1. Bite-Size Tasks
The construction of a shirt dress can be broken down into digestible chunks of work for tired brains at the end of the day – pockets, cuffs, plackets, waist ties, collars, button holes… If you want a 15-minute task, sew a shirt dress.
I particularly enjoyed sewing turned and stitched sleeve hems on my latest make. Such a small task. So satisfying.
2. Variety Of Techniques
You’ll learn or re-familiarise yourself with at least one new-to-you technique. Shirt dresses are particularly good for transferable skills, such as learning to sew a collar stand. This will feed well into other makes, such as pyjamas and actual shirts!
3. Proliferation Of Patterns
This is the age of the shirt dress. It seems as though a new pattern is being released every week. Below, some goodies:
Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress applies sweet details such as the gathered yoke
McCalls 6885 is an interesting pull-over variation
McCalls 6696, beloved of bloggers
The Rosa Shirt Dress from Tilly And The Buttons
The Maker’s Atelier Oversized Shirt Dress – this pattern designer is one of sewing’s great undiscovered secrets if you ask me. Get in quick!
That’s without even scraping the surface of all the vintage shirt dress patterns out there. Shirt dresses first became fashionable in the 1950s, thanks to post-Second World War New Look designs.
4. Eminently Wearable
I find shirt dresses easy to fit and easy to wear. Bodices tend to be loose fit, and with little fuss around the waist (unless you want to add your own belt) they accommodate the practicalities of life, such as eating, sitting and fabric shopping.
I’m wearing the McCalls 4769 – 37 reviews on Sewing Pattern Review
Lots and lots of lovely buttons to play with, and who can complain about that? Though you may want to up your button hole game with a kit such as this one.
I haven’t counted up how many shirt dress patterns I own, but it’s several – and I’m eyeing more. Any tips of your own for sewing these beautiful dresses?