I bought the Alder Shirtdress pattern by Grainline Studio intending to make the gathered skirt view, but I discovered that I only had enough fabric for this version and so here it is. I really enjoyed making this dress as I love fiddly things like topstitching and I’m very pleased with the way this turned out, but honestly I’m not really a straight shirtdress kind of gal. I expect I’ll wear it a lot regardless, because riding my bike to work destroyed most of my warm weather clothes and I have few things for the summer.The fabric is a gorgeous chambray that I purchased in Lincoln. I love the color and weight and it ended up being the perfect fabric for this project. I had just barely enough and I ended up facing the yoke and armholes with the leftovers from Alice’s spring dress. I love that effect and it will be fun to wear our dresses knowing that we’re secretly all matchy-matchy.The only change I made to the pattern was to omit the top button (I knew I would never button it all the way up to the collar) and to put an extra button at the bottom. Speaking of buttons, I bought a buttonhole foot for my sewing machine (finally!) so I’m now able to enter the world of machine made buttonholes! I still really like handmade buttonholes, but not being able to do them by machine was keeping me from patterns with buttons and that’s quite the limitation.
I probably could have found a very close approximation to this pattern by Simplicity or McCalls or something- and paid a fraction for the pattern- but I do like the details of the pockets, the lack of gathers in the back, and the shirttail hem. I know plenty of people disagree, but I don’t really find that the independent pattern designers draft their patterns a whole lot better, and I don’t really need all the extra diagrams and instructions. Sometimes I think people prefer independent patterns because they prefer cutting a size 6 to a size 14 (I know I do!). Still, it’s nice to think that someone is living the dream and making money off their interest in sewing and design, and it’s fun to support them.Since I had such a good time with this pattern (and since I just bought a buttonhole foot) I’m thinking of making a collared button down shirt sometime soon. Perhaps the “Archer” shirt from Grainline Studio… In the meantime I’m planning to make the gathered skirt version of this pattern that I had originally intended to sew.