Remember when I made a shirtdress a few years ago?
I still love that dress and I wear it a lot, but there was an incident that made me not want to make another right away. I had made it for Indie Pattern Month 2016, I think, and when I posted on the Monthly Stitch site I got a comment that was… less than flattering. I had gushed about how well it fit “out of the package,” and I can argue both for my point, and theirs. On the plus side it closed without gaping without changing any pattern pieces and felt so comfortable, on the minus I needed an FBA and a substantial swayback adjustment and the fabric shows every wrinkle (including the gathering) that exists but doesn’t need to be emphasized.
The Monthly Stitch moderators are amazing, and Melissa removed the comment before I even saw it and sent both me and the commenter an email, and informed the commenter that straight up insults are not allowed and are unhelpful. Especially to new sewists. Now, it hurt me a little to be called a new sewist, which was a bit prideful, looking back, but it really is true. Now looking at the pictures of the dress (as my body has changed a little so it fits differently now), I can see where the commenter saw problems even if I now know that the suggestions they had were unhelpful and somewhat incorrect. For the record, looking at pictures of someone else on the internet is no comparison to fitting in person.
It’s a couple years later, and the comment and email discussion still hurts, but I decided this year I was going to make a new one for my birthday to remove the bad feelings associated with the first.
Now for the fun part.
The birthday dress itself!
I bought this sunny linen from Joann Fabrics a couple months ago, and I didn’t have a plan, but then I remembered the Vintage Shirtdress pattern from Sew Over It. It was time.
First I altered the pattern. I made a swayback adjustment, made a small FBA, took in the armscye by a smidge, and lengthened the bodice by about an inch. I think the fit is much improved! I like the loose waist on me, since it means that gaping is less of an issue, especially when I have a big dinner! Also, belting it has happened when I want to look sleek!
Cutting and sewing went smoothly for this one. I machine sewed the bias to the armscye, and hand sewed the hem facing to the dress. I also used the t-shirt heat press (and vinyl cutter) at my local makerspace to put grey vinyl flowers on the front bottom of the dress!
Oh and pockets. I reinforced the pockets by drafting them to reach the waistband, and it makes them so much better!
The buttonholes went well, though I think I positioned them a little too far out from the edge, but it’s too late now! I don’t get gaping, persay, but the fabric does jut out a little strangely particularly around the waistband, and the top button is fond of unbuttoning itself. I’m going to put some hooks and eyes into the top of the dress to help with that…
I love my birthday dress, and now I know that any fitting issues that you or I may see is something I can work out in the future!
For some reason I decided that I just had to show you guys my new bonsai plant too… Enjoy my only slightly not-derpy picture with it!