Thursday, 29 August 2013

More shirt dress inspiration

I appear to be more than a little bit obsessed with shirt dresses of late. No really, way too much of my spare time is spent browsing Pinterest and Etsy for shirt dress inspiration. There's just something about the simplicity of the design that is so satisfying - a shirt and a dress in one easy package - huzzah! Even the multitude of buttons and buttonholes doesn't put me off - in fact it fuels my enthusiasm and gives me an excuse to go button hunting.  I had a lot of fun trawling through (mostly vintage) shirt dress patterns last year. This year I've been bewitched by even more patterns, all modern ones, which is quite interesting. I seem to discover a new one every day, each one more wonderful than the last. 

A denim shirt dress is quite near the top of my autumn/winter sewing list. I've got all kinds of pictures in my head of a denim shirt dress, coloured tights and knee boots. So in an effort to try and make up my mind, as well as an excuse to sigh over them all again, I thought I'd do a round up for you:


The full skirted Hawthorn shirt dress is the latest release from Colette Patterns and there have been some gorgeous versions doing the rounds. My favourites being Marie's Neolithic version 



Just look at those lady swimmers creating a chevron effect!

The only question mark hanging over this pattern for me is the collar, which is why I haven't bought the pattern yet. It just seems so small and mean and a bit lost. If I made it. I'd be very tempted to increase the collar size and allow it to shine a bit more.

Next up is the Sally Dress by Serendipity Studio - this is a pattern I own but haven't yet made. 


The dress is given shaping by a series of pleats around the waist area which you can see in more detail in the left hand picture above. I actually have a shop bought shirt dress with this feature and it's surprisingly flattering. My RTW dress is made from a stretch cotton and I think this would be a good choice for this pattern. Hmm, maybe stretch denim? 

Another new pattern that caught my eye was the Edith pattern by Maria Denmark


I first saw the shirt version on Dotty Doodle's blog and was immediately taken by the kimono sleeves. After investigating further, I discovered the pattern was also for a shirt dress. Sold. I might just copy Maria Denmark's example and make a denim version with red buttons. Yes! 

I've also got the Deer and Doe Bleuet pattern which I won in a giveaway on Paunnet's blog. I naively thought my O Level French would see me through the instructions, which on my copy are only in French, but sadly this wasn't the case. An English language version is now available but I can't justify buying another copy. Maybe I just need to sit down with a stiff drink and Google Translate at the ready and plough through the instructions? 


Paunnet has made a beautiful version of the dress, but she does point out that it was time consuming to make as it's an advanced level pattern, so maybe I need to think about it. I do love all the details though, especially the darling little bow on the back!


Finally, my absolute favourite shirt dress of recent times and probably my favourite dress of the summer has to be this one made by Clare from Sew Dixie Lou. 


The pattern is McCalls 6696 and it can be made up in all kinds of different combinations.  She made the sleeveless version with a pleated skirt and I have to say, when I saw the photos on her blog I nearly passed out! Absolutely GORGEOUS! AND she gets to be in a pic with the king. Not fair! 

So that's my list. They're all contenders, any favourites amongst them? Or other shirt dress patterns I need to know about?  Happy Thursday. x




62 comments:

  1. If you need help translating the French instructions, please don't hesitate to contact me! My French is a bit rusty, but should be good enough to provide you with a clear enough explanation!

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    1. That's so kind of you, thank you! Apparently there's a chance I may be able to get an English translation, but if not, I'll certainly be in touch! x

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    2. If you like, I'll scan them and send them to you. Nothing wrong with that once you've already bought the pattern:)

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    3. Really beautiful ❤️❣️❤️..

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  2. I'm a big shirt dress fan too too but I've found it hard to get exactly the right pattern. I wasn't too keen on the Lisette one from Simplicity. I share your concern about the Hawthorn collar, also the Colette patterns basic shape just never seems to work on me.

    I'm also very tempted by McCalls 6696, did you see the amazing version that SewAmySew made? It looks like such a versatile pattern.

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    1. Ah now you've set the cat among the pigeons! If I'd seen Amy's dress before I wrote this post I'd have definitely included it, it's gorgeous! And red! McCall's 6696 is a hot favourite. x

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    2. Ooh I think I might have to get on this McCalls 6696 band waggon. I'm still how surprised by how a pattern envelope can go past you and reveal no promise until you see it just pop on someone. Shirt dresses are such a good day to evening.

