I’ve been working on this shirt dress for about a month now. It’s Burda 116 09/2014. This has been on my Burda to-sew list for a long time, but I struggled to find the right fabric. Burda’s version is in grey chambray. The variant design (tunic length, with a hood instead of a collar) is made in wool muslin – a fabric I don’t think I have ever encountered in the wild.
Mine’s ivory stretch cotton poplin from Tissu fabrics. This makes it more of a big shirt than a shirt dress – at least that’s how I’m intending to wear it. I had the fabric in stash, left over from a very full-skirted McCalls shirt dress I made a while ago, and eventually realised it would work for this. There was only just enough and I had to piece the drawstring casing. It’s so satisfying to only have tiny scraps left over though.
This is a dress with a lot going on. I find a lot of sewing patterns have much less detail than equivalent ready-to-wear garments, but this one can’t be accused of that. About the only thing missing is a back yoke. I haven’t got any modelled pictures yet, but here are closeups of all the crunchy details.
The collar is unusual. It’s a band collar, but it stops where the front placket starts instead of overlapping. This makes for quite a weak point at that sharp inward corner between the band and the placket. I’m a bit concerned it won’t wear well and I think next time I’d add some interfacing there.
There are patch pockets on the front, which I suspect are more decorative than useful, and side seam pockets too.
And then there’s a drawstring at the waist. Don’t look too hard at the buttonhole position; it’s too high. It won’t show when the drawstring is tied though.
The back is plain apart from the drawstring casing at the waist. I think a back yoke would be a nice addition but I’m way too lazy to adjust the pattern.
I love the hem treatment. There is a very deep hem facing which gives a completely clean finish. A weighty hem is so much nicer on this kind of dress than a narrow one.
The sleeves are finished with elastic in a casing instead of cuffs. I like how it echoes the waist.
I’m looking forward to figuring out how to style this. I might try it over my silver jeans or my grey Oxford bags. Lots of possibilities. Ideas welcome!