Satisfaction sewing

I hope you aren’t sick of listening to me gush all over this blog about how much I love the things that I’m sewing, because I’m totally in love with this weeks dress! I’ve had a really lucky run over the last six weeks or so, everything just seems to be coming together nicely. I think this is partly because I’m getting better at picking patterns and matching them with good fabric, and also because my sewing is just plain getting better. This week I made myself version B of the Alder Shirtdress, by Grainline Studios. I’ve already waxed lyrical about my love of Grainline, I love their aesthetic and I’ve always had amazing success with Grainline patterns, and the Alder was no exception…


I made up a straight size 6, with no alterations (except for taking the hem up an inch instead of only half an inch, because I thought it would sit better). The fabric is a lovely Japanese cotton lawn I ordered from Miss Matatabi on Etsy, and it was luscious to sew with! I love lawn, its really nice to wear as well. If I’m ever heading somewhere tropical, this will be my dress of choice! Its so floaty and breezy. This is somewhat troublesome in Wellington, as we always have a bit more breeze than one might like…



I love the gathered skirt, it makes the dress just a bit more interesting and girly, especially in such a light fabric. I decided to leave the pockets off, I’m not a huge fan of breast pockets! I love that about sewing my own clothes…if I don’t want it, I just don’t add it. I’m especially pleased with how the collar turned out, I used this tutorial from Four Square Walls again, and it was easy peasy!


I used french seams throughout, except for the gathered panel, with is overlocked. I’ve always hated gathering fabric, but using three lines of basting as instructed by the pattern instead of the two I would usually use made a huge difference. The whole lot just seemed much more stable and better behaved. I managed to keep my gathers even when sewing as well, which helped. I like the attention to detail and care which has to go into sewing a neat collar and button band, and the rest of this dress was interesting and fun to sew as well. The whole process was intensely satisfying, really!



I was planning to take this dress (and my two latest projects, my Scout and Moneta) up to Auckland this weekend for the Rolling Stones, but the forecast is for rain! Disaster, I’m going to have to rethink everything! If only i had my waterproof Malu finished…

I finally managed to get Monsieur behind the camera for these photos, though he managed to take a few extras when I wasn’t paying attention. This one is the “stop arseing around and give me the camera, now!” face, for your entertainment…


21 thoughts on “Satisfaction sewing

  1. Really good fabric choice, looks best in the detail shots. I didn’t try any Grainline Studio pattern yet, but the Alder Shirtdress is definitely on my to sew list for summer 2015.
    I wish you a stunning weekend with the Stones. 🙂

  2. Super cute, and congrats on your good sewing streak! Don’t you just love when projects turn out according to plan? And that’s so funny about Monsieur! British Boyfriend (TM) takes the majority of the pics for my blog, and sometimes (ok, oftentimes) they turn out fuzzy or he decides to get “artistic” shots of me bending over. Let’s just say I’m considering investing in a tripod. 😉

    1. Haha, “artistic”. Yeah. I really want a remote trigger for my camera, I keep meaning to take it into the shop and seeing if there is a generic one I can buy. A tripod would be helpful too though!

  3. Argh, I’m so jealous! I love lawn, and it’s below freezing in my part of the globe. I’ve just about decided to start all my spring sewing in January so that I can wear all of it — all of it! — as soon as the temperatures get even slightly warm. Of course, I have to wait for my machine to come back from the shop … :/

    This dress looks fantastic, especially those buttons.

    1. I may have been wildly optimistic sewing a lawn dress, it never gets hot enough in Wellington to justify wearing a single layer of lawn! But never mind, thats what slips are for 🙂

  4. This looks gorgeous on you! The colour is so perfect and I love the print. Yay! You’re right, it’s such a satisfying sew. I find the archer equally fun to make. Have a great weekend in Ak, hopefully the weather will behave for you. It’s rather changeable lately so you never know!

    1. I only found the fabric because of your recommendation of Miss Matatabi, so thank you 🙂 I think its going to rain this weekend, but at least in Auckland the rain comes straight down, not at a >45 degree angle like it does in Welly! I should pick your brains about good places in central(ish) auckland for sewing stuff, I’ve got Centrepoint Fabrics in Newmarket on my list, but is there anywhere else I should look at going?

      1. Centrepoint is OK, but not my fave… The Fabric Store branch up here (Newton Rd) is really really good, it’s the HQ I think so there’s lots of cool fabric that maybe doesn’t make it to the other stores, just a hunch. Also good remnants! It’s definitely my number one sewing destination! If you like vintage fabric at all then check out Sew Love Tea Do in St Kevins Arcade on K Rd, it’s a really cute little sewing lounge, and St Kevins Arcade is just generally delightful. Let me know if you need any other recommendations!

          1. Haha I am embarrassed every time I go back in!! Seriously, I’m considering wearing a paper bag on my head next time. Which will be soon! Eeek

  5. That fabric is so cute. The Alder dress is so flattering on everyone and of course you but I am still not sure how that magically happens. Such a cute dress! I will have to make one next summer (nothern hemisphere over here).

    1. I thought it would look like a sack, but it seemed to work so well for everyone else that I thought I’d give it a go anyway! I think Jen from Grainline must be some sort of pattern drafting wizard 🙂

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