Heather Shirtdress

October greetings friends! October, how on earth did that happen? When we were halfway through September I said to my partner how is it that my favourite months in the year always speed by as if they are chased by a pack of angry foxes. Anyway, it’s October and I stand by that sentiment. Today was a warm and sunny day and the trees here are no longer mostly greenish, so I’ll just quickly show you my final late summer/early autumn make of the year.

Today I’m going to show you this terracotta shirtdress also known as ‘could I have possibly made a dress more suited to the early days of autumn if I tried’? The colour of the dress to me just gently oozes that feeling of heather in bloom, of berries ripening and of the last sunflowers before the chills return.

Because this is my second time sewing this thing it came together really quickly and I didn’t encounter any weird hiccups. The band collar is obviously speedier that sewing a more traditional button up collar as well.

I made this pattern a couple of years ago in a dark orange shade and its one of my most worn self sewn things. So when I found this earthy pink double gauze in my stash I thought, why not go for a remake of one of my favourite things. The dress is the Myosotis, an oversized shirtdress with inseam pockets, a v-neckline, short sleeves and a band collar. It had a huge momentum when it just came out, but that sort of fizzed out and I haven’t seen many of them recently. While I do think that this is partly caused by the fact that in the sewing world (as in any other sphere), old stuff is quickly resigned to gathering dust in a corner while the latest and greatest steals the spotlight, I also think there’s something else at work.

Deer and Doe has an extremely small size range, particularly in the paper pattern range. The pdf version is slightly better but even that range is shamefully small. While I was sewing this pattern I kept looking at the max bust size of the paper pattern and kept wondering if most straight sized people realise quite how exclusionary some of these size ranges are. The paper pattern stops at a 104 cm bust and the pdf at a 116 cm. I know this is a loose shirtdress, so has lots of positive ease, but it is meant to fit with that ease. All this is to say that I personally haven’t bought from them in years and that I wouldn’t have made this pattern if I didn’t already have it.

My main modification was on the neckline. The v-neck is quite low in the pattern, something I didn’t alter on my first version but has annoyed me since then. I added a snap button to that first version and basically never wear it without it buttoned so in this version I wanted to address it more elegantly. I traced the pattern and then just redrew the neckline a bit higher while maintaining the same lines and curves of the original. Because the neckline is less deep I added an extra button and redistributed their placement on the bodice. I’m pleased with this adjustment and it’s definitely more refined than the snap button solution!

In hindsight I should have also added some length to the front bodice. Something I tend to need to do because of my bust size, but didn’t do this time as sometimes you just want to go and sit behind the buzzing sound of your sewing machine and not think about the consequences of the difference between ones chest and back size. I also tend to think that with a more oversized or loose drafted garment I can get away with skipping it, but in reality those are exactly the garments in which the issue tends to be more pronounced (at least for me). Anyway, I have dresses in which the high low line at the bodice is an intended feature so I’m just rolling with it.

The fabric is a 100% cotton double gauze that is airy and drapes nicely but has more weight and body to it than most warm weather fabrics and in these parts does hold up for wear into the early days of the colder season. I added darker brick coloured buttons that work well with the earthy pink I think.

For me this is a brilliant everyday dress and if the first version is anything to go by it will be in heavy rotation. I love the colour and between this and the cardigan I knit earlier this year this earthy heather pink is really having a moment with me. Because it fits so well in an autumnal colour palette I think it will work well with layering it with the rest of my wardrobe, and at the same time is a unique enough colour that it will hopefully open up some exciting new combinations. That it comes from a pattern which such a small reach because the size range is small makes it a bittersweet wardrobe victory and I hope the brand will reconsider that choice.

Hope you all enjoy the best season of the year,

Speak soon!

4 thoughts on “Heather Shirtdress

  1. Goed gemaakt deze jurk! Mooie terracotta herfst kleuren jurk!
    Lijkt me lekker dragen en goed te combineren met vest erop.
    Knap dat je het patroon kunt aanpassen. šŸ˜€

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