Grainline Alder gathered shirtdress

in a lovely summery nautical viscose

The bump is on the way out and ‘baby g’ is due eminently! A few weeks ago I started getting advice from customers and comments on the blog that I should start building up my supply of clothes with button openings at the front.

So I took heed and today wanted to share my version of the Grainline Patterns Alder Shirtdress.

I had originally planned to make the straight version for post baby feeding ease, and I still will, but Rach (who works in the shop) had already made the gathered skirt version and when I tried it on for size I liked the style more than I thought I would.

It also meant I got to use this beautiful silky floaty anchor print viscose that we have in the shop. It’s perfect for a style like this as it hangs so well. Anything much thicker would be too stiff and bit a ‘tenty’ for me.

I have to admit that I haven’t actually made a shirt that has a stand collar since I was in the final of the sewing bee and had all those people watching!

It didn’t go that well back then so I was a bit worried about this one, especially with such a lightweight fabric, but it all went fairly