Sunday, July 09, 2017

A Flowy Mixed Fabric Shirtdress

I'm planning to sew a couple of shirtdresses this summer/fall.  Most of them are from shirtdress patterns currently available in the pattern catalogues. I definitely want to make another Cashmerette Lenox Shirtdress and at least one McCalls version and a Butterick one, too.

However, I've wanted to make a dress version of my TNT button front shirt since I made my second one. I was a little concerned that the dress would be a little too flowy, overwhelming or maternity looking. Lately though, I've seen several types of flowy, oversized versions online, so I was encouraged to go ahead with my own.

Now this look isn't going to be for everyone...but I made it for those really hot, humid and sweltery days in NYC where a nice loose-fitting dress is the perfect thing to wear. Personally, I can't stand close-fitting on those days so this one fits the bill! 

Materials ~
Yellow striped 100% cotton shirting from the collection via Fabric Mart
Linen floral scraps used in this skirt - fabric from Marcy Tilton

Notions ~
14 - 5/8" covered buttons made from the linen floral scraps

Pattern Alterations ~
-I lengthened the front tunic length pattern pieces 10" and the main back piece also.  
-The sleeve was made elbow length and the hemline was widen by 1/2" on either side. 
-I added a 2" band of the linen fabric to the short sleeve.

Construction Changes ~
The only construction differences between the dress and my other shirts are the sleeves. If you need the original construction information for the shirt, it's contained in this post.

I guess I've really fallen down the #yearofthesleeve rabbit hole. Because this is a simple change made impactful by choosing a different fabric to coordinate with the pinstripe. Then again if you've been following along for a minute, you will know that I've consistently made changes to my sleeves to add some ummph to my garments!

I added the printed linen to the undercollar, neckband, buttons and sleeve band to give the dress a little more pizzazz. It is a striped fabric that reads pale yellow from a distance, so it needed that extra color to save it from looking like a house dress.

Also, even though I've made hundreds of buttonholes, I was intrigued by the YouTube video by Johanna who blogs at The Last Stitch. Check out this video on her tips "How to Sew Great Buttonholes." Cause even though I've made my share, I did learn something new. For those who've asked which sewing videos I watch, Johanna's YouTube videos are on my list!

A few pictures of the dress ~

Even though I was on vacation last week, this is the only sewing that I did. Some home repairs stopped me from sewing a couple of the days I was home. I spent a day in NYC with Shams fabric shopping and finished the week in Tampa visiting a friend. The only bad thing about the week was that I wasn't able to meet up with Debbie Cook and Myra as I had originally planned. But ladies I promise when I'm back in Tampa later this year, I will definitely get with you!

The grandkids were here with their mother while she took are a few of the outtakes ~

Perfectly good shots that were enhanced by running little people, sigh!

Anyway, I've spent very little time in front of my sewing machine and amazingly I'm not lusting to get back to it. So I don't know what's up next but I'm sure I will be sewing something next weekend! always more later!


  1. This is something that I have been wanting to do. I lengthened my tee shirt pattern to make a night shirt and it is so comfy that I have been working on perfecting my blouse (shirt) pattern so I can maybe lengthen it. It may not look as good on me as you, though.

  2. I like the look of the contrasting fabric with the main fabric. Haha...I'm doing just the opposite in my next project, shortening a dress pattern to construct a tunic.

  3. That buttonhole video is going into heavy rotation. I knew a lot of it, but you know sometimes knowing a thing and putting it into practice are two totally different things.
    The buttons were totally worth the pain. Lovely dress, you'll be cool and comfortable.

  4. I think the dress is great and will be nice to wear when hot. You have inspired me again. Thanks.

  5. I love the color accents that you added.

  6. Yes, those sparks of pizzazz is what it's all about... And thanks for the heads up--I will be checking out Johanna's videos because I struggle with buttonholes too.

  7. Thank you for the shout-out about my videos! What an honor - I'm a huge fan of your work and skills. Those matching buttons and collar details are so beautiful, this is something I will use as an inspiration for future projects.

    1. Johanna - your videos are great! Short and to the point with helpful info and no rambling. So it was easy to give you a shout out. Also I love your work too!

  8. Looks like the perfect summer dress. Love the contrast fabric at the collar and sleeves.

  9. The perfect summer dress! How brilliant to add the floral fabric in small bits.

  10. Love the floral touches!Such a cool looking dress with plenty of ventilation for summer days. We all need a couple of these to stay comfortable and sane when the heat gets so oppressive!


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