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The 'perfect' shirt dress?

Added Feb 16, 2014

by nicola82

Perth, Australia






Looking for the easiest shirt-dress pattern…
and I think I’ve come pretty close, now that I’ve altered it to death.

Granted, the pattern is from New Look #6180 and didn’t go down to a size 6-8 (it looks pretty sacky/wacky on the model). I graded it down to a size 6 bodice, but according to my measurements it recommended a size 12-14 for the skirt. It was massive. The pleats were too large (about 8 inches of extra bulk all up) and made my rear-end look ridiculous. I also thought the collar was sitting in a very weird way towards the back of my neck, but I hadn’t yet finished the armholes and the buttons.

I put the dress aside for a week, annoyed that I’d gone to so much effort with the matching of the print and grading/altering the pattern. But after looking around for a pattern review, and some helpful advice from Manju at the blog sewmanju, I decided to pull it all apart and scale things down.

I halved the pleats, and then took at least an inch out of the side seams, probably could have taken a bit more in/or straightened the skirt out. So it’s probably more of a size 8 now. I also shortened it by 15cm or so and added some pockets to it. I actually think the collar is fine, now that it’s complete.

I think I might make another one.


Garment Type



8 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Denise_wild_lovesewing_large

    Feb 17, 2014, 10.48 PMby Denise Wild

    Adore this top- such great fabric!

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    Feb 17, 2014, 04.39 AMby OrangeNoel

    That fabric is just adorable and the dress turned out fantastic! Great job!!

  • D702181599659a199ae375544b80447fef458928_large

    Feb 17, 2014, 04.29 AMby nicola82

    Thank you for the lovely comments :-) I wasn’t sure if the print was meant to be of rain clouds? I thought I could get away with a more, ‘balloons floating above the clouds’ look instead :-p

  • Missing

    Feb 17, 2014, 03.01 AMby YelenaF

    Nicely done!!! I like how the fabric pattern matches both sides!!!

  • Bulgaria_and_france_burgundy_2012_101_large

    Feb 16, 2014, 11.48 PMby schnui

    Lovely dress and the fabric is great too. Beautifully sewn and fitted.

  • Missing

    Feb 16, 2014, 09.20 PMby manjubusybee

    Hey nic it’s manju from sewmanju.wordpress.com . Your dress came out great! Good for you battling through, although I don’t know how much I helped. Love your contrast collar and the pockets.

    1 Reply
    • D702181599659a199ae375544b80447fef458928_large

      Feb 17, 2014, 04.23 AMby nicola82

      I think it’s good to know that everyone goes through the same trials and tribulations!

  • Option_d_3_large

    Feb 16, 2014, 05.10 PMby LadyStitcher

    Such a sweet dress – that fabric is perfect for it!

  • New_image_large

    Feb 16, 2014, 04.22 PMby efh1687

    I love this fabric!

    • This is a question
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