Cheers to the new year with Sangria (vintage shirt dress)


The monthly stitch January challenge is a garment inspired by a Beverage to ring in the new year.  While the northern hemisphere people are probably finding it a little cold at this time of year, we have the opposite in the Southern hemisphere.  I’ve picked a nice chilled Sangria as my drink of choice.  My fabric is somewhat reminiscent of this – a lovely red wine colour, with ‘bits’ in it!


Around the time the challenge was announced I had recently received the vintage shirt dress pattern from sew over it, and I had been lucky to acquire the fabric as part of a fabric destash (good luck with your move to Tassie Laura!).  I was also watching the Spanish language miniseries ‘El tiempo entre costuras’ – based on the book The Seamstress by Maria Duenas (published as The Time in Between in some countries).  The book is great, but seeing it come to life with all the fabulous vintage fashion was a real treat.  Lots of inspiring vintage fashion, such as these dresses:


I originally though the soft drapey fabric was a poly cotton blend. It is ‘warm to the touch’ slightly rough and I can sometimes see tiny fine wiry curly hairs sticking out.  Burn test gave a mix of ash and bead, confirming a mix of natural and synthetic fibres.  Half way through the dress construction I realised there were a few moth-type holes which combined with the hairiness makes me now think it is a poly blended with animal fibre like wool.  Luckily they are mostly on the under placket of the shirt dress front, so I think I’ll try a little bit of fray check on them and they should be okay.


The fabric was nice to work with, seams and hems ironed well, but it didn’t crease when packed in my case for a trip. I only had 2m to work with, so it had to be a sleeveless version.  I used a plain berry coloured rayon for the back neck facing, skirt front facings and bias tape for armhole bindings.  There were many colours of buttons I could have used but I decided to go with something matching the background of this busy print.  I found a thrifted set of the right size and colour in my stash.

This pattern has been out for a while and I have had emoji heart eyes for every version I have seen.  I love the rounded notched collar, bodice and skirt pleats, gathering on the front bodice shoulder seams.  The instructions were good and the dress came together neatly, no trouble with button holes or handstitching down the hems and armhole binding.


I did find a lot of ease in bodice and decided to take the entire dress in by 1.5cm for the entire length of the dress.  I wondered if I should make a smaller size, but the fit around the shoulders, arms and bodice length seems okay so I think I will make it again the same way. The length does seem to come up a bit shorter than I would like.  I was limited in fabric and I toyed with the idea of making a narrow hem but in the end went with the deeper hem as I thought it would sit better in this soft fabric.  I think I would add length or reduce hem depth in future versions though.


And I do have 2 future versions planned already.  I think there are a lot of fabric types and designs that would suit this pattern and I have a poplin and linen earmarked for 2 future versions.  So ‘Cheers’ to the New Year, and new sewing, and more versions of this dress for me!


Project summary

pattern: Sew Over It vintage shirt dress (from Sew Squirrel)

fabric: mystery blend (by way of the lovely Laura)

notions: 8 thrifted buttons, rasant and guterman thread.

This post is a direct copy from the one on my blog

14 thoughts on “Cheers to the new year with Sangria (vintage shirt dress)

  1. Gorgeous dress! I love that colour and style on you – looks fabulous. 🙂

    I really like this pattern – I’ve made it twice now (both sleeveless) and have plans for a long-sleeved one for winter. (Wearing one of mine now, in fact – they’ve been on high rotation ever since I made them.) It’s such an extremely wearable style! I hope yours gets lots of wear as well, and am looking forward to seeing your next versions. 🙂

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