I haven’t tested any patterns in a while and when Charlotte Kan sent out a call for pattern testers for this shirt / shirt dress I jumped on the opportunity. I don’t really wear button up shirts and I don’t have any shirt dresses… I was under impression that I don’t really like them, but I think it is because I don’t know how to pair them into an outfit (I know, someone is probably rolling their eyes right now… ) I’ve had Archer and Alder patterns for a while but I am yet to make them. So I thought with me testing a pattern, I would have no choice but to make a shirt or a shirt dress and then I would be forced to figure out how to wear it.
The patter is a super simple shirt / dress pattern. It has a loose boxy fit, with gathers in the back yoke. There are no darts, the sleeves have cuffs and the collar is a simple standing collar. It is called Mandarin Collar in Russian but I am not sure if that is a proper name for it in English. Would anyone know?
I cut straight size 10 according to my bust measurements. The only modifications were to accommodate the fit according to my body – I added a little bit to the shoulder width and lengthened the sleeves. I also ended up hemming the dress a little shorter. That’s it! Other than that there were no modifications to the pattern.
The instructions are very well written and have great diagrams to follow along. I love having pictures to look at! It makes the sewing process so much easier. All the construction steps are explained very thoroughly without being too long and as a result the dress came together in no time with no issues.
I am very happy with the pattern! It is well drafted and the fit is impeccable! The dress is the perfect boxy cut without being too lose and swallowing me whole. It is the first time when I made an intentionally loose fitting garment and didn’t have to take in the sides to make it less overwhelmingly loose.
I envisioned this dress rather flowy and light, so for my fabric I picked a polyester blend from my local FabricLand. The fabric almost feels slightly like micro fiber but is still light. I used micro fiber needles just in case to sew with it, and I didn’t have any issues whatsoever.
I had a slight hick-up with buttons though. I have an insane amount of buttons in my stash! I really don’t know exactly how I acquired them, but I must have been buying buttons with all my fabrics for years! I have a whole plastic container full of buttons. So I was sure I would be able to find something in my stash to go with the fabric and I didn’t buy any buttons. Well, lo and behold, when the time came to make button holes and attach buttons I couldn’t find anything that went with this dress! Nada! So the dress had to be put aside until I could make an emergency trip to the FabricLand. In the end it turned out perfectly since I was able to find buttons that matched the color of the fabric extremely well!
I am extremely happy with this dress. I fell in love with it as soon as I put it on. It feels so chick yet so comfortable! I am very excited to try play with styling it, although I think it looks great on its own and doesn’t really need anything else. As you have probably noticed, I love wearing it with my sleeves rolled up. I don’t know what it is, but I rarely wear anything with the full length sleeve…
The pattern should be released soon! Charlotte is a very talented designer and I definitely recommend this pattern. As for me, I am hoping that with the success of this dress I can finally open up some space in my closet for more shirts and shirt dresses.