Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress


The Vintage Shirt Dress is the latest pattern release from Sew Over It, and one that I said an immediate 'yes' to when asked if I'd like to pattern test it! I was lured in by the vintage details: gathered shoulder seams, cute notched collar, tucks to the bodice and pleats to the skirt. The bodice part is reminiscent of 1930's and 1940's blouses, whilst the fuller skirt reminds me of the 1950's - a lovely combination of styles. The fabric I used is a beautiful blossom print from the Sew Over It shop. Sadly, I don't think the colour I went for (spearmint) is available any longer, but it was a good match for this pattern as it pressed well around the collar and the tucks/pleats are nice and crisp. 

I LOVE the envelope artwork!

There are two pattern variations, with or without sleeves and I chose the sleeveless route. I liked the fact that the cutting line for the sleeveless version is slightly slanted so there's a tiny bit of shoulder on display. One noticeable feature about this dress is that the bodice is designed to be shorter than a typical shirt dress bodice and sits noticeably above the waistline at the front and back. It will appear even shorter if you're large of bust, so I'd recommend measuring the bodice length beforehand to see where it finishes on you. It's also quite generous in the waist, so based on this I made up the size 10 as I wanted a more fitted look. This was a pretty good fit everywhere except for the bust, so I added a one inch FBA (Full Bust Adjustment), plus an extra inch in length to the front bodice and ¼" to the back bodice. The only other fitting change I made was to shorten the skirt by an inch.

I like the final fit a lot, in fact I'm tempted to use the bodice pattern as a starting point for my 1930's-style crepe de chine blouse, using the sleeved version.


The dress construction was straight forward and I was impressed by the clarity of the instructions. The area that often gives me grief when sewing shirt dresses is attaching the collar/facing. I've made the McCall's 4769 shirt dress twice now (here and here) and was actually moved to write a tutorial for the collar section because of the shockingly bad instructions. With this in mind, I scrutinised the instructions for the collar like a hawk and I have to say, they didn't disappoint! Apparently a lot of work went into making this section as clear and well explained as possible - and I think it shows. The only part of the collar I'm not entirely happy with is my choice of interfacing - it wasn't quite lightweight enough, so the finished collar is a bit stiff.


One final thing I did was to add an additional button just below the waistband. The instructions clearly state the importance of positioning buttons at your bust point and above the waist, which I did, but after a few wears, it was clear there was a bit of gaping that needed to be kept in check.

Mind the Gap! 
This isn't specific to this pattern, it's something I've noticed with all the shirt dresses I've made. Wearing a belt is usually a good solution, but I think in future, I'll just add an extra button underneath the waistband as standard. It's not symmetrical but that doesn't bother me, it provides a welcome bit of security when I'm stuffing my face so I'm calling it a design feature!

Shirt dresses aren't the quickest of garments to sew (once you've attached the collar you're then faced with all those buttons and buttonholes!), but I still find them satisfying to make. I like the fact that you get a complete outfit in one go, and in this case, one with such lovely vintage details. This is a great dress for summer that's already seen a lot of wear. I wore it with a cardigan and wedges to the Fashion on the Ration exhibition at the Imperial War Museum recently and felt very suitably attired!


If you like the look of the Vintage Shirt Dress then I have a copy of the pattern up for grabs. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post (don't forget to include your email address if it's not linked to your Blogger profile). The giveaway is open worldwide and closes at midnight GMT on Sunday 7th June. If you're not the lucky winner, then don't panic, Sew Over It are also offering 20% off the pattern for readers of this blog for the next week. Just input the code JANE20VSD at the checkout in their online shop. The discount code expires at midnight on Wednesday 10th June.  Have a good week! x


Fabric and pattern were given to me free of charge for pattern testing. All views my own.














119 comments:

  1. ooh what a lovely giveaway! this pattern is gorgeous :) beththegulfmini@googlemail.com

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  2. Lovely! It's time I made something with buttonholes! vanessasalome@blueyonder.co.uk

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  3. This is such a great, classic shirt dress and the fabric you choose is really pretty on you.

    I love that the collar isn't pointed but is rounded, instead. Totally count me in for the giveaway, thanks. :D

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  4. Love this dress, the shoulder pleats and fitted waist make for a very flattering silhouette! Thank you for the giveaway! Xx

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  5. Lovely! I am on the hunt for the perfect shirt dress. This one has a lot of promise! Love the collar.

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  6. i really loved this on you and on emmie recently - gorgeous! count me in for the giveaway!

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  7. Love a shirt dress and you've chosen a beautiful fabric for this one! Sadly I've rushed out (online) and bought this pattern already!

