Thursday, 17 March 2016

Frances Shirt dress

I have been musing for a shirt dress for quite a while now.

because I wanted one so much I have been a bit picky about which pattern I chose. I wanted it to be really right for my shape. I am short and I have a really short back neck to waist measurement making me short-waisted with a swayback. If I choose a shirt dress that relies on the belt for a shape, I look like I have been tied together just under by bosoms!

So it is with some trepidation that I bought this pattern as a kit with fabric included in the January Sales for £16.22 from Craftsy. The lovely model wearing it looked fabulous but she was tall with a long body. But when the pattern arrived I pondered: where would the shape come from? But you should always turn a pattern over...

Yay!It had front and back darts which I then intended to lengthen and tweek further.

My back darts eventually went all the way up to the yoke seam and past my bottom with much more depth at the waist. This one is not pressed yet so you can see it.

My front darts went all the way up to the pocket and were also much deeper at the waist.

With these adjustments the belt tie is not rucking so much at my waist. I then decided I needed to half the width of the belt to give me a few more vital centimeteres of body length exposure. 

I made it over a whole week, doing it properly, taking my time, enjoying making this 'thing' I have wanted for so long. I even took the collar off and put it on again because it was not as flat as it could be on the underside. Oh my, I am correcting the bits people can't even see now.


I am going to wear it with leggings while the weather still chills and then it will be with bare legs in the summer.

The testing question I always ask myself after a make. 
Would I make this again? Oh yes. 
Shall I put my name label inside? yes, I am really proud of it.

Thanks for looking.


  1. I really like it, I am short too so don't go for shirt dresses generally but may have a lookx

  2. A lovely dress and the fabric is stunning, perfect as you say for wearing with leggings or for the summer with bare legs. You are one talented lady.

  3. If at all possible can we see pictures of you wearing it please? Great dress and again you have been very clever in refining it just for you. Those are the bits I dislike about sewing clothes. It looks very impressive and very well made.

  4. Jo if it fits you as well as Clara it will look super.

  5. wow, I love it. You are so talented .I have been away 'ill' and have not visited for a few weeks I simply cant believe how many project you have made or are in the middle of .You are amazing

  6. It looks really great and is really great on you!!! Love the fabric too. That belt must have been incredibly wide if that is half width, I wonder who has a waist that "tall". Hope you enjoy wearing it a lot, and yes, you should certainly put your label in it! xx

  7. A pattern is just a guide. Everyone is a different shape and you did well to take the time to adjust it to your shape. I'm short waisted too. Your dress was well worth the time....looks great.

  8. Ahhh, it's beautiful. correcting the collar underneath though - really! Impressive attention to detail and a beautiful fabric choice.

  9. So very good, looks great on you. Halving the belt is a great idea. I love how sewing has made us more aware of how to flatter our body shapes? Was the shipping expensive with craftsy? I love their kits, but always worry it would cost a bomb to get it here.

    1. Horrendous (£20) but in the January Sales I ordered a few kits as birthday presents for people and then the shipping remained the same for all of the items so overall it was good value but at first it is very prohibitive for one item.

    2. They have a sale on at the moment! Tempted....

  10. Wow, wow, wow!!
    I too have wanted a shirt dress for a long time and cannot find the perfect one. Perhaps it is time to dust off the old sewing machine and have a go at making one. Thank you for sharing your talents and sewing ventures, it is so much fun to see what you've been up to.

  11. Your fitting solutions were perfectly fitting! It really helps to have you share your process, because I often sense that something isn't quite right, but I am not sure why, or what can be done to correct the wrong. By all means put in your designer label and enjoy your pretty creation :) xx

  12. Jo, you look fantastic in that shirt dress. Great fabric and perfect adjustments to the pattern. I am in awe of your sewing skills.

  13. You have some serious skills, Jo. And you're a great model as well.

  14. I love this! I don't own any shirt dresses and I also like the short sleeve version and colours on the pattern front. I may have to have a go at copying this before summer I hope you don't mind, I will link back to you of course. xx