I really wanted to make a shirt dress to wear from summer in to autumn. I used a cheap cotton with polka dots in navy and white that I got from a fabric market. The idea behind this was that it would be a wearable muslin. I never made a shirtdress or shirt before so I knew it could go wrong.
The pattern is from knipmode magazine in march 2007, yes we keep sewing magazines that long. The smallest size available was a size 38 which is slightly to large according to my measurements. And the pattern is a straight dress and I wanted an A-line dress. I should have bought a different pattern in my size, but at the time I thought it would be fine. I was wrong!
I had to take in the sides with 2cm. than it was still way to big around the waist so I hollowed out the back gradually up to 3cm at the waist. And I pleated the front where the loops of the belt are. The loops of the belt where way to small so had to make new ones that were longer. There was no way you would be able to make a buttonhole and fit a belt trough the ones from the pattern.
According to the instructions you need to finish the sleeves and roll them up. My fabric is not pretty on the inside so I wasn’t able to do that. I folded the unfinished sleeves inside and stitched them in place that way if I would fold the sleeves out you would see the nice side of the fabric.
The button bands could be neater but for a first attempt they are okay. The standing collar was a nightmare I tried 5 times to attach it and it’s still not right. I finished the inside by hand because it just would not work.
The reason that the pattern started at size 38 is because it is available in different lengths (1,60m, 1.72m and 1.80m). I made length 1.72m because I’m 1.70m tall. You would expect the dress to fit just above the knee like it does on the model since there are different lengths available. But no I cut of 15 cm of the seam and finished it with an invisible stitch.
And the best part of the dress… I finished the buttonholes and buttons with red threat. After this ramble about everything that went wrong you would expect that hate the dress and I have never worn it. But no august and september both had bad weather and I wore the dress a lot. It might not be finished perfectly but I like the fit after all the alterations I have made. But I’m never ever going to make anything that doesn’t have a pattern in my size!