Summer(?) strawberry shirt-dress

We have finally got some sunshine here in the UK, so I finally felt inspired to sew my Lisette Traveller dress. I bought the fabric from Goldhawk Road during the Easter holidays, but then the weather has been pretty gloomy since so I have been making separates that can be worn with warm trousers.

I made a couple of quite a few changes to the pattern:
1. The compulsory FBA, but this time using the Y method in Fit for Real People (for “if you need to add more that 1 1/2″ to the bust” – really should have looked at that ages ago!) and lowered the dart. It may be the style of the shirt, but the shoulders feel so much better without risk of sloping off (like the Sorbettos I made last week) so I might have to go and adjust my previous adjustments. The bust fit is pretty spot on
2. I added a small dart at the back centre back. I want to say this was deliberate, but I accidentally damaged the fabric, however the fit is great.
3. I added inseam pockets. I normally use pockets from my Vogue birdie/polka dot skirt, but I couldn’t be bothered to search through my patterns and drafted my own. They are a bit snug, but will hopefully be functional without allowing me to look too casual.
4. The sleeves from the pattern were much too fitted for my chunky biceps (caused by too much swimming of course!) so I made one up my self using the modified Sorbetto sleeve for reference. Despite warning bells in my head I was determined to pipe the edge, but it was way too stiff so I did some pinning and tucks and I think it looks alright now.
5. Since my fabric was white on the inside, I made some little facings from oddly-shaped rectangles so that when the collar is open you can’t see the wrong side of the fabric.

While I was having a mid-sewing break, I saw that Scruffy Badger has also made a Traveller dress but without any piping for once, so it is a good job I had metres of piping for the job. I do love the piping (and how neatly I did it around the curves of the collar) but combined with the print I am getting a very retro-vibe and not quite the everyday-dress I was planning for. I’m not sure how I thought strawberries would be everyday (maybe the navy), but it isn’t!

After I finished tissue-fitting the pattern, this was quick and easy to sew up (if you ignore the double time it took to do the piping and the trouble making a button hole exactly where the bodice and skirt meet!) so I will definitely be making another one, but with different sleeves and maybe a different neckline. I can imagine throwing this on in the summer and being ready to go anywhere.

Any suggestions for fabric to make a great everyday basic? Maybe a lightweight denim for the weekend/holidays but what would be good for the classroom?

Hope everyone has been enjoying the sunshine 🙂

p.s. I have added lots of new blogs to my google reader account and discovered a link to this great gadget for ironing hems (I can’t remember who had linked to it, but thanks for highlighting a great tool). I hate ironing and I hate hems and this made it so much simpler and was easier than drawing my own. The geek in me would love to know how the curved line works for all sizes of curves!

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5 thoughts on “Summer(?) strawberry shirt-dress

  1. Pingback: Denim Travelling Dress | Another Little Crafty Creation

    • I never really wore this, something didn’t feel right, but maybe I’ll give it another try when the weather is warmer. At the moment it is in my refashioning pile to turn into a skirt or a shirt, but I’ll give it a second chance!

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