Tag Archives: shirt dress

Denim Shirt Dress: Simplicity 8014

One thing I do love is a shirt dress.  And what I love more than that is a Denim shirt dress.

For a while I struggled to purchase Denim, in the end I was lucky enough to stumble upon some in my cheap shop.  It was more of a chambray but had the diagonal weave shape in the fabric.  I think with Denim it is best bought when you can get a feel for the weight and colour in real life, as apposed to online purchases.

Another good selling point of this fabric is that is was BLACK…

Despite having a pattern stash FULL of shirt dresses (like the kalle, the sahara to name but a few) I felt I needed another, but one that was a bit more dress like.  I love simplicity patterns in the sense that it is a back to basics in patterns after being spoilt by the beautiful and varied world of indie patterns. There is just something about the brown tissue paper and yellowish instructions that I find quite nostalgic.  Simplicity always do good solid basics and this is no exception.

So How did it Sew?

 

Apologies for the pictures, it seems of the five I only took of this dress, all pictures were quite bad and inconsistent.  But you get the idea.

As with all simplicity patterns, the make was straight forwards.  I am one of those weird people that like doing collars,  cuffs, yokes and other fiddly bits, so I was in my element here.  The fit was tighter and more body con than I anticipated, I wish I had now hacked it to have a cute circle skirt or just more of an A line, but I love it all the same.  I love the fabric, despite being from my cheap shop, i have a feeling that it has been sorced from somewhere that uses quality fabrics.  the extra bit of stretch gives a great shape to this garment.

I struggled to find buttons for a while, I was concerned I might have to go for more of the denim hardware with studs and rivets, all extra costs with tools for someone who has not yet ventured into it.  But luckily I came across these basic brass buttons that were perfect and could be sewed on, no extra effort.

I also added a basic belt (not included in the pattern) and belt loops, to give me more options whilst wearing it.  As always I added in a placket to roll up the sleeves. I like having options to get the most wear out of my pieces.  Since making it I have also worn it open and on it’s own as a dress with a brown belt.

Overall I am very pleased with this dress and would like to revisit this item in a lighter material, like a linen,  to see the outcome of that and how it can be worn differenty.  It is also begging for a hack, maybe a wider skirt in a more chambray-esque lighter denim fabric.

 

I AM Hermes – Stripped 90’s Wonder

One thing I have loved seeing in my fashion travels is open long stripped shirts, worn over matching trouser.  Oversized striped pant suits are amazing, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!   I have no source material on this obsession, but I think its coming from the 90’s Hip hop world of female artists.  I cant find any pictures to support this, so just go with it…

Whilst I was at the Sewing Bee at Excel, I happened upon The I AM booth.  I am a massive fan of them, having made many versions of the Aphrodite and Cassiopee, and i love their packaging and branding.  Having some money to spend, I ended up going for the Hermes.  Just a note, the girls on the stall were amazingly helpful, talked passionately about I AM and were extremely friendly.

I had some stripped fabric from my cheap shop, that had a beautiful feel and drape to it.  It definately spoke shirt fabric to me.

So How did it Sew?

 

As with all  I AM patterns, they are always a pleasure to work with.  I myself am not someone who usually traces their patterns before hand, rather a brash cut and keep sewist.  But I found this to be quite easy, and it was nice to be able to fold up one sheet of paper back into the beautiful gold envelope, as apposed to my usual approach of ramming all the pieces in.

Yes the biggest size has failed to cover my breasts, but wearing it open as a duster is probably how I would wear it anyway.  Being able to shape it at the back with the belt has been an added bonus.

I love this pattern.  Yes, I may have a large collection of shirt patterns, but this one really stands out and will definitely be a remake.

If you want to make one yourself, check out I AM patterns HERE.

 

Made By Me: Pauline Alice – Camí dress

This is quite an important post as I feel like my sewing has come full circle.

