I've had my eye on a couple of their patterns for a while now, but when I saw the Vintage Shirt Dress, I just had to get it straightaway. I've recently discovered Mad Men, and I have to say I watch it more for the outfits, than the storylines. Although Sew Over It also have a pattern called the Betty Dress, this one is also very reminiscent of her earlier outfits. Betty Draper is certainly my new style icon...
The original plan was to make it up in time for the competition to win an overlocker, but unfortunately my forced two week sewing hiatus due to no electricity (Grrrr!) meant that it was only finished this week.
I spent so long in Fabrics Galore debating what fabric to get for this make. First I thought something plain, then polka dots, then I found this lovely floral cotton print and that was it. I always find it difficult to decide on fabric for dresses. I worry that if a print is a bit loud or busy, that its a whole outfit you have to live with, rather than just a top or bottom. I had also rather gone off flowery prints recently, I find its a fine line between being summery and a little frumpy and twee.
The pattern I found to be really clear to sew up, with helpful pictures and clear instructions. I slip stitched the hem and armholes, which took a little while but otherwise the rest was done in mostly one evening. After much debate on buttons, I decided to go for red to pick out the accents in the fabric, rather than a cream to blend in.
I cut a size 12, grading down to between a 10 and 12 for the bodice, and its a really good fit. It is a little gappy around the lapels, but I think that's really down to the style. I like that there's not too much ease in the dress, I often find some pattern companies allow too much around the waist. I think I may add another button to the bottom also, there's quite a bit of fabric left free and in the windy weather we had today I was in danger of flashing my knickers to all and sundry.
All in all I'm extremely happy with this dress, its definitely one of my favourite summer outfits. Its a great wardrobe staple pattern and I'd love to make one with sleeves too, possibly in a solid colour. Although its typical now I'm churning out the summer clothes that it appears summer may have come and gone in the UK!