      Happy hunting,

      xxx

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    3. It is such a great pattern and the fit is incredible. I also love how it gives you FOUR versions plus a slip. What a winner. xx

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  3. Great summary, I'm just in planning stages of my own for our upcoming summer. Hadn't seen the Serendipity summer or Maria Denmark ones, so thankyou!

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  4. I think the McCall's one is certainly my favourite, but probably because it's the closest to the classic 1950s shirtdress. It also looks the most versatile. I'm not keen on the Hawthorn, primarily because of the teensy little collar. It doesn't quite seem to sit right to my eyes. The Bleuet is very pretty, and I can't actually see it being too difficult to make. Mind you, I'm never one for reading instructions anyway unless it's something really out of the ordinary, so the French-ness wouldn't bother me anyway lol.

    Hmm, you've got me back on the idea of a denim shirtdress now. DD had one last year and every time I put it on her I was jealous!

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  5. I'd love to see you make up Edith- I mean look at those red polka dots would you?!! It screams 'Jane'!

    I totally agree about the collar on Hawthorn- not only does it seem too small but the shape of the neckline just doesn't seem quite right for a collar. I have seen some collarless versions that are pretty cute

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  6. I've been meaning to make a shirt dress for so long, I think the Hawthorn is for me as I love the open neckline. The English translations for the deer and doe patterns were available as pdf for people who had previously bought them. I received an email with the links to them, but they don't seem to work anymore, and I only have the sureau saved. May be worth emailing to see if you can get a copy

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    1. Thanks so much for the translation tip, I'll email them and ask. x

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  7. Hi
    I just finished a black chambray version of the Colette Hawthorn with the three-quarter sleeves - a couple of adjustments were needed to fit the waist but I'm really happy with the result. Know what you mean about the collar, it does take away from the vintage vibe a little.

    I've looked at the Serendipity dress for about a year now too...nice idea with the pleats.

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  8. I have a stack of shirt dress patterns on my desk at the moment. I have made Simplicity 4171 before and love it, I think I need another one, it might be OOP though. I also am thinking about Butterick 5315, Simplicity 2403 or Mccalls 4769.

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  9. I'm planning on making the Hawthorn with some coloured chambray. I love the bow detail of the Bleute and Edith has that vintage edge......I see an autumn of shirt dresses.

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  10. My oh my, such beautiful shirtdress inspiration! I love the bust detail on the Sally dress, Edith and Bleuet are both so gorgeous and I agree...Clare's version is my favourite of the summer! I must say that the Hawthorn pattern is a dream to work with and you could easily adapt the collar with your super skills ;o)

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  11. Oooo I love your idea of a denim shirt dress with coloured tights and boots for autumn/winter - it would be perfect!!! Red tights perhaps Jane ;)
    I have to admit that I'm with you regarding the collar on the Hawthorn, I'm not a fan to be honest.
    But shirt dresses in general - I LOVE them and have been wanting to make one for myself for ages.

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  12. We're on the same page, I was making a to-do list the other day and a shirtdress ended up on my list. I had similar concerns about the Hawthorn but having said that I also have New Look 6407 which with a semi-circle skirt would be very Hathornesque. My other thoughts were Simplicity 2246 (got free with Sew Magazine a long time ago) or Simplicity 1880 which is 3-in-1 (shirtdess & wrap dress & Sunni did a sewalong for both these dresses a couple of years ago)
    My issue with some of the patterns you mentioned is that I NEED a good waist definition, some of these I'm sure would end up being sack like on me! I also need to get over my fear of buttonholes before I make a shirt dress!!!!!

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  13. I love a shirt dress too! I've been planning to make a couple for next summer. Although I wasn't thinking of using denim fabric I love the idea of it so I might have to consider it now :)

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  14. The Hawthorn dress is my favourite, as it's less boxy than the others. I like it best with sleeves. I know what you mean about the little collar, but this style is more dress, less shirt, whereas the other dresses are more shirt, less dress. Therefore, the Hawthorn is seeking to soften the lines of the traditional shirt dress, the neckline is almost scooped rather than V shaped, so I think if you do choose to increase the collar you should trace the line drawing of the dress and experiment with drawing on different sized collar elements. I think it works well as it is *but* that sort of little collar was more 1930s than 1940s. Very flattering though. Good luck with whatever pattern you choose! Can't wait to see it finished x

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  15. I'm with you on the Hawthorn -I don't like the collar at all. It would put me off making it. Now the sally dress with the pleats - love it. It would also be easy to fit.

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  16. I have the McCall's 6696 in my to-do list and am looking forward to making it. I have made the Sally dress here at Nessa's Place and it it a breeze to fit to your exact wishes, plus the pattern only has 4 pieces!! Hope you try it!

