Shirtdresses. Again. What Is It With Shirtdresses?

by Erin on December 6, 2012

I’m besotted with shirtdresses again. I bet you could go back through the archives of this blog and chart the periodicity of my shirtdress obsession; it probably peaks in Nov/Dec and March/April, then trails off in the summer, when it’s too hot for buttonholes.

I have a semi-complete shirtdress on the dress form that is taunting me; I’ve put the skirt on and taken it back off again three times, and none of those times did it look even remotely like the front of the pattern envelope. I’m letting that truculent skirt think about its mistakes and then maybe this weekend I will say “Fine. If you don’t want to be pleated, I *will* gather you …” and we’ll see what happens from there. It’s my second try at a shirtdress in this same fabric, and I Will. Not. Stop. until I have the perfect version of it. (Expect a long post to this effect, later.)

I found this shirtdress on Etsy that is either perfect or perfectly frumpy. You can never tell with newspaper patterns, in my experience:


I really like that triangular yoke in the back. It’s crying out for piping, isn’t it? Just a little, and then a little along the top of the pockets. The collar is slightly 1970s, but that might turn out to be a good thing. It’s hard to tell. I will definitely shorten the sleeves; I like my sleeves to just hit the top of the biceps, because if I start competitive bodybuilding I don’t want to have to alter all my dresses. (I plan ahead. I also once had a Latin teacher who lifted a lot — I mean, A LOT — of weights, in-between his stints bartending and teaching us the Aeneid, and his biceps were so huge his sleeves had to be slit at the underarm seam to accommodate them. Which evidently made more of an impression on me than our friend Virgil, although I suppose now I am in effect “singing of arms and the man.”)

I almost didn’t buy this because the illustrated fabric pattern here is a dead ringer for some wallpaper my parents once had. (The dots were brown and blue on a beige background. I disliked it quite a bit.) But I will make this dress in something spare, perhaps  a nice crisp gray shirting cotton. Or maybe checks!

And … sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted regularly. Lots of work — the thingy at the bottom of my blog entries here, that shows related posts? That was released in beta today. Also, I got hit by a car while riding my bike. (I’m fine, but I totally feel like a Real San Francisco Bike Commuter now.) And there was that turkey-enabled holiday, for those of us here in the States. I’ve got more excuses if you need ‘em …

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