Shirtdress Plans!

I’ve been saying for ages that I want to make another Alder shirt dress. The first one I made was meant to be a toile… but I never got round to making the denim one I had planned and have ended up wearing this one loads.

Alder Shirtdress front - Jem Weston blogI initially thought it was way too big, but after a few wears I started to enjoy the loose fit and as I’ve washed and worn it the fabric has softened and now has a nicer drape.

I wanted to make the next one with sleeves because two of the most worn items in my wardrobe are long-sleeved shirt dresses – one plaid and one denim. They’re basically secret pyjamas and I wear them with leggings while working at home.

Knowing that I like the fit of the Alder shirt dress – I thought I would use that as my starting point… and went down a Pinterest rabbithole! The first version I found with sleeves was this one by Bolt & Spool.

They used this Grainline Studio tutorial of an Alder and Acher shirt mash-up. I initially thought “great – just what I was looking for… Alder with sleeves added. Simple!”. Then I read the tutorial and have been procrastinating ever since because it sounded too complicated! Bearing in mind that I’ve only ever done a collar once… and despite being heavily supervised by Deidre at All Things Creative I still managed to get part of it upside down.

So then I started looking into whether it would be simpler to just make the Archer shirt and add length to make it a dress. And of course it would be simpler! I love this version by Vivat Viritas

But – the Archer shirt has quite a straight/boxy shape and I know that I would have to play with blending different sizes (as I’m generally two sizes larger on my bottom half) and that might effect the shape and overall look.

So I’ve settled on this version… the Archer + Alder mash up V2!

Using the Alder pattern for the bottom section should give me plenty of room around the hips and there aren’t any massively complicated tweaks to make so fingers crossed I’ll manage it without supervision!

I know that it’s going to take me ages. I don’t get much sewing time and I don’t want to rush it… but it would be really lovely if I manage to get it done before the end of the year so I can tick it off my make-nine-2020 list!