It’s a shirt … (dress)

The Facts

Fabric: From stash, approx £25 at the time last year.
Notions: Thread from stash, vintage buttons 20p.
Year: 1985 Pattern. Contemporary Fabric. 20’s-40’s(?) Buttons.
Pattern: Simplicity. Won in a giveaway organised by Magpie Mimi.
Time to Complete: Lost count …
Wear Again: Definitely.

This has already been ‘blue’ and ‘ufo’ … Over the past few months, my routine has changed a lot, firstly because of my knitting course and then having to give up some of my time to teach art voluntarily to help someone’s recovery from illness.

Then, unfortunately, another unforeseen illness in my family … which thankfully is getting right now. Sewing has been way down the agenda and I’ve been on hand to help with lots of things

But, I’ve still learned a lot this year and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to produce – finding out how to finish off on the insides properly, hand sew trimmings and flimsy fabrics for instances. I feel more confident about using ‘yummy’ fabrics in with the thrift. (Thanks to Charlotte Tilley for that term – where are you Charlotte?).

I’ve wanted a wearable shirtdress for ages. I won exactly the right pattern from Magpie Mimi. The buttons are genuinely vintage, found on a market stall (I was told from a house clearance …). I wasn’t sure whether or not to part them from their backing card – I believe there is some sort of controversy about doing just that, but they were just begging to be used. I really love the vivid red. I found the fabric ‘new’ and I got it because I wanted to have one of these cherry print fabrics that everyone’s using …. It’s not too noticeable, more like a floral really – maybe that’s why I like it, along with the little marguerite flower in there.

So, this is No.11 in my production schedule, which is OK considering …, averaging out at about 1 project per month. Hope you like it! I do!



Diane has sewn all through life but gave things a serious go at the beginning of 2011 and during the year took part in 50 Sew Weekly challenges. She now wants to expand her knowledge and learn new techniques in each project she completes, as well as develop a style of her own and a sense of quality over quantity. She studied print design some years ago and a love of unusual prints and colours underpins her work. Currently, she works full time dealing with copyright issues and previously, she managed photographic sales for a leading fine art museum. Diane is so grateful for the friendship, support and encouragement she has received from the Sew Weekly community.


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  1. Very pretty! I love the combination of the fabric and the buttons. :-)

  2. What a sweet shirt-dress! I really like the fabric – so cute without being a retro cliché!

  3. I’m a big fan of shirt dresses, and I seriously thought about it this time around, but I spent all my time on a blouse that ripped. Your dress is very sweet and looks very nice on you. I like the color and the little cherry print. I wish I knew how to knit. You look like you are quite the expert.

  4. We ARE almost twinsies!! I love your fabric and your dress reminds me of one I made earlier this year, down to the red belt. You’re a wonderful person to help others out and yes, we’ve missed you : )

  5. I’ve missed being here Loran – like I said to Barbara, I get torn between the two things I love doing the most.

  6. Diana, it’s so pretty… I really want a shirt dress too

  7. Rachel – I could make loads of these now. I really want one in a winter weight fabric, think it would look good with boots.

  8. Hello again – nice to see you popping up. Great dress – you look elegant and relaxed and the bright red buttons are a highlight.

  9. Hi Jen – it’s nice to be popping up! It’s a really comfy dress … already planning to make another one.