I talked a couple weeks ago about how I used to avoid wrap dresses when I shared my Highlands Wrap Dress. That’s also how I’ve felt about shirtdresses for a long time. Years, really. When the Kalle Shirt+Shirtdress was released, I initially ignored it if only because of my previous thoughts on shirtdresses for myself. However, I continued to see some gorgeous versions and decided to take a leap and try it. It had worked for me on my last few projects, so why not?
After sewing this up, give me all the shirt dresses! Gone are the days where I completely avoid them. Now I’m so excited to try other shirtdress patterns to add to my handmade wardrobe!
Since this was my first shirtdress and first Close Case pattern, I made the genius decision to make a muslin. Things I actually asked/said to myself as I was making the muslin: “Who am I?” “I’m such an evolved sewist to be making a muslin.” “I’m so impressed with myself.” Believe me, I know how ridiculous this sounds and I realize that this is nothing to brag about, whatsoever, but I rarely ever make a muslin. I just cut into my fabric and hope for the best. However, since I’m really trying to improve my skills and ensure great-fitting garments, I’m trying to take the extra time to make the muslin. And let me tell you, making the muslin paid off. Shocker, right?
Thankfully, I really only had one change to make and that was solely based on personal preference, but I’m very thankful I came to the conclusion on my muslin. The only change I made was in regards to the length. The back of the dress hit me perfectly, but I felt as though the front was too short and the curve went up a bit too high, especially when paired with the length of the front. So, I simply added about 1″ to the front of the dress and adjusted the curve of the back of the dress so that the side seams matched up.
Ice cream because it was 1 million degrees outside. Really.
Anyway, back to the dress…I sewed up a straight size four even though my measurements put me between a 4-10, but thank goodness for finished garment measurements! There was plenty of ease in the dress to not have to grade out at the waist/hips. I used this linen blend fabric from StyleMaker Fabrics that has about 20% stretch to it (the pattern does not call for stretch fabrics), which I think still worked out great.
Since the seam allowances are 5/8″ and I was fresh off of finishing Nick’s Fairfield muslin, I decided to go for flat-felled seams. The only tricky part of flat-felling was at the curve of the dolman sleeves. It just took a little extra maneuvering to make sure everything was folded over properly. Now the insides of the dress are just as beautiful as the outside and I could not be happier!
When I made my muslin, I went with the traditional box pleat for the back of the dress because I didn’t think I liked the way the inverted pleat looked. However, when I tried on the dress, the back stuck out a lot and rather than looking like a normal shirtdress, it was super bulky and unflattering. My thought was that it was the fabric I used to make the muslin, but at that point I was worried that this was going to be a flop. So to combat the bulky look without having to change sizes or adjust the pattern piece, I went with the inverted pleat. This really helped the fabric hang towards the body rather than away, which was causing the bulky look.
All of the buttons I’ve been using lately have been from Dallas, and these are no different. They’re wooden buttons and they make the dress more casual, which is what I was going for.
This dress has already been worn on repeat since it has been finished. It has been perfect for travel and weekend wear.
My summer sewing plans are coming along surprisingly well! I successfully completed all of my June projects and I’m only slightly behind on my July projects meaning I’m doing much better than I thought I would be in sticking to my sewing plans.