Some time ago I started my quest for the perfect shirt dress, I wanted something transitional that I could pair just as well with tights and boots or bare legs and sandals There have been many failed attempts and even more tears on this journey but I think I may have found the light at the end of the tunnel (insert happy dance here)
After venting my frustrations on IG I was pointed in the direction of Green Bee patterns and more specifically the Frances dress, I had never heard of green bee patterns or the Frances dress before but when I looked it up it was strikingly similar to the picture I had in my head and with nothing to lose it was on its way to my door.
Ok so all that happened in about April this year, fast forward to now and I hadnt done more than cut out the long sleeved version (as I had planned to have this all sewn up by winter haha yeah right). I had the public holiday down as a sewing day and when my originally planned project fell through due to lack of appropriate lining fabric, I pulled this one out and got to sewing.
The long sleeved version I had cut was a mid weight polyester with a lovely drape and almost a microfibre feel to it. From memory I went with a medium but I must have cut a larger size in the sleeves as they felt very puffy but other than that the only changes that I made where to increase the with of the back darts slightly to give a bit more shape at the waste.
On to the real thing, The main fabric is by art gallery fabrics and was purchased from the fabric closet on a recent trip through Broken Hill and The contrast is black voile courtesy of the stash. I only had a bit under 2 metres of the main fabric so went with the short sleeved version and underlined it in voile also as being a light colour its was a little on the sheer side.
As for construction I went with the medium again which was slightly over my measurements and opted to use French seams throughout, since the pattern calls for 1/2 inch seam allowance I would say that the sizing ended up closer to a small by using the French seams. I also forwent the pocket and cuff detail because i was a bit worried it might send it in to 50s diner costume territory.
Unlike the first version the initial fit was a bit on the boxy side and I think this was to do with the underling And the cotton having less drape than what I used on my muslin so to combat this I graded the side seams from nothing at the underarm to about 2cms at the waist and back to nothing at the hips, I also slightly increased the width of the back darts to nip it in a bit more.
Overall I think I have found what I’m after. I love the vintage vibe from the combination of fabric, contrast and shape that this little dress gives but next time, I think I’ll stick to a fabric with more drape for a more casual look.