As I’m putting this blog post together I can’t help but think, gee, I look cute in this dress, if I do say so myself! Lol. There’s something I adore about shirt dresses. They are such classics, but they also feel modern and fashion-forward. I feel super put-together wearing this!I used the Alex Shirt Dress pattern from Sew Over It. It’s part of the “City Break” capsule collection of patterns you can find here.I used cotton shirting that I think I ordered from fabric.com once upon a time. It has no elastane, therefore no stretch, but it’s still perfect! I’m so surprised, because I kinda swore off sewing with non-stretch wovens just for the comfort and ease of wearing factors. But this is just fine without stretch.Look! Camouflaged pockets! Can’t tell they’re there in that sea of blue diamond shapes. 🙂Traditionally I prefer cinched-in silhouettes, but I find I like to wear this with or without a belt. The belt simply feels like the outfit is a little more complete, but on the other hand I do find I end up arranging and re-arranging the gathering under the belt a lot…I’m maybe a bit too particular about how those gathers look. As I look at the photos above, I’m getting a bit of a facial tic because those gathers are not quite RIGHT under that belt. (I think I may need to inaugurate a new hashtag: #frivolousproblems. Or perhaps I should just use the old standby hashtag: #noonecares.) I ended up modifying this pattern quite a bit. First, I added in-seam pockets. Sew Over It is notorious for not including pockets in their designs. I can’t begin to understand why you wouldn’t include pockets in a dress like this. I normally just disregard patterns that don’t include pockets but I made an exception here since I knew it would be very easy to add in-seam ones.As confirmed by a number of reviews of the Alex Shirt Dress on Pattern Review, it’s CRAZY WIDE as drafted. I cut away a couple of inches at the side seams after basting it together the first time. I finished everything, wore it once, and decided it was STILL way too wide. I undid the hems and removed the side pockets and took it in another couple of inches.Below are a few pictures that were taken BEFORE I took in the side seams even more than I had the first time around. I think you can see that I’m still swimming in it a bit. So definitely be aware, if you sew this one up, that there is a LOT of extra width in the pattern as drafted. I’d say I removed at least 4 or 5 inches from the width after the fact…so much so, that I was almost afraid the breast pockets were going to get sucked into the side seams!One other modification I did was to remove quite a bit of length– it was too long on me as drafted.
I love the sleeve-tab detail. It also means there are no pesky sleeve plackets and cuffs to sew, which is perfect for me because I would very rarely, if ever, wear the sleeves rolled down on a shirt dress. And you KNOW I always like to do things the easy way. 🙂 But do be aware that you won’t have the option of rolling the sleeves down with this dress, unless you’re okay with a plain old hemmed sleeve rather than a proper shirt cuff.And speaking of doing things the easy way, the collar is very easily constructed, as it’s a flat collar which doesn’t have a collar stand — that band that sits between the body of the garment and the pointy bits of the collar. A collar stand creates a more tailored look, while this flat collar is a little more casual, but it has the advantage of being easier to sew. And I like the casual look.So I guess overall I’m not sure that I would necessarily recommend this pattern (unless there are other patterns you want/need in the capsule collection) because of the excess ease in the width and no pockets. On the other hand, it might be a good pattern for someone who has never attempted a button-up shirt, as the collar and cuffs are quite simplified. And having done the necessary adjustments and modifications, I’m really happy with the finished garment.Thanks for stopping by!