A blue chambray shirt dress

It’s done! (Finally!)  My goal was to have this finished in time for the Fourth of July- and I succeeded.  This blue chambray dress is made from Simplicity’s 2403 pattern.

Now that it is constructed I think that it is a great dress.  It’s incredibly comfortable.  My favorite part might be the utility of the pockets.

This is becoming a constant theme, but I struggled with adjusting this dress to fit my height.  I realize now, that my problems were related to my adjustments of the bodice.  It seems that I added too much length in the shoulder area – thus skewing the collar and armcycles.  I recognize that adding 1/2″ to 1″ in the shoulder area isn’t a traditional adjustment –  but if I don’t add length there the armcycles are WAY too short.

Does anyone have any suggestions as how to solve this problem without skewing the neckline and armcycles?

While the pattern itself was quite easy to follow, I think that it could be improved in several ways.

1.  The sleeves.  The original sleeves did not look good on me.  At all.  This was seconded by the Professor when I proudly showed him my finished sleeves (which took a long time), and he paused and said… “hmmm…the sleeves look old-fashioned.”

After that sort of comment, I couldn’t just leave them.  I tried all sort of options before ripping them out –  could I roll them up or shorten them?  No.  They just had to go.  So I commenced with ripping them out in their entirety.

Once the sleeves were disassembled I used the slope of the sleeve cap from Simplicity 2177’s pattern to reduce the height and puffiness of the sleeve cap.  I then hemmed the sleeve several inches shorter (I just guessed the length that I thought would be flattering).  I added elastic casing (without using binding) around 3/4 of the sleeve to make it more fitted.  The resulting look is very similar to the second sleeve option of the pattern.

2.  The back yoke.   I have broader shoulders than those drafted in the average pattern and usually have to add a bit of width if the pattern includes set-in sleeves.  I believe that I added around 1″ to the back yoke, and subsequently to the back bodice of this pattern.  My first muslin followed the pattern directions explicitly, but I disliked the puffiness that the gathered yoke/bodice added.  The Professor’s shirt provided inspiration and I decided to change the gathers to a menswear-inspired pleat.  The top and bottom of the pleat are not quite symmetrical, as I needed to remove more excess at the top than at the waistline.  I’m pleased with the comfort of this design.

One last fun touch on this shirt dress is the special buttons.  The vintage buttons are from my NANA and are from her collection.  I think they may be pearl.  Thank you NANA!

I think that I will try to make this dress again.  I’m envisioning a fall dress — a tan corduroy dress to go with tights and my tall boots.



Filed under Dresses, Pattern review, Summer Essentials SewAlong

4 responses to “A blue chambray shirt dress

  1. Mom

    I believe this is the best fitted dress you have ever made Jessie. Love, Mom

  2. Really, really cute! I love the pleats, and the sleeves look great!

  3. Jen

    Hi there,

    You left a comment on my blog regarding the Weekender Bag. I couldn’t find an email address, so I hope it’s okay to post here.

    I think reducing 15% would be perfect. If you want to tell me the dimensions of your laptop, I would be more than happy to see if it would fit comfortably in the bag 🙂

    Hope this helps.

  4. Hello!
    I think the sleeves are quite cute actually!
    I referred to yours when I made my Simplicity 2403.
    I made view B and you can see it in my blog!

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