One of my favorite dresses in the entire world is this one I picked up at Charlotte Russe about four years ago.. It’s a shirtdress made of terrible polyester crepe with an elastic waist and little trees printed on it like big polka dots.
And the dress that I finished on Friday definitely wins out over my Tree Dress. I wore it on Friday, and then again on Saturday, and I put it on today for pictures, and I’m sad to say that it’s going to have to go in the wash before I can wear it again… A bit heartbreaking.
So let’s get down to details.
First the fabric. This is some Robert Kaufmann chambray, which is rayon cotton from what I recall, and because I went with a sleeveless dress I used a little less than two yards. I had been looking for some quality chambray for a few months and bought this last summer on a sale, for maybe 3 or 4 dollars a yard. If I see it again at that price I might have to buy an entire bolt. That’s how much I love this stuff.
The buttons and bias tape are from my vintage stash, the buttons probably from my grandmother, the tape from various yard sales and grab bags.
This is Sew Over It’s Vintage Shirtdress, and it’s my new favorite dress pattern. When I looked at the size chart, I thought I’d need too franken-size it, with a size 12 at the bust and 10 at the waist, but I decided to muslin the 10, and it worked a treat. The pattern was lovely, and all the notches (that I used) matched up easily. It was my first time working with a Sew Over It pattern (New to Me challenge and all), and I’m excited to make their Tea dress soon as well!
I followed the instructions for pretty much the entire thing, except for binding nearly all the seams in bias binding, and adding pockets. I kinda french seamed the pockets against the actual skirt seams, because I lost brainpower that night to deal with much more than that.
I chose to make the pockets out of some goldenrod quilting cotton to match the buttons. I had hoped to also have gold bias tape, but lacking that I chose green to give it a slightly Irish feel. I was also going to go with green for the hem tape, but I didn’t have enough so I switched to purple instead.
This dress is definitely going to be a work horse for me. I’m thinking it’ll be worn at least weekly this summer, and then in the fall and spring with a sweater. I’ve already worn it with my Julia cardigan, and it’ll be lovely with any of my cacophony of cardigans.
If you’d like to check out some of the other things I’m working on, my blog is here, with my apparel and costuming adventures!