I made a dress!

This is not the first dress I’ve made, but it’s only the second that I properly finished (and therefore will actually wear!).

I’m more of a separates person, I think it’s that due to my height dresses in the shops often hit me at the wrong point in the waist, so I never really feel like they fit properly. I realise that of course now I can sew any dress, but somehow it’s taken me this long to find one that I really love. Meet my Ready to Sew Jolene dress!


I love all the details on this: the pointed collar with the additional button, the way that the buttons are spaced out two by two, and the gentle gathers for a bit of shape but not too cutesy. The shaped hem is just perfect too; not too high at the sides but with a nice rounded shape.

The collar has separate upper and under pattern pieces, which is great although with this fabric it was harder to make sure that the under collar pulled the outer tight, so next time I may cut it just a little bit larger to avoid the slight rippling (it’s not all that noticeable luckily!).


The fabric I used is a lovely cotton shirting, which gathered like a dream! I can’t remember where I read the tip, but I used 2 lines of gathering; one inside the seam allowance and the other outside of it, which kept the gathers nice and even as I sewed. I also made my own bias binding from a grey chambray I had lying around and I also cut the inner collar stand in the same fabric for a nice contrast (although the collar looks so good buttoned up all the way that you can’t even see it!).


I am wondering whether I ought to lower the waist a little or perhaps lengthen the whole dress 5 cms or so. It might just be that it feels a little short because I’m not so used to wearing dresses!

Of course I made this a little late in the season, but I reckon I can definitely wear this with tights! And the pattern has several lovely variations – I think I might try the top version next, which has a lovely peplum, and try out the 3/4 sleeves. I’ve got a really nice purple Liberty lawn in my stash that would be perfect – let’s see if I manage it for week 4!

As a bonus, this is my first Jolene dress, which I made for my PhD graduation 😀 This one is made from a thin silver denim, which makes the gathered shape stand out a little more (not that you can see it under the gown! Check out my Instagram @astridsews for some more pictures).


Happy Indie Pattern Month!


20 thoughts on “I made a dress!

  1. Pingback: Rounded collar shirt vs pointy collar shirtdress | The Monthly Stitch

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    • Thank you!! It’s such a lovely detail, isn’t it? The buttons are from Textile Garden – I liked them so much I got them in both ‘colours’ of metal! 🙂

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  3. This is such a great dress on you! I love your fabric choice- I feel like it accentuates the pattern details and makes it really special. I’ve never seen this pattern and I’m so glad you posted it:) Your make is fabulous!

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    • Aww thank you!!! I would really recommend the pattern 🙂 And would you believe the shirting was just in my stash – I like the colours but could never work out what to do with it. Luckily it was perfect for this dress! 😀


  4. Love the details on this shirt-dress, all those buttons and button-holes, I’m impressed and getting the placement of those right must have taken dedication.

    Really interesting that you mention that you’ve stuck with your separates habit because of your experience with ready to wear dresses. This really chimed with me, it has only been lately that I have actually made anything v-necked. Any Rtw v-necked garments used to be waaay too revealing. Odd that it takes a while to adjust to adding new things like this when you can sew!

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    • Thank you!! My perfectionist tendencies did come out over the buttonholes, but I’m fortunate that my machine does a really good 1 step buttonhole which speeds up the process! Also I have a chalk mechanical pencil which makes really precise marks 😅
      And isn’t it weird how these habits or rules on ‘what you should wear’ become unconsciously ingrained?! Luckily we can unlearn them again! 😎😄


        • Haha nice! I think my mechanical pencil is from Sewline – and it does work well for precise lines but not on all fabrics (woven works best) – might have to look out for some felt tips too!


    • Thank you! I wish I could remember who to credit for the tip – but it really helped me so very happy to pass it on! 😄


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