An Accessible Alder

I’m slowly easing myself back into sewing after having baby No. 2 in February, and had a pattern picked out and traced off, the fabric pre-washed and ready to go, when my pattern swap pattern arrived:


So of course the shiny new pattern got bumped up to the top of my sewing queue. This is not only a new to me pattern, but also a style I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards; being of a *curvy* build I often worry that I will look like the side of a house without something to define my waist! But it looked like a quick easy sew and I’m all for trying something new for the ‘New To Me’ challenge, so I rummaged through my pattern stash to find some fabric I wouldn’t be too devastated to lose if it turned out to be a disaster. I came up with what is probably a cotton/linen blend that I’m fairly sure I got off the sale rack at Spotlight for about $4pm. It was quite stiff at first but softened up nicely after I pre-washed it. I also found  some scraps of slightly off-white cotton to use as a contrasting collar.

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I actually cut the main pieces across the grain – because who wants horizontal stripes on a shapeless dress? I cut the yoke and pockets with contrasting direction for a bit of visual interest, and used the white cotton for the collar stand, to line the yoke, and to finish the armholes. I overlocked the side seams, which are the only exposed seams in this dress.



I followed the instructions through and found them fairly straightforward, and the only alterations I made were to omit the interfacing on the button plackets (as I felt the fabric was sturdy enough without it and I didn’t want to add bulk) and to add pockets. Because if I’m going to have a loose-cut dress it should have pockets, in my opinion.

Apologies for my photos, I’m battling a cold that’s making me sound like I’ve been a pack-a-day smoker for the last 20 years, foul weather, and a 3 year old (and yes, ‘battling’ does feel like what I’m doing with my boy some days at the moment!)


So as you can see it’s not exactly the most flattering thing I’ve ever worn! But it is comfortable, covers my mummy tummy and most importantly for the mother of a 3 month old baby, breastfeeding friendly!

I could see this dress getting worn a lot during summer, being so lose and breezy, but now that I’ve seen the photos I think I actually like it better with the top and jeans (or maybe leggings?) underneath. Which is good because this top is a good colour match and is one I can’t wear on it’s own because of all the stains down the front. On that note, if anyone has any good tips for removing breastmilk stains from clothing, please let me know…

Strangely enough the biggest dilemma I had when making this dress was the buttons! I couldn’t find any in my stash that were a decent match, so I asked my mother if I could have a look through her button collection, and this is what I was given:


The jar on the upper right is her ‘white buttons’ jar, but I decided the mathematical probability of finding 8 suitable matching buttons wasn’t worth calculating so I gave up. I ended up using self-cover buttons without covering them (I figured the fabric would be too bulky to work properly) as a temporary fix as I won’t be near the shops until the end of the week. Although now that I’ve gotten used to the look of them laziness might win out and I may not change them after all…

This dress has actually grown on me, it’s been hanging in my living area for a few days until I could get around to getting photos and I really like the colours of this fabric. Mr 3 is also a fan, he came in as I was trying it on last night and said ‘Oh WOW Mum, you’ve got a new shirt!’. I can see myself wearing it casually as styled above to playgroup and the like. It may not be the most flattering thing I’ve ever worn, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m ok with that! Thanks to my pattern swap partner for pushing me to try something new! And thanks to you, dear reader, if you’ve made it this far through my rather scatterbrained post!




8 thoughts on “An Accessible Alder

  1. Awww! I have a three-year-old too who always comments on what I’m making. “Mommy made a dress with flowers!” “Mommy is wearing shorts that she made with her sewing machine!” & my fave: “Mommy sewed a bra to cover up her breasts.” So precise in her language with that one.


  2. Love the colours you are wearing. It looks like a perfect fit for what you need. As a curvy girl I know what you mean about being scared of the shapeless garment. 🙂


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