Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Finished - a grown up Dorothy dress

I do love gingham, but I firmly believe there comes a time in one's life when one has to be a little more..... considered.... when matching gingham with an appropriate outfit or pattern. I had been thinking about making a gingham shirt dress, in giant navy and white checks, but something had been holding me back - namely this:

It's ok Dorothy - don't stress - I won't do it!



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?

22 comments:

  1. It looks great - that fabric was a terrific find. I do love a dress - the instant outfit factor really appeals!

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    1. Thanks! I'm just glad it's now warm enough to wear now!

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  2. Such great fabric and it looks just lovely made up into the shirt dress. It looks so classy with the belt.

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  3. Wow I love this you! Great fabric and pattern pairing. I've never worn a shirt dress as I'm never sure how it'd suit my figure, but now I want to try. Very nice

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    1. Thanks Jillian - I think they are so flattering - just pick a skirt shape that you normally wear!

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  4. I love this. You look great. I also have this pattern. I might have to dig it out..

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    1. Thanks Betty! Definitely give it a go - I'll look forward to seeing it!

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  5. Perfect little summer dress - the size of the gingham works so well with this style.

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    1. Thanks Lexi! It's an awesome check!

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  6. That looks Great on you!
    I love that the checked pattern colors blend so well.
    :-)

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    1. Thanks Chris - it's a very subtle colour way! Thanks for coming by!

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  7. This is a perfect shirt dress! I've avoided them because of my difficulty making more traditional shirts flatter my shoulders but I like how you've used a more feminine shirt pattern. The gathers at the shoulders are so flattering!

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    1. Thanks Morgan - hopefully you happen upon the perfect pattern! I'm sure you'd make a fab shirtdress - all your things are awesome!

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  8. Oh, super cute! Love the colour (and your explanation about the dried blood, which actually makes sense to me... does that make me creepy?) and you did an excellent job at pattern hacking the blouse into a dress. I agree with Morgan that the gathers are super flattering. This is nothing like Dorothy's dress - you look tres chic!

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    1. Thanks Andrea! I do love those shoulder gathers - my fave feature of this pattern. Thanks for your kind comments!

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  9. I love a good shirt dress, and this is one of the nicest I've seen! Beautiful colours, and that shoulder detail is just so lovely. Great job!

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    1. Thanks Danielle - what a lovely thing to say! Hopefully you are starting yours soon!

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  10. Super cute! I am kind of in love with this fabric!

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  11. That dress looks great on you! I love the colours of the fabric :-)

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    1. Thanks Eline! Thanks for coming by :)

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