Wishful thinking!

I’ve had a bit of a sewing hiaus recently, I’ve been buried under a pile of paperwork for University. Not very exciting. But today is the last day of Winter, and I have something to post! I’m so glad that its almost officially dress weather that I jumped right in and made a sleeveless cotton dress. Realistically, it’ll be another few months until I can actually wear it, but at least my wardrobe feels a bit summery for now…
This is the Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress, made up in some sweet vintage cotton I bought up in Auckland at the end of last year. It was so narrow! I barely managed to squeeze the skirt pieces onto it, and it isn’t exactly a full skirt. I was so busy playing pattern piece tetris that I made a ridiculous mistake, and cut the back on the selvidge instead of the fold! I spend a few minutes hyperventilating about not having enough fabric to re-cut the back, and then decided to patch it with a strip of self fabric. 

imageIn the end, you can hardly see it. I’ll call it a design feature! I really like the fabric, its so pretty and summery. It looks a bit green in these pictures, but its little blue flowers and green leaves on a white background.

imageI really enjoyed sewing this pattern up. It was pretty simple, and the instructions made the trickier bits like the collar clear. I had sewn a notched collar before, on my Carolyn Pyjamas, but I still found it to be a bit head scratching when I came to it! Sewing it with a facing made it much less fiddly than the fold and stitch method used to get a clean finish on the Carolyn top. I also love the slightly gathered yoke, its so pretty! 

imageAs much as I like the outside, i think I like the inside more. I’m really pleased with the finishing methods I used on this dress, it looks so clean and tidy! I ended up putting a full lining in it, as it was slightly sheer, and I used some lovely eggshell blue bias tape (which I found in a pile of vintage notions in my favourite second had shop, hurrah!) to bind the armscye and hem, and to edge the facing. The lining is a super light weight cotton lawn, it doesn’t add any extra weight but it gives it just enough opacity for me to be able to wear the dress without a slip.
imageimageThere was only 5.5m of bias tape in the package, so I thought I wouldn’t have enough to do the hem as well, but it turned out to be the perfect amount. I had less than 2cm left over! Its a bit wrinkly in the pictures above, I think I should give it another iron…


The buttons came from my stash. I seriously debated using blue buttons, but I couldn’t find any which matched and I started getting a bit obsessive about which blue to use. White was a safer choice!


I really like it with the white belt as well.

This wasn’t the dress I originally meant to make with this pattern at all! I had some purple and copper wool plaid earmarked for the long sleeved version, but then I pulled this cotton out of my stash when I was looking for something else, and decided it would be very cute and summery as this dress. I think I’ll save the long sleeved wool dress until next Autumn!

33 thoughts on “Wishful thinking!

  1. That is such a pretty dress! I love the style of the shirt dress and the fabric you chose is such a good match for it. Your fix on the back is perfect– with the small, all over print it just blends right in!

    1. I’m glad the back mending is blending in! I thought about making it a feature, there were suggestions of lace on instagram, but I decided it was too busy to add anything else to it!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! This fabric is such a good match for this pattern. It’s just so sweet and perfect for spring!

    1. I know what you mean, I keep seeing everyone getting ready for Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and it makes me a bit jealous even though I’m totally sick of wearing jumpers and boots!

  3. Your dress is gorgeous! The fabric is lovely, and you could so wear it now with tights and a cardigan. What a great fix on the bodice back – I’d have been hyperventilating too!

  4. You’ve definitely nailed the summer dress look Kirsten – well done mate. We had a delicious day here in Sydders yesterday – I’ll send the weather over to you. Totally could have worn this with a cardi here yesterday!

  5. Oh, very pretty! I love the inside, so gorgeous with that lining and the bias. šŸ™‚

    I’ve got this pattern in my queue at the moment, too – dreaming of warmer weather, haha!

  6. It’s a lovely dress and so neat inside! I’m impressed. šŸ˜‰
    And I’m sure it would do great with some tights and a thick cardigan as long as it’s not warm enough to wear it as it. šŸ™‚

  7. Nice work! Those insides are lovely. I’ve done the same thing with the center back seam when I ran out of fabric once, and people always comment that it’s their favorite part of the shirt!

  8. This is so great. Lovely guts! I’m sure you can team this with a cardi or jumper and get some spring wear out of it. What I like about other versions of this pattern is how different it can look depending on whether a more vintage vs modern fabric design is used. It fits you beautifully. Nice work.

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