Let me introduce the Plain & Simple iconic shirt dress by Hot Patterns using John Kaldor viscose jersey in navy. This is my November Minerva make. And your reward for reading on is a special discount being offered for a Hot Patterns pattern of your own….
This fabric is rather tasty. It’s got fantastic drape & feels as if it will do as it’s told- it’s got nice quality. But I have to admit I started with the pattern- & the concept of a knit shirt dress was too appealing to ignore, & looked as if it could be a wardrobe staple over the autumn/ winter season, with boots & tights. Love the descriptions on all Hot Patterns designs too …this one’s “smokin hot!”
I liked its sleek A line skirt. I mean, a cosy shirt dress that might get away without ironing? This could be my goto office wear! The pattern advised you to use the best quality fabric that you can afford, & this viscose jersey does make it feel more “luxe” than my usual purchases from markets etc.
And truth be told I had been eying up a number of shirtdresses for making up this winter, way before Mary announced the “Fall of a thousand shirt dresses” which I eagerly sign up to & pledge further contribution. This is just the first, oh yes. I may indulge my greedy collection of shirt dress patterns with a small blog post in the future. You have been warned.
So let’s get onto the pattern.
Now I don’t get many results when I search for Hot Patterns makes on the internets, and that’s a shame because the patterns are definitely different from the usual, with influences from different eras, & compelling names (eg Wong-Singh-Jones Sakura Bomber Jacket, Fast & fabulous jet setter poncho, Boudoir Of Bliss Trousseau Nightgown & Robe and the Deco Vibe Delano Twinset) . They are a little more expensive – but that is likely to mean your choice is based on something you truly adore and can see yourself making more than just the one. I have this pattern and the Metropolitan Tie Me Down blouse (OK I have only made one of these so far, but that’s due to programming, not due to dislike). The patterns being printed on white paper will also stay the course – they come in a larger envelope than is standard which makes it much easier to tidy the pattern pieces away afterwards, but doesn’t necessarily fit with your regular pattern storage systems!! .. I’m interested in what you’ve made in Hot Patterns, and have started a Pinterest Board here as I want to see some of these fabulous patterns made up & being worn. Leave me a note in the comments if you have something you’d like me to see & share! Now onto that discount. I am in cahoots with Susan from Sewbox (she kindly let me have this pattern to review) & she is offering readers a wonderful 10% discount on any Hot Patterns pattern bought between now & Christmas. Just use the discount code, “SCRUFFY10” when you make your purchase. And then let me know which pattern you chose- please!!
So upon starting to make this I discovered that the shirt dress’s front half placket has hidden buttonholes so that you can’t see them from the outside.
Never done one of those before, & I like to try something new, I braced myself & embarked upon my sewing journey & cut out all the pieces. And there are quite a lot of pieces- kind of comes with the territory making a shirt dress. This pattern uses plackets (two piece plackets) for the sleeves & for the front opening.
There is also a back yoke & of course the collar & collar stand & a great long self fabric tie belt.
Now I think I need to offer a word or two of caution. This pattern is suitable for intermediates, it says, & I’d agree. There are brief instructions & I had a couple of challenges. I would suggest that you supplement the instructions for some of the processes, especially the plackets- & let’s be honest, there is always help on the internets.
Unless you are a dab hand at two piece plackets I would suggest that the instructions are not sufficient, but there is a great placket tutorial here on Craftsy. When you have three of these blighters to sew, I’d go straight there. Oh, & you must not underestimate the added dimension that sewing plackets with a jersey brings – the fabric wants to stretch around those blunt rectangular ends made up of the five layers of fabric at the confluence of both placket sides. Something I will do next time, apart from reviewing the Craftsy site, is not to interface the plackets – the pattern advises you that it’s optional – but I did use a light interfacing & this therefore made my placket square ends even thicker. This though was the trickiest part of the sewing, & my end result is not perfect by any means.
My other struggle – something I just had to give up on was the suggested “burrito method” for sewing the yoke & yoke facing. The yoke is actually not that deep & there was no way that I could roll up the front & back within this shallow yoke to perform this operation. I had to hand sew the yoke in place. No biggie.
But none of the sewing is beyond intermediate- it’s just a shirt with a placket front that is just longer in the length. For most of the detail sewing – sewing & attaching the collar, the cuffs & plackets I used a slightly longer straight stitch (3mm). I only used my overlocker for the garment seams – shoulders, centre back, sides & sleeves.
Now looking at the pics there do seem to be drag lines, but I don’t think they are there all the time & aren’t telling me fit is wrong. I don’t think,m anyway! I think it’s the drape of the fabric & jersey friction on what I’m wearing underneath, cos believe me, there is plenty of room in there.
It came together wonderfully & I have to say I rather like it. I have worn it to work & it took the supreme test (twice)– I rolled it up in my rucksack the night before, for changing into at work in the morning (I changed at work after joining an early morning training session). This dress, let me tell you, unfurled uncrushed, as if I’d just brought it out of my wardrobe. It was a lovely cosy dress to wear & I felt smartly retro – the collar has an edgy size to it. (But remember to pack the belt! I had to make a desperate sortie into town to purchase one to avoid looking like mama sack woman with the iconic belt left draped around the coat hanger in my wardrobe!)
Hahaha what a geeky face!!
You’re seeing photos of me wearing it with a slim leather belt- which I actually think with hindsight, doesn’t look as good as the self belt, which I wore to work once). But you’ll have to take my word for it.
My camera remote seems to run out of battery after only a few shoots. Any clues? I haven’t bought Poundland batteries either.
Although I think it is meant to be blouson like, I think next time I might take it in a little bit at the side seams, just a tad. I like the idea of making a placket front jersey top with this as well, just by making it in a shorter length. I also like the idea of making the dress in jersey, but with a woven for the plackets and the collar & cuffs – that could look quite iconic!!
So remember, if you fancy a dabble with some Hot Patterns styling, you have until Christmas for a 10% discount at Sewbox using the code, “SCRUFFY10”. And let me know what you buy! (And when you make it) I really find the styling so exciting on Hot Patterns!