Shirt Dress Planning

      6 Comments on Shirt Dress Planning

Surprisingly I have been thinking about sewing again, more than just “ugg it has been ages since I last sewed anything…” I am actually thinking seriously about dusting off my machines and making something. As usual, there is a deadline involved, but thankfully not too close at hand. In April I have a wedding to attend with the dress code of “wear what you feel comfortable in” which is particularly vague. But the wedding reception will be in the local sailing club so nothing too dressy. I have been debating what to wear, something that is a bit classic but also a bit modern. I did consider making another Deer and Doe Sirrocco but as lovely as that looks the whole jumpsuit-ness makes it a bit less practical and as this will be the second wedding we are going to that we will stay in the van for, practicality is high up on the list of needs.
I had an idea buried in my mind somewhere for a nice swishy shirt dress so dove down that rabbit hole, and let me say I am immensely happy that I can sew to make the ideas in my head come true as I don’t seem to be able to find any dresses that are actually what I was picturing.

So I spent a long time going down a Pinterest rabbit hole, and there are a few lovely dresses out there but very few that are exactly what I want, although it is good to give me an idea of what I don’t want, which is almost as important (if not more tbh).

Working through my pattern stash I have a few contenders, the ever loved M6696 which looks very underwhelming until you see it made up by other people and it seems to look lovely on everyone that makes it. Especially the version that has a full-length circle skirt attached. I also have the Kate Dress from Sew Over It, which I bought for the dress but never made after I realised that there were no layouts for the A4 printing file and I would have to print the whole thing including all variations to work out which pieces were where to be able to make the shirt! No Thanks…
I also have the Seamwork/Collette Penny dress in my Seamwork catalogue, which looks very classic and would mean that I don’t have to trace the bodice of M6696 which would definitely increase the chances of this dress happening.

I am still unsure of what fabric to make the dress from. I spent a long time looking through fabric websites for something that would look good as a patterned fabric, but have decided that I want it to be a bit more classic so am planning to go for a plain colour fabric. But what colour? and What fabric? I have about 1.5m of lovely teal powder touch crepe from Midland Textiles leftover from sewing a Salwar Kameez for a friend (many years ago!) which is just gorgeous but quite drapey and 100% polyester so I am unsure if it would produce a crisp enough collar and if it would be a bit sweaty.

So I am looking at possibly making the dress in a stiffer fabric like a medium weight drill or twill, and in 100% natural fibre, like cotton or linen. This is the kind of dress that would look wonderful in white linen, for all of an hour or so until I spill something on it! Or you know step in a puddle at the campsite! So white is out of the question and I am leaning towards a deep rich jewel colour. I think Black is too sombre (but would look fantastic), Navy would look great but I probably already own too many Navy things, I would love a really deep green colour, but that is quite hard to find atm and could easily end up being too bright if I’m not careful. Other colours I am considering are Teal, and Terracotta/Rust colours, I also saw a lovely embroidered denim which would be cool, but maybe a bit too casual.

Currently, I am tending towards the Forest Green colour, although all of the colours here appeal to me. I am unsure how a stretch fabric would work with my current idea of a circle skirt since for part of the skirt the stretch would end up running vertically, and since I am definitely having pockets these would be in the section with vertical stretch I think this would produce some problems, but I could reinforce the seams to reduce the stretch if needed.

What do people think about these colours? Any thoughts on which one I should pick, or any other fabrics that I should add to the mix? I also need to think about what accessories I would wear with it, currently, my main fancy coat is bright red so wouldn’t go with any of these fabrics, except maybe the denim. I do have a brown wool coat that might work but is probably two sizes too big, so would be great if we get a cold snap but might swamp me otherwise… decisions…


6 thoughts on “Shirt Dress Planning

  1. CurlsnSkirls

    Don’t know what to suggest, but if you’re concerned about collar points not being crisp enough in some fabrics, you can always round the collar points & eliminate that worry. Of course, it might not add to the overall look you’re going for! Personally, I’d get that gorgeous dark teal viscose twill, but that’s just my personal preference. (Which doesn’t include shirtdresses or crisp collars, so I’m no help at all.) But whatever you decide am certain it will be wonderful!

    1. Pippa Post author

      That is a good point about the colla shape, but I think I will try for a “normal” collar and hope it goes well.
      That teal colour is lovely isn’t it, and I do adore a good viscose but they can be very drapey. hmm descisions.

  2. Rainbow Junkie

    Decisions, decisions. I am afraid I can’t be much help as colour is such a personal choice. I would have thought that a red coat would go with green but is that too ‘Christmas’? I like the Forest Green soft cotton canvas colour best but that is on my monitor.

    1. Pippa Post author

      Yes that forest green colour is what I’m leaning towards, and it also happens to be the cheapest which is a bonus when you need 5m of fabric!
      Lol yes, the red coat already looks quite christmassy without the addition of green anyway… It might be time to check out my other coats again and see what I have that might work.

  3. Pingback: Sewing the Green Shirt Dress – Beads and Barnacles

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