentle gathering at the shoulders, how the shoulder seam is towards the front and the pleats. It is a simple, classic pattern and I hoped that my plan would stay true to design. I'm delighted with how this dress turned out. I was worried that the eyelet wouldn't work as well as it did and it took until hemming for me to realise that I was adding a nice and much needed dress to my limited summer wardrobe. What's on your sewing table, please? 

24 comments:

  1. Very summery and just the right length. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. Perfect length for summer :)

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  2. It looks lovely - I thought from earlier IG the blue would be more pronounced but it is very subtle - so sweet. I have yet to blog my shirt dress. I agree about the armholes and the length - I'm 5ft 4 and added 10 cm (weird imperial/metric mix there!).

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    1. The white does swallow the colour a fair amount which is why I choose such a bright colour. Looking forward to seeing your version.

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  3. This very dress is on my sewing table! I am finding it simple enough and the fit is pretty relaxed which is nice after endless rounds of trouser fitting! I am going to check out the armholes before I finish them. I had to lengthen more than usual -2" on bodice and I have added 1.5 to the skirt where I suspect I will have less of a hem. Yours is lovely. The white eyelet is so summery!

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    1. Thanks. Looking forward to seeing your version and yes, definitely check the armholes!

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  6. Really pretty Claire! On my sewing table is 'Mademoiselle' by Aime Comme Marie - a three quarter length sleeve scoop neck blouse - only trouble is it's in French!

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. Good luck with the French instructions!

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  7. So pretty! I really like the blue peeping through the eyelet. I've just finished my own Vintage shirt dress- I really enjoyed sewing it, and I'm already planning other versions!

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    1. Thanks, Ruth. It's a great pattern and I suspect many of us will be repeating it!

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  8. Oooh, lovely fabric! This turned out great, perfect for summer!

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    1. Thanks, Sally. I'm looking forward to wearing it over the next few months.

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  9. I love this fabric combo! What a great idea to use a bright solid behind the eyelet. The dress came out beautifully, and I hope you find lots of occasions to wear it this summer. :)

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn. I suspect this will be the first dress placed in my suitcase as I pack for our summer holiday.

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  10. This is brilliant! The blue underlining worked beautifully, and the eyelet is gorgeous. I can't wait to start mine now!

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    1. Thanks, Lynne. I think the blue works well too. Looking forward to seeing your version.

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  11. Oh, this is beautiful! I really really want to make use of my pattern - so many inspiring versions!

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    1. Thank you! I hope you get to yours soon.

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