A few months ago I found a lovely double gauze cotton gingham at Rathdowne Remnants, in Brunswick, and immediately knew it would be lovely as a shirt-dress - I'd never seen it's colour way, and felt confident I wouldn't look like I was dressed up for Halloween....
The colour is hard to describe - it's a deep faded maroon, almost the colour of dried blood which is probably a little creepy....
Anyway, I'd been hankering for a shirt dress, but wanted some instant gratification - I wasn't in the mood to faff around with a muslin, so decided I'd use a shirt pattern that I knew fit me reasonably well, and just extend the length to make a dress. Ages ago I'd made up this vintage Style 2986 that I had found at Savers, and was really pleased with the pattern. I love the shawl collar and shoulder gathers.
The first version fit pretty well - it has no darts so to make it a little more fitted I took some width out of the sides, then just extended the pattern from the waist, using my Colette Peony skirt pattern. I extended the button placket to be full length - I had tossed up whether to make a half placket with the skirt a separate gathered piece and a side zip or just one full length piece - in the end I only had enough fabric to make an a-line skirt, so decided to just make it one piece with a full button placket. I always intended to wear it belted, so it didn't matter too much that the skirt wasn't particularly full. I was lazy and didn't do pockets (mostly because I wanted to do french seams, and couldn't be bothered binding them if I put pockets in).
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out - and with my check matching! It's a great pattern, but I'm not 100% happy with the collar this time - my choice of interfacing was too heavy, so when that was combined with the under collar and the top collar, both of which are 2 layers anyway (because of the double gauze) I had a lot of trouble getting it to sit nicely - it's ok, but not nice and crisp.
Anyway, this is a great shirt pattern - I'd highly recommend trying to track it down. It goes together beautifully, and I hope to make it one day with the long sleeves. The gathers on the shoulders are made by sewing gathering stitches, then sewing them into a dart. The front piece is continuous with the yoke, and extends over the shoulders and joints at centre back on the bias:
I do love a shirt dress - it's an instant outfit, and a very chic look with the right pattern and fabric, don't you think?