Back when I started sewing, one thing I desperately wanted to make was a shirt dress.  I had been inspired by a Gothic looking dress online, one that a) didn’t do my size and b) even if they did I bet you my boobs would make a bit for freedom out the front buttons.

So I set about with a McCall’s M6696 hoping to recreate this ‘simple’ shirt dress.  The material I chose was a purple stretch fabric, the colour was called Damsel… And it was a disaster… Everything from the fit, to the collar, to the fabric was just awful.  I didn’t even finish it with buttons and a hem I hated it so much.  I brushed that Idea away for more than a year… then I met the Pauline Alice’s the Cami.

Pictures from Pauline Alice Website, Showing the 3/4 length sleeve version I made.

Having a fair amount of reservations on any shirt dress pattern after the first attempt, I at ignored it.  But make after make just kept on popping up on my Instagram feed.  All EXACTLY the shape and style I first wanted back when I started the disastrous damsel piece.

Firstly, It wasn’t in my size.  This posed an issue in that I would have to enlarge the pattern somehow.  My skills in this department were almost non existent.  But after a few YouTube tutorials, I grabbed some Swedish Tracing paper and ended up with a PERFECT fit (including the boobs)

The second slight issue was when I discovered that the skirt was just two rectangles.  I cant say I wasn’t disappointed at first… one of the selling points of this pattern was how everyone’s Camis I saw online had the best shaped skirt.  I was mistaken in my thinking that there was this holy grail of skirt making that I was chasing… In fact this was a lazy hack I used myself on some of my patterns… normally on the patterns I end up loving the shape of the most.  So I learnt that sometimes the most simple techniques are in fact the best.

So How Did It Sew?

Date Completed: 5th August 2017
(Sorry for the slight bleaching out in the pics, but flat black matt fabric is a pain to photograph)

The main challenge of this was not the sewing, but making it a size bigger.  This was surprisingly easy, and dare I say actually quite fun.  I simply laid it on top of a piece of Swedish tracing paper and systematically went around the pattern pieces and extended it and various points.  It was a simple case of measure, do the math, place the dot, repeat that step loads, then join the dots.  I honestly urge you to try it, even if you are not plus size, try it on a size too small vintage pattern… I know you have lurking in your collection somewhere (i know i have!)  One thing I didn’t change was the length of the bodice, despite having a long body, I felt confident in the length of the pattern.  The collar stayed untouched and I was conscious of this when sizing up the pattern around that area.

I went for a soft Peach Skin Black.  I love this fabric, I paid a bit extra for it in my cheap shop, but at 2.95 a metre, it’s still a bargain.  I bought in bulk and have more than enough left for other projects.  It has a beautiful matt finish and is the perfect light/medium weight.

Overall this sew is incredibly simple, the instructions are absolutely Beautiful.  I love the little button dots and the beautifully illustrated front and diagrams.  I love how its been kept in theme of the website too.  Putting it together is super easy, I would totally recommend anyone making the jump from beginner to look at this pattern.  Other than that this may be the perfect go to shirt dress pattern I have seen so far.  I highly recommend it as part of your wardrobe if you haven’t already got it.

I definitely need a patterned one now, to maybe challenge myself more in matching it up.  And despite winter, I quite fancy a short sleeve one.  Plus do check out the other patterns, I know I will.

 

 

 

Made by Me: Kalle Shirt Dress Pattern

Sometimes when a pattern drops, and everyone is making it, its hard to resist.  Especially when you had been looking for a decent basic shirt/shirt dress like the Kalle from Closet case.  Also, as a side note, check out how beautiful the model is they use… and each version photographed is EXACTLY a version I would sew and wear myself!

In an attempt to stash bust, I opted for a nude/beige Peach skin I had failed to use on an oversized shirt a while back.  It seemed like the perfect choice, soft and structured, yet light for summer.

I went for the PDF on this one as I wanted it instantly, and its simple to put together.  I like the small triangles and an outline.  The instructions are clear and concise.  I love the interchangeable options of the patterns itself: long/short sleeves, various collars and different button plackets all make you want to make more than just the one option.  And with so much choice, each make can have something different.