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  17. I can just see you in a denim shirtdress with red accessories and boots - perfect! I've been on the look out for a pattern for ages. I'm with you, I've seen some beautiful versions online but, the Hawthorn doesn't do it for me, definitely the neckline/collar. I have a Lisette pattern but it's more 'long shirt' than 'shirtdress', I'm not feeling the love! And I have a gorgeous vintage pattern (Simplicity 3091) but it doesn't button all the way down, just to the waist. I think the Serendipity and McCalls are my favourites of those you've showcased. Can't wait to see what you make :)

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  18. The Edith is so you! Can't wait to see what you decide on - I'm sure it will be stunning (and stretch denim sounds like a winner for autumn/winter).

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  19. I have declared 2013 the year of the shirtdress! I have made the Hawthorne (twice!) and the McCalls 6696 pattern (with sleeves). Along with various other patterns (some vintage). I keep trying to decide which is my favorite, which is the "perfect" shirtdress pattern. The truth is, I can't decide. My favorite is always the one I am wearing at the time. : )

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  20. I'm also going through a shirt dress obsession, fuelled by my love of 1940s fashion. I'm making mine from a vintage pattern, Hollywood 1387. I've already made one version and now I'm making a 'Kitty Foyle' dress using the same pattern http://agirlinwinter.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/fall-for-cotton-sewalong/ Shirt dresses are perfect for me because they're smart enough for work without looking too 'dressed up' (if you look too smart at my place, people assume your going to a job interview, or due in court!).

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  21. Definitely the Edith pattern. I have always loved a good shirt dress and always use red buttons on dark blue or denim. Isn't it funny how it jus seems to work?

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  22. I have the Sally shirtdress pattern and have yet to make it! I'd love to see your version.Have you seen the Butterick Retro pattern 5920. A little more dressy with an interesting neckline.

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  23. Hey, Jane, I have the Bleuet dress with the English translation and I would be more than happy to type it up for you (no, seriously, I love typing and I clock in at like 95 wpm haha). Email me if you still need it ;)

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    1. Oh god that's so kind of you Lauren, but somebody has already emailed me the English translation. I'm always blown away by how kind and thoughtful other bloggers are. Thanks anyway, maybe I'll send you a novelette to type, just so you can practice your 95 wpm (VERY impressive by the way!) xx

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  24. I made M6696 in the fitted skirt and sleeveless style so it's nice to see what the pleated version looks like! Thanks for the link, I definitely plan to make many more versions of this pattern (as you said, so many variations!). Bonus: it comes with bodice pieces for A/B, C, and D cups.

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  25. Shirt dresses are wonderful things. I hear you about the Hawthorn collar.. I have made up two different versions of the dress and I've found I'm always reaching for my hawthorn chambray dress because it makes me looked so "put together" on the fly. As much can be said of any good fitting, lovely shirt dress pattern I believe, no?

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  26. Clare's version is my favorite! I am obsessed with Shirtwaist dresses, too. Do you have Gertie's book? She has one that has elastic shirring at the back, and it's super comfortable. It's like wearing sweat pants in a dress! This is my version of it: http://rosiewednesday.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-magical-sewing-weekend.html.

    I also really like New Look 6587. It's got princess seams, so you can fit it really well. I've sewn it twice! The short-sleeve one I blogged here: http://rosiewednesday.blogspot.com/2013/08/black-eyelet-new-look-6587.html

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  27. Oh, definitely that McCalls - what a cute dress! I like options too, personally, especially if the pattern ends up working for you, you can make it again in different ways :)

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  28. I adore shirtdresses, too, and think they are so flattering on almost everyone. I just finished a shirtdress from an early sixties pattern, and it's already a favorite. They're just so ridiculously comfortable and cute.
    Looking forward to seeing your creations!

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  29. That last dress is made out of some fabric which is on sale at Minerva Crafts. I wasn't sure about it on the website but now I've seen it made up into a dress I'm quite taken with it!

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  30. I recently bought some fabric on holiday that is screaming out to be a shirt dress so you're post is perfect timing! I think the Edith would look wonderful on you. Good luck with choosing.

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  31. Thanks for the recommendations. I also love a shirt dress & there are some I wasn't aware of in your lovely list.

