Another shirt dress

After I made my Death Star shirt dress I found I couldn’t stop at one. They’re so practical for work. This time I used a vintage pattern, Simplicity 6270. I made the view in stripes on the envelope: long sleeves, shirt collar, and worn with a leather belt rather than a self-fabric one.

Simplicity 6270 envelope picture

I swear I didn’t plan to make it in the same grey as the left hand picture on the envelope. But I had some grey stretch cotton poplin that was perfect for a shirtdress and I’m trying to reduce the stash a bit. So here it is.

Unlike the Burda pattern I used for the previous dress this one has proper cuffs! They were quite a faff to make but worth it.

Binding the slashes in the sleeves was less fiddly than I expected.

Binding on sleeve slashes

I really like the 70s collar but if I was making this again I think I’d make a two piece collar. The one in the pattern has the collar stand as part of the main collar piece and it took a lot of pressing to make it sit right. This photo was taken just after I attached the collar; the buttonholes haven’t been made yet.

Close up of collar

Here’s the back view. I shortened the skirt by a good three inches. Vintage patterns have such low hemlines and they look terrible on me!

You can just about see one of the side seam pockets in this photo. They weren’t in the original pattern, but I’m trying to make the effort to add pockets to patterns where I can. I’m always glad I’ve done it after the event, even though it seems like a lot of extra work at the time.

So there it is. Next up will be the coat project I hope!

Death Star take two: Burda shirt dress

Now witness the firepower of this armed and fully operational shirt dress. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the quote because this is the second dress I have made out of Death Star fabric.
Burda 106-04-2011

Why is it Death Star fabric? Here it is close up. The design is meant to be glitter balls, but it looks like the Death Star to me. It’s a Liberty Tana lawn from the Liberty Rocks collection they did in 2011. I bought it to recreate a much-loved wrap dress, got the amount wrong, and ended up with a largish piece left over.

I came across the leftovers again while tearing the sewing room apart looking for a pattern I’d lost and got the idea to make a shirt dress out of them. There was just enough fabric for Burda 108-04-2011, which uses remarkably little yardage for a long-sleeved dress. Sadly the pattern is not available for download. However it’s a variant of this one, which doesn’t include the long sleeves but is otherwise the same base pattern with some added details.

One thing I very much like about this style is the centre back seam. It’s hard to spot the seamline on this fabric, but it gives the dress a nice bit of shape at the waist which I think is visible. There’s no waist seam.

Burda 106-04-2011

Anyway, as I was banging on about how misleading photos can be last week, I’d better say something about the wearability of this dress. It’s really very comfortable. The sleeves are the perfect length for me; I like them a bit on the long side. I can fit a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath for extra warmth (and I am doing so in the pictures; there’s some realism!) although the sleeves are definitely on the slim side. The skirt’s a very good length: not over-long but not so short I have to worry about sitting down. And the print nicely hides all the creases on the skirt from where I have sat down. I haven’t worn it to work yet, nor have I figured out what work-appropriate shoes might go with it. But so far so good. There’s a couple more views here.

Into the blue

So here’s my version of Vogue 1220 being worn by me for the first time, as opposed to my dressform. I really like it. But it’s not at all the easy-to-wear shirtdress I’d envisioned. This dress is short.

I’m surprised by the shortness because the envelope photo shows it stopping on the middle of the model’s knees. I made my usual length adjustments before cutting it out, but I think I’d need to add another four or five inches to get the hem to the equivalent length on me. I am going to have to invest in some very thick tights.

On the other hand, it has highly practical pockets. More dresses should have pockets. And the little sleeves are a nice change, and I love the pleats on the bodice.

Other than the length issue it’s really comfortable. I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough walking ease but it’s come out fine. It’s a great design and I really recommend it – but I’m very glad I read all the Pattern Review reviews of it first because the pattern instructions miss out an important step in finishing the placket. Some of the reviews also point out alternative ways to do some of the steps to avoid hand sewing. I’m all for that.

I’m definitely going to wear this version, but I think I’ll try making it again and adding some length too.