So How Did it Sew?

On my make, I opted for the long length, plain button placket with a grandad collar.  I plan to wear it open at the collar.

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Date Completed: 30th April 2017

A massive plus point for this patterns is the size variation, I made a 20 but honestly, could probably go down a couple of sizes and it still be oversized.  Comfortable as well as more fitted, but I love this look, its just so simple.  I especially love the bottom Hem, something so simple can make a shirt look structured and so much more.

Altogether, this was a pretty easy sew, the only issue I had was loosing my place in the pattern: with so many different option pieces, if you take your eyes off the section, you can easily loose it.  But this can also be seen as a me issue with my crazy brain, Yes you can follow the pictures, but maybe being broken up into sections would help more.

One thing  I would love to do is try to hack this in some way, maybe with a long sleeve of sorts, possibly with a button loop to take it to a shorter sleeve.  This idea seed needs time to grow.

Overall this is now one of my fave shirts, as I get so many complements about it whilst wearing it.  Definitely a wardrobe staple.

 

 

Rip! Mod Dolly – Shirt Dress

This Dress has been forming in my mind for a while before it came to be.  But it was finding the perfect fabric combined with already making a good shirt dress that moved it on.

In my online fantasy shopping ( we all do it) I again looked at ModDolly.  I know that they have out sized me, but a lot of their styles lend themselves to flattering a plus size figure like mine, that’s why I love their stuff; The day they figure this out and make my size is the day I become very poor.

Already having copied their Black and white Peter-Pan collar dress (see here) I spotted this beauty and the plans started to form:

(photos from ModDolly)

I then found a brown plaid fabric, which was extremely similar to the Rust from Mod Dolly:  I spotted it on the end of a massive fabric shop, and chucked it in.  This piece was made off the back of a Grainline Alder shirt dress, so I decided to adapt and hack the pattern to make this:

So How did it Sew?

(Completed: 28th February 2017)

It was an easy Sew, considering I had just completed a Grainline Alder with sleeve hack, just before this one.  The only adjustment was the skirt:  I simply folded the front of the pattern at the required length and cut it out, adding a simple straight rectangle gather skirt to it.  I am a very Lazy sewer!

I love this cute little grungy Dress, I love the fabric as it has a soft light feel and it is extremely close to my original inspiration.  I am considering adding a belt to give it more structure as apposed to just being the kind of dress you chuck on.

Made By Me – The White Shirt Dress

One thing I got quite early on in my sewing is a shirt dress pattern, The McCall’s M6696. I had wanted to copy a Gothic style dress that I had seen online, I thought maybe I could extend the collar and cuffs to make it more similar to the dress.

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I attempted this in a purple: It was a disaster, as was the second attempt. Undeterred, i tried one last time.
I really wanted a modern broderie anglais similar to an expensive on i had seen on john lewis. But having ruined this pattern twice already, I went in search for a cheaper alternative, and stumbled across ths one in my cheap shop: it had a more modern feel with its shapes that some of the other, more floral ones, I had seen.

So How Did it Sew?

Completed: 25th August 2016

The make is pretty simple, despite abandoning the last 2 attempts, I felt confident.
I love doing collars, some people hate them but not me. I love the neatness and fiddlyness, then suddenly a beautiful collar emerges.
I spent a lot of time matching the gaps on the yoke, it was the only piece doubled without interfacing, so i felt it had to look perfect.  This is also where I first got to flex my skills on button holes! Its something I now LOVE. Buttons really finish off a piece.

One thing I don’t do is no sleeves, you may notice I always cover my arms, so this was a bit of a brave move for me. I ended up not wearing it, although i do like it, i just felt it was a bit too pretty for where my style is going.

And yes I realise now I had a black bra on under a semi see through dress.  LOL.

I think I will keep this pattern around for future makes, maybe with the narrow skirt option.