Sew Together for Summer: Alder Shirt Dress

Last week saw the culmination of 'Sew Together for Summer' hosted on Instagram by the three lovely ladies, @rocco.sienna, @sewsarahsmith and @sewing_in_spain. The occasion prompted sewcialists from all over the interweb, including myself, to virtually come together and make a shirt dress for Summer. (See for yourself - have a scroll through all the amazing entries using the Insta hashtag #sewtogetherforsummer.)

The choice of pattern was entirely up to us and, having added it to my 2017 Make Nine at the start of the year, I decided to have a bash at the Grainline Studio Alder Shirt Dress. With three days to spare I finished the shirt and am really pleased with the results.


Some highlights include:

Floral appliqué. I wanted to have a go at something a bit different on the detail front and, having seen embroidery literally everywhere on the high street, I was subliminally inspired to have a go at something similar. The truth is though that I ran out of time and because I wanted to get my entry in before the deadline, I had to think of an alternative. Then I remembered some lace I bought for my wedding last year and didn't use. It's a really chunky lace and originally came in a wide strip. After some careful cutting out, I spent some time playing around with different layouts (and getting both shoulders to match!). Once I was happy, I used some Steam-a-Seam to temporarily secure the design before appliquéing it on to the shirt with a slip stitch. For such a quick technique, i'm really pleased with the results!


Lush Cotton from Fabrics Galore. It's a pain to iron but my, it's lovely to wear!

Gathered waist detail at the sides is a refreshing twist on the traditional shirt dress whilst keeping the front panel ungathered resulting in a more flattering waistline.

Dipped hem at the back adds another softer detail to the traditional shirt dress which, combined with the gathered waist and the appliqué on the shoulders, made for an all the more feminine, Summery feel.

All in all, I had a great time making this shirt dress, albeit a little rushed in order to get my entry in on time! Thank you to the lovely trio of seamstresses for hosting and to everyone else who got involved, whose inspiring takes on the shirt dress filled the month of June and now has me firing on all cylinders to make more!

Today I'm raising a Pimms to sewing, Summer and the online sewing community!