{Tried and True Patterns: The Vintage Shirt Dress}

I apparently have no rhyme or reason to my “tried and true” patterns series. The last one I wrote was last month, and it was about the Sew Over It Betty Dress. This month I’m featuring another Sew Over It pattern that I have made numerous times: the Vintage Shirt Dress.

The Vintage Shirt Dress was my gateway drug into Sew Over It’s patterns. It was the first pattern I bought and the first pattern I made. It was also the pattern that launched a love of making my own clothes that had previously not existed. I had done it a few times, but always with results that were slightly sub-par, fits wise, and thus I didn’t always end up with a garment I loved to wear (with the exception of another shirt dress pattern that I really liked). This pattern was, for all intents and purposes, a game-changer.

We’ll begin with the first one I made. I used a rayon challis with a bird print. I fell in love with the print and the dress as soon as I was finished with them. I felt so accomplished that I had made a dress that actually fit me well! I wore the dress out to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, and loved how comfy it was for the extended day of theater.

The second one I made was using a rayon challis from Rifle Paper Co. This is probably my least favorite of all my vintage shirt dresses. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t feel like it fits as well as the rest of them. However, it is still an excellent work dress. Here it is on its own, and paired with boots and a cardigan for colder months.

After trying two Vintage Shirt Dresses with rayon, I wanted to do a little something different. On the SOI website, they have Lisa modeling the dress with two fabrics, and I wanted to emulate that. Enter an IKEA curtain and some fabric I got for dirt cheap at an estate sale. I combined them to create my own two-tone look. I even added short sleeves from another SOI pattern (the Kate dress) to mix up the look even more. I honestly have no idea what the fabrics were: the curtain (which I used for the bodice) was lightweight and sheer and the bottom was probably more of a cotton.

My latest version, which I just finished this past weekend, is made from cotton lawn. I love both the look and feel of a good cotton lawn, and this was no exception. The fabric, a little floral print, came from the SOI fabric club a couple of months back. I love how this one came out: it’s light and airy and the perfect summer dress! Here I have it pictured with a cardigan and without. I love that the dress can easily be layered to fit multiple temperature situations!

I have admittedly not made the version with the long sleeves, but that’s a personal dressing preference, not a critique on the pattern. I tend to need layers in my everyday life, as my work environment can run unpredictably hot or cold, so I tend to do better with sleeveless or shorter sleeved dresses that I can pair with a cardigan just in case. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be trying a long-sleeved version for the fall!

The possibilities are endless with this pattern, and I know I have many more to come in my wardrobe!

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