Shirtwaist #1

by Erin on February 26, 2008

Simplicity 5232

So far, in my new obsession with shirtdresses, I've made the pattern above three times.

Here's the first version I made ("the beta"), in the gray polka-dot cotton I bought in Japan:

Gray Dot Dress 1

I was pretty ambitious for a beta version; check out the rickrack on the collar and the inserted cording along the front dress edge:

Gray Dot Dress 2

I did make some alterations to the pattern: I added pockets (they're hidden in the front skirt seam, under those pleats); I shortened the sleeves (a LOT), and I gave myself more room in the waist.

Of course, it being the first go-round, I did screw up a couple things. First of all, Pellon Shirtailor interfacing could probably compete in an Ironman. (Heck, it's probably used in IRONMAN's suit!) That stuff is STIFF. I didn't really want the dress to stand up by itself …

Also, I messed up the placement of the buttons. The pattern suggested the spacing I used, with no button at the waist, since it will get caught up on your belt. But I forgot that I don't plan to wear a belt with this. This means I don't have a button at the waist to hold it together, and have a hook-and-bar-tack closure instead. I *hate* hook-and-bar-tack closures. (I suppose I *could* break down and wear a belt, but I have a huge ranty post coming up about the current belt insanity, and I'm afraid wearing a belt now will hurt my credibility later.)

Of course, looking at the picture, it looks like I could sneak in one more button just a teeeeeny bit under the waistline, and have the buttons still look more-or-less spaced. Hmm. Must consider.

Despite these gross errors, the dress is still wearable — I've worn it two or three times. I like to wear it with bright tights and a matching cardigan (that is, a cardigan that matches the tights — especially a yellow tights/yellow cardigan combo).

Tomorrow: version #2, in which I make significant improvements.

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