Denim shirt dresses are all over the high street at the moment, every clothes shop I have been into recently has about 2 or 3 versions. Since starting my sewing challenge this year I am much more reluctant to buy clothes, I would much rather make them so a shirt dress seemed like an ideal make! I knew that Tilly and the Buttons did a shirt pattern (Rosa) and so I ordered one, I had just made the Zadie Dress and so knew that pattern would be easy to follow. Luckily the pattern arrived a couple of days before I was planning on going into Birmingham with my Mum to do some shopping and visit the rag market as well as a couple of other fabric shops in the centre.
Initially I was just planning on making a denim version but when we got to the stalls on the outside rag market, there was a stall selling fabric at £1 and £2 a metre! There were so many beautiful prints that it was hard to choose what to get as most of them felt really nice quality and ideal for drapey cami tops and shirt dresses! I picked out three for cami tops but found this navy fabric with large pink flowers on it and immediately thought that it would make an amazing loose shirt dress.
I decided to make it in a size larger than my measurements as I wanted it to be very loose fitting as well as adding a sash for round my waist to give it more shape there as it was going to be big. I had bought 2 metres of the fabric and it was only just enough, I had to be very careful when laying out my pattern pieces to cut them out and make sure I didn’t make any mistakes as I didn’t have any spare.
Once I started sewing the pattern was once again really easy to follow. I used my overlocker for most of the seams as the fabric frayed very easily and so it just made it much neater. The only seams I didn’t do this on straight away was the back yoke to back bodice and attaching the sleeves to the bodice. I did finish them on the overlocker once i had stitched them though. I didn’t topstich any of the seams as I didnt think it would work with the fabric as it was so light weight I didn’t think the seams needed strengthening and I also didn’t want to put stitch lines through the pattern if I could help it.
I had never made a collar before but the instructions made it so easy to do, although I did have to keep checking which was the top collar and outer collar stand! It was then time to attach the sleeves which i probably found the most difficult to ease in all the extra fabric at the shoulders. To finish them off I folded the bottom of the sleeves slightly differently to the pattern as I didn’t want the wrong side of the fabric facing outwards but that wasn’t difficult to do.
I had done buttonholes before but on my old machine which was much more manual. Once I had dug out the instructions for my new machine and familiarised myself with the foot and measuring device it was so easy! I literally just pressed go and I had 12 perfectly sized buttonholes in exactly the right place. I would definately recommend a computerised sewing machine for this!
Having never made anything with this type of construction before I am so impressed! I think the fabric works so well as it is a bold pattern but it isn’t so bright that it is in your face. It can be a casual summer dress but I am eyeing up a couple of more formal occasions this summer that I could wear it to as well. Can’t wait to make my denim version now!