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  32. I like the shirt dress inspiration pics and agree there is just something so pleasing about a shirt dress. I made the Lisette traveller one but regret not making it in a nicer more denimish fabric. Have you seen verykerryberry's Bleuet? I do think I now want to make the Edith

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  33. Hi Jane, I also love shirtdresses - I have a ton of patterns but haven't got around to sewing them! I adore Clare's it's the bomb!
    I did make one earlier this year - and it's gingham! I simply used to top of a shirtdress pattern and pleated the skirt using the gingham as a guide (and to create an effect at the waistline), did buttons and buttonholes for the look but put a zip under the arm. I've worn it a lot and it always gets stacks of compliments. there is a picture here http://sewbusylizzy.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/gingham-dress.jpg
    Or you can see how I made it here http://sewbusylizzy.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/my-first-shirtdress-and-the-15-pound-aussie-project/
    I can't wait to see what you make, you have great taste!

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    1. Aw thanks Lizzy and oh my god, how did I miss that dress?! I must have had temporary blog blindness or something, it's perfect! And I just happen to have a whole BOLT of large gingham fabric patiently waiting in the wings...! x

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  34. Thanks for that Jane, I just went and bought the McCalls pattern!!! In love with it too, Kathryn.

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  35. I love my shirtwaist dress too. Now that you made a tute for the collar I'm eager to make another one. I am obsessed with a show on Netflix called Bomb Girls. It takes place in the 40's and the clothes are to die for. The show has really good actors in it.

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  36. These are all soooo lovely! I to have sort of an obsession to shirt dresses. It goes all the way back to my earlie childhood. I remember I wore a long shirt dress whit a white flovery pattern, sleeveless. And always whit one of those "choker" necklaces that was SO popular in the earlie 90`s... Well, I grew out of the dress, but not the obsession. So offcourse I made a Hawthorn dress in the sew along! You can se my version here http://trollemors-hverdag.blogspot.no/2013/07/proudly-presenting-my-hawthorn-dress.html

    But I must say, Sew Serendipitys version is beautyfull! Cant wait to se what you chose:)

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  37. I've never made a shirt dress but feel inspired to make one now. Love the Hawthorne collar and that back bow. Thank you for the inspiration and the mention!

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  38. I'm very tempted to get a hawthorn, seen so many lovely versions around the blogosphere.
    I also am in love with that back bow detail - so darling!

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  39. Oh what cute patterns, I love Marie!! That seems SO you. I'm giggling that you said you're obsessed with shirt dresses right now when I feel that's *always* something on your mind, no? ;) I could see you in pretty much each item you showed!

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    1. YES! You're so right, 'always' would probably have been more accurate! x

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  40. Hello Jane, what a great round up of shirt dresses. I also love them, but so far have only managed a wadder with an out of print McCalls patterns. I do have McCalls 6699...just waiting to get to it. I like the Sally myself...might have to take a closer look at that one!

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  41. Thank you, there are some lovely patterns here that I hadn't seen before. I love the waist pleats on the Sally, and I don't know how I missed Clare's McCall's dress the first time round but it is absolutely stunning! I already had this pattern on my list after seeing SewAmySew Amy's amazing red version. And I can totally see you in the Edith. Or any of them actually. And I have the English version of Bleuet - if you can't be bothered with translating it I'd be happy to copy the English instructions and post them to you if you email me your address.

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    1. Ooops, just seen that you have them in English now.

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    2. Thanks anyway angel! x

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  42. Wow, you have some great patterns to chose from there!! Can't wait to see what you will sew.

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  43. I love the McCall 6696 I think it's really lovely, do you think as a novice it would be to difficult for me to do?

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  44. Brilliant post Jane and super helpful for those of us (too lazy) to do the research! For me, the Deer and Doe Bleuet pattern wins and I agree with you that the the collar on the Hawthorn shirt dress feels a bit mean, I keep looking at it on peoples blogs and wondering what it is I don't quite like and you've put your finger right on it (some lovely versions out there, even with a collar I don't love, I should add). Can't wait to see what you make. Bethx

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  45. This caught my eye other day, only just released this week !

    http://www.paulinealice.com/p/se.html?m=1

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    1. It caught my eye too, gorgeous isn't it?! Thanks for the link. X

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    2. It certainly is, I love the long sleeve detail & you're welcome x

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  46. Oh! And a friend of mine from Australia has picked me up a copy of New Look 6587, which I am excited to check out, too! Not sure when that is going to arrive...it is like waiting for Christmas.

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  47. Sorry...my first comment didn't publish, I don't think. Anyway, I am working on my first shirtwaist, which is McCalls 6891, and although I like it, the whole collar/lapel/facing thing has made my sewing mojo disappear for a bit. Not happy with the end result, but I know where I went wrong, and hope the next one will come out better!!!

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