Sunday, June 19, 2016

An Alder Shirtdress shirt!

What's not to love about the Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio!

View B on left, View A on right
When the pattern came out in 2014, I jumped on it right away with a v-neck version of the skirted Alder, View B. Like everything Grainline does, it was fun to sew and more fun to wear.

Since then I've been reluctant to sew the another one, mostly because of my scleroderma. Good news - this might be the summer of going sleeveless. So I worked up a shirt version of View A, using Michael Miller Bright White Cotton Couture from Hancocks of Paducah.

Pants - Love Notions Sabrina Slims

This was a really easy pattern adaptation. I sewed the size 14, with just a few changes to the tissue:
  • Shortened the hem by about 3". 
  • Lowered the bust dart by 1".
  • Left off the attached button placket on the right front - I just used the self-faced left front to cut the right side as well.
  • Trimmed the armscye by 1/2" all around, to accommodate binding on the armhole, rather than a narrow hem.
  • And I added an inverted pleat in the lower back, which I think looks very 'shirt-like'.  I just widened the back by about 1 1/4", and made the center pleat when I attached the yoke. I thought about adding a loop on top of the pleat, but I forgot about it until after the yoke was finished...

The finished back length is 30.5", the front is slightly shorter. This is my favorite length since it covers both the bum in the back and the crotch in the front. A nice view coming and going...

Notes on finishing seams and hems. These were pretty easy, because cotton is so cooperative (compared to, e.g., ITY, charmeuse, or chiffon!).
  • I sewed the side seams with a straight stitch and serge/cut the seam allowances together at 3/8". Using the cutter ensures any ravels get snipped, for a nice clean finish.

  • For the curved hem, I started with stay-stitching 3/4" from the bottom edge, side to side.

  • And used the stitching line as a helper to press the hem up,

  • Next, I pinned it - lots of pins. I always press the hem at this point, to flatten the folds and work out any quirks. Since I use glass-head pins, this is not scary!
  • Almost done... I top-stitched the hem, working on the inside, for a pretty finish...

  • And the very last step, I pulled out the stay-stitching and gave the hem another good press.

Parting shots from the summer garden:

Hoya carnosa
Dates in the areca palm (only for the birds)
Strawberry guava - edible, delicious, but usually Mr. Iguana and Ms. Squirrel get them first.
Ciao! Coco


  1. I'm up in the Sierra Nevada this morning, looking at a hot and sunny day. Your Alder shirt looks like what I should be wearing today! It's lovely, you look cool as a cucumber.

  2. This is lovely. There is nothing more fresh and summery than a white shirt. Love the shirt details, as well as the length.

  3. I like your white shirt, perfect for Florida summers!

  4. what a fantastic shirt (and loved seeing the details of pretty insides)

  5. Another Floridian checking in here...lovely shirt..perfect for our hot, humid days where you want to" look" cool and" be" cool! Thanks for such a thorough review.

  6. This is so cute and fresh looking Coco!

  7. This really is a very cute top on you and you can never have enough of white cotton in the summer!

  8. I love a white shirt and I love your rendition. Now I want to make one too. :)

  9. What a wonderful shirt! Perfect for summer.

  10. Looks a great classic piece for the wardrobe. Can't beat a great white shirt!


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco