Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt Dress

Sew Over It Alex Shirt Dress Review

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!Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt DressI 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.Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt DressI used cotton shirting that I think I ordered from 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.Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt DressLook! Camouflaged pockets! Can’t tell they’re there in that sea of blue diamond shapes. 🙂Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt DressTraditionally 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.) Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt DressI 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.Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt DressAs 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.AlexShirtDress_redo_back3Below 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!Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt DressOne 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.Frivolous at Last - Sew Over It Alex Shirt DressAnd 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.AlexShirtDress8So 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.AlexShirtDress_redo5Thanks for stopping by!

— Lori


15 thoughts on “Sew Over It Alex Shirt Dress Review

  1. 1. Cute dress
    2. Cute shoes – esp the blue pair
    3. Very cute model (I mean hopefully that’s a given, but sometimes it’s just nice to state the obvious, right?!)
    4. Please explain the pockets thing to me? I find in-seam pockets to be the most useless sartorial appendage ever. Apart from having somewhere to put your hands in when taking photos, can you enlighten me of their function? The only things I’ve ever put in them have immediately fallen out, or destroyed the line of the garment by weighing down the seams. I mean I am #teampockets for pockets that have function, but in-seam don’t fit that description for me. Am I missing some vital piece of info here??!! HELP!


    1. Thanks, Naomi! (Those blue shoes are to die for, right? They are Chia Miharas, and before you go thinking I have THAT kind of money to spend on shoes, I found them at my local department store in a season-end sale for about 70% off. I couldn’t believe my luck.) About the pockets: I always put my office key in my pocket when I’m at work. I traipse all over my building and campus but don’t want to take my purse with me, so my key and often a lipstick go in there. I have worn outfits to work and carry my key in my hand and worry constantly about leaving it somewhere. So pockets are a deal-breaker for me. I know what you mean about the potential for dragging the seamlines out of whack. Depends on the drape of the fabric. I recommend tacking the top of the pocket to the front seam allowance as much as possible, which helps hold an in-seam pocket in the right place. Even a line of stitching along the first couple of inches of the top of the pocket to the front of the dress could work, depending on the fabric and design preferences.


  2. Geee, you look cute in that dress! (Yes, cuter belted.)
    Team pockets. Pockets forever! Geesh. Anything. Put anything in there. When your hands are full of … stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! Both of you are adorable. The dress may also look great over jeans and a white Tee. Stellar pattern matching with upper pockets. Patterns that don’t have lower or side pockets make me cross. I mean really! How hard can it be for the manufacturer to add them. You did a fine job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great idea! When I was last with Helena, I put it on with no belt over wide cropped denim jeans with frayed hems, and we both decided I looked like I was about to go teach a pottery class. So we ex-nayed that outfit! Lol. I like your idea much better.


  4. Fabulous shirt dress, Lori! I love and appreciate the instructive comments. I especially adore that you have three pairs of cute matching shoes (and get facial tics over minutiae — hee hee, me too!). Olga

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting! I think I agree. I will have to do a bit more digging into Kibbe. I’ve always admired the Dramatics but didn’t think it applied to me.


  5. I love this dress! I am yet to make a patterned shirt dress. I made a self drafted one when I first started sewing…. I don’t even know if I can remember how to But I love this one.. You look fabulous as always..loved the styling with the belt


  6. Thanks for all your insight! I am just about to start working on my Alex dress and was looking for some honest review about sizing. The dress looks absolutely stunning on you! Well done!


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