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  8. I loved this pattern, the fabric is perfect, and the dress looks beautiful on you, thanks for the giveway! tatimaio@yahoo.com.br

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  9. That's beautiful; it really does look like a very wearable pattern, the perfect combination of comfort and style! I love the fabric too; I've just finished a shirt in the lilac colourway (from Croft Mill, although they've sold out), and I'm tempted to get some more for a pair of summer pyjamas. My email is hester.duffy@gmail.com, in case I'm the lucky winner!

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  10. It's an absolutely lovely dress! The perfect vintage inspired shirt dress, and your fabric choice is absolutely perfect! Please count me in the giveaway :) tiptopsewing@gmail.com

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  11. What a pretty pattern! You've made a lovely version, and I'd love to give the pattern a go myself :)

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  12. Love that pattern and that fabric. Pity I'm on a fabric diet but I can hope. jennylarking@gmail.com

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  13. This is a fabulous looking pattern and I am completely in love with your version Jane. That fabric ..... stunning. I am half avoiding buying more dress patterns at the moment but then exceptions can always be made ;)

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  14. Love your version! I have some Ankara that this dress would be lovely in. Please toss my name into the hat.

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  15. This looks lovely! The finishes object as well as the pattern :)

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  16. That is so pretty! Very Spring-y and fresh. I love the gathers at the shoulders especially.

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  17. I love your version and that blue fabric is beautiful. nathaliesewsthings@gmail.com

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  18. Absolutely lovely, Jane! This dress looks fabulous on you and the fabric you chose is just beautiful. That notched collar is perfect. Love it!

    Also, is it any surprise that I'm officially obsessed with this pattern? Must. Sew. All. The. Shirtdresses.

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  19. I really love your version!! Maybe this dress is not the quickest garment to sew, but this pattern is so lovely! Thank you for the giveaway! My email is stitchnpastitch(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. I just used very similar fabric for a Sewoverit Betty dress which I love- I would love to try a shirt dress for summer!

    louise at fate16 dotcom

    Louise

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  21. LOVE your version! It's lovely. This spring I'm really drawn to shirt dresses. I think it high time I add some to my wardrobe!

    prairiegirl1971{at}hotmail{dot}ca

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  22. It looks amazing, I've been looking at making a shirt dress for the summer and this pattern looks spot on,your choice of fabric is lovely.

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  23. Love this pattern! I think your dress would look even cuter with a red belt to match your shoes :)
    mts90(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. The pattern looks great, and your dress does too...

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  25. Another lovely dress. I wonder if press studs would work to fill any gaps and solve the problem for those of us who crave symmetry.
    sarah.lallyatoptimally.co.uk

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  26. Such an amazing pattern and I LOVE that fabric :-) i'm also really loving your radio looks fab!!

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  27. Ooh I love the look of this pattern - would be great to win! The fabric you used for yours is great btw :) x

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  28. This pattern is awesome!
    Frankie
    Knitwitsowls@gmail.com

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  29. Love the pattern - it reminds me of my old school dress, in the nicest possible way! Cool fabric too! anndotsparkesathotmaildotcom

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  30. That is such a lovely dress and the fabric matches perfectly! Just right for summer and hopefully a heatwave this week!

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  31. Gorgeous dress, and love the pattern. Ruth.wilson@keyplayers.co.uk

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  32. So fresh and pretty. I went to the exhibition too. Wasn't it wonderful.

    Choistie at yahoo dot com

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  33. Beautiful dress and lovely fabric!

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  34. Lovely! I'm doing the VSD workshop starting a week today - really looking forward to it. Will take careful note of buttonhole placement!

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  35. Love your version and the fabric So beautiful.
    Elizabeth

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  36. Love your finished dress and the colour is lovely and fresh. I have never sewn a shirtdress so would love to win!
    Iain.ross30 at gmail dot com

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  37. That fabric is absolutely beautiful! Love this pattern - fingers crossed!
    Http://crafternooncabaretclub.com

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  38. Ohh, that is a lovely dress - I especially love it in that fabric! I have an eternal fear of button holes but maybe this would make me overcome them…

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  39. Beautiful! I'd love to have a go! Jen

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    1. Don't know if my email is attached (?) but I can be found at jen.id144@gmail.com ; )

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  40. Lovely dress and the fabric you chose is beautiful!

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  41. It's a lovely pattern, and your version is really pretty. If I'm not lucky enough to win then I might have to take advantage of that discount code!
    nightingaleanddolittle@gmail.com

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  42. Beautiful dress, looks great on you! Thanks for the review and giveaway!

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  43. Very pretty, love your choice of fabric. barb_gray at live.com m

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  44. That fabric is gorgeous; and the colour suits you perfectly. I love the style, too and have been looking for a good shirt-dress pattern. This one is great, although I would like the option of short sleeves as well. I suppose it is a matter of just not cutting them long, though. I love this dress!

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  45. I love the fabric you picked. I would really like to see a blouse from this to ;o)

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  46. Such a gorgeous dress - just the style I'd love to make!

    NotionsOfFabric@gmail.com

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  47. So sweet! This baby blue is just stunning! A very flattering make.. :)

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  48. I absolutely love this dress!

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  49. You've matched the fabric to the pattern beautifully and you look great in it. Softer colours definitely are your thing!

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  50. You look stunning in this dress! Gorgeous fabric that suits you perfectly!

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  51. Your dress is beautiful on you and that fabric is gorgeous too. You've inspired me to buy this - I'm adding to my wishlist. It's a bit different from both the typical shirtdress and the classic fit-and-flare. Very nice!

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  52. Oh, you look great! I'd love to sew this dress.
    Namen4578@gmail.com. ~Eman~

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  53. Loving that fabric! Suits that dress amazingly :-) elizabethvbradford at gmail dot com

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  54. Love the fabric - it matches the pattern perfectly!

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  55. Love this dress on you, Jane, and definitely fancy trying it myself! janettaplanetta@gmail.com

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  56. This is a great pattern! I love your version, interestingly a have a vintage house coat which looks very similar to it - so close in fabric and style except mine has a metal zip up the front. It's now sadly falling apart so I think this pattern would be a great replacement. Thanks for the chance to win it!
    Jayneeagle@yahoo.co.uk

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  57. Such a fabulous pattern! I'm keeping my fingers crossed but may have to pony up for my own copy on Monday! Looks like a great dress for the summer and I'm already mentally choosing fabrics from the stash!

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  58. Great look. Love the fitted and full vibe of the dress.
    Sharon
    englishwren@hotmail.co.uk

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  59. Gorgeous dress. Just about to embark on my first shirt dress so thank you for the tip re buttons. Love the collar on this one

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  60. Oooooo I'm in need of a good shirt dress pattern. amiriafletcher@gmail.com

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  61. A fantastic combination of fabric and pattern. I've always found Sew Over It patterns really easy to follow and I'm pleased to hear this is no exception. It really suits you. stepherella@live.co.uk

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  62. Oooo Thanks for the info about shirt dresses, I'm planning to make my first ever one this year and as I'm still a novice sewer it's good to see where I might struggle!

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  63. Fantastic shirt dress, so easy to wear! The fabric you chose is the perfect match for the dress, very light and summery!
    christina_snellgrove@hotmail.com

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  64. Looks stunning on you! Thanks for the pattern opportunity, I would love a copy.
    Amanda
    black-amanda@hotmail.com

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  65. Bridget Murphy4 June 2015 at 09:53

    Such a gorgeous dress, and the perfect fabric choice. I definitely need a few of these for summer. bridgetmurphy780@gmail.com

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  66. I never made a shirt dress, but I'd love to give it a try and this design looks gorgeous. I also love the fabric you have chosen for your version!
    Thanks for this giveaway!

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  67. Oooo Thanks for the info about shirt dresses, I'm planning to make my first ever one this year and as I'm still a novice sewer it's good to see where I might struggle!

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  68. I love this. Shirtwaist dresses are a staple of mine. I love the way they look on me, but I was never really fond of the side zipper to get them on (and off). For some reason it still feels a bit odd to me. I think this might be a good fix for me. It has all of the bodice details I love (plus I love the little bit of extra shoulder that my shirtwaist pattern doesn't have). Then the skirt is just the right amount of full. I also love your fabric selection. I need more print in my wardrobe and this one is right up my alley. I will be checking it out, hopefully they will get more in stock

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  69. wow, this dress is perfect! the fabric choice was spot on too. would love to enter... my email address is rachel_wain91@hotmail.com

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  70. That is a great dress! The blue looks so pretty on you. I have a couple of vintage shirtdress patterns but they have the super full skirt - I like the slimmer, 40s style. So classy.

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  71. Love that fabric and the dress looks fab on you!

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  72. It looks amazing, can't wait to sew it up! I would love to get the pattern : loungta@hotmail.com

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  73. I loooooove the fabric! It's absolutely gorgeous! I have had the same issue with button-down fronts on dresses or skirts. Whenever that happens I use a snap fastener to help me out because it's pretty much invisible from outside.

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  74. Questo vestitino è favoloso e ti sta d'incanto! Complimenti!!!

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  75. Your dress looks super cute, the fabric is just lovely :) I've never considered the Sew Over It patterns, to be honest, it's all because of the covers. I just don't get turned on by them. But your dress helped ALOT, and I now would be happy to try these patterns for myself :)

    sirian76@gmail.com

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  76. What a lovely dress! I've been looking for a shirtdress that works well for a full bust and think I've found it. I live in Guatemala and this dress would see use all year long.: arriolagreen89@yahoo.com

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  77. I am loving seeing these all in my newsfeed, again gorgeous fabric!

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  78. Love the dress Jane. This pattern would really suit me. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  79. Great choice of fabric for this! It looks so chic and comfortable.

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  80. this is such a cute pattern! the fabric is a perfect match alley_021@hotmail.com

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  81. Wow. Amazing version of the dress. Love it!

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  82. Gorgeous dress, it really suits you. I'd love a copy of this pattern. nic_bostock@yahoo.co.uk

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  83. I was just looking for a good shirtdress pattern! Thanks for the review - and the giveaway opportunity! rtrittelatyahoodotcom

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  84. I love it, if I don't win I'm going to have to get one regardless. Rachelhacker44@gmail.com

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  85. Jeez with the cardigan that is one sassy outfit. I love it and seriously want one. Pick me please, please, please!! Jo x

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  86. It may not be your color, but it still looks lovely on you!

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  87. Wow your dress looks lovely 😀

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  88. That is a very classy dress.

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  89. Adorable dress. Would love to have a copy of this pattern.

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  90. I love a shirt dress. Your version is lovely!

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  91. What a lovely dress! Your choice of fabric is just gorgeous, it so suits you! I'd love to be in the draw for the pattern. pierce(at)tinyworld.co.uk

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  92. Beautiful. I love the pattern and fabric - they look lovely together & perfect for the Fashion on the Ration exhibition.

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  93. Looks gorgeous on you. I really like this new pattern...
    catherine_turney@hotmail.com

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  94. What lovely fabric you've used. I love shirt dresses.

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  95. I'm so jealous that that print is out of stock! Yours looks fantastic :) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  96. What a lovely dress! Thanks for the giveaways.

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  97. An amazing dress and beautiful fabric! This dress is definitely on my Wishlist now! Thanks for the giveaway. My email is tracythompson@hotmail.co.nz

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  98. Oh I really love this new pattern and I love the dress you made from it even a little bit more!
    Hopefully this time I could be the winner... wofram.kathi [at]gmail.com

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  99. Love your dress and would love to have a go myself.

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  100. I haven't made a shirt dress yet, but I am ready. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  101. I would love this! I adore shirt dresses. My email is kaviare at gmail. :)

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  102. Goodness, that is a gorgeous dress and you look marvelous in that color! Please enter me--- j9s@flash.net

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  103. Beautiful...what a lovely shirt dress. The fabric pattern and colour really suits you. I adore the notched collar. I would love this pattern---- my email address is ltsy@rogers.com

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  104. Such a cute pattern and I love the fabric you chose for it!

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  105. Fantastic pattern and matching colour: you are truly inspirational. Thanks for your hard work, it's highly appreciated. Never ever dared to make something button-y, could this be the very first attempt? If so: edievijfvinkel@gmail.com it is, ma'am :-)

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  106. What a lovely dress. I love the pattern and the fabric, they both suit you really well. Especially like the vintage vibe. Well done.

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  107. wow what a gorgeous dress and fit! The fabric is soo pretty i was nearly tempted to buy that fabric yesterday when i was in leeds fabric shopping but went with another but id wished i bought it now so id have a stash of it lol! Thanks for the chance to win the pattern too :) x

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  108. So pretty, I like this style! :-)
    thanks for this lovely giveaway ♥ email: coco.pink@hotmail.fr

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  109. Nice! I love a shirtwaister dress but have been put off by the collar, that is the need to make one when my attempts so far have been mediocre at best. The instructions seem to be good here and I must check out your tutorial. I'd love to win the pattern.

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  110. Lovely pattern and the dress really suits you

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  111. Very pretty pattern! It looks great on you.

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  112. Shirt dresses are so flattering, I love the collar.

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  113. This is so cute on you! I really love it! Could you hand sew a sneaky snap (popper? is that the word?) where the button band gapes a bit? Maybe that would stop that without being too noticeable?

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  114. I have looked at many shirt dress patterns. This one is my favorite. It looks vintage, but the design streamlined, and the skirt isn't too bulky like some of the older patterns. Tres chic!

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  115. I am making this at the moment and just at the stage of attaching skiers to bodice. Thank you for your helpful review.

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