Shirtdresses are one of my favourite things to wear. They can look really smart, buttoned up to the top, or more casual when left more open, with the sleeves rolled up. This Burdastyle pattern from the 01/2010 issue is a particular favourite. It features beautiful pintucks along the button band and a lovely pleated skirt, a mandarin collar , and narrow cuffs with a bias-bound placket.
When I saw this shirting from a top Czech manufacturer in Textile Mountain, which sell deadstock fabric in Prague, I knew it was destined for this pattern, with a few modifications. For this version, I drafted a rounded collar and used the mandarin collar as a collar stand and I added the waist tie.
The construction was also pretty straightforward. What is interesting, however, is that the front bodice piece is drafted for fabric that already has the pintucks sewn on it. Does anyone know if this is the standard way of doing it, or do pattern pieces normally account for pintucks? Here you first have to cut a piece of your fabric and sew the pintucks along one side (the instructions tell you how far apart and how wide), and then cut out both front pieces. Using a stiped fabric made this quite easy.
As for fit alterations, I made a narrow shoulder adjustment, full-bicep adjustment, and a swayback adjutsment. I think I also adjusted the position of the darts.
This is the third time I’ve made this dress and I have arrived at all these fit adjustments gradually and it still isn’t perfect. But it’s getting there. My first version was sleeveless, made from an Art gallery cotton, where I extended the button placket all the way down and used the original mandarin collar. It was one of the first wearable dresses I’ve made years ago and I still wear it, though it’s looking a bit worn. I think there is progress picture somewhere on my Instagram grid :-). Then I made a long-sleeved version pretty much exactly according to the pattern from a pink and white checked cotton. Both of these are now a bit too big, but that’s where the waist ties come in handy to cinch it in! I don’t have any good photos of these two dresses, but if you’re interested in more details about them, let me know and I I’ll include them some other time.
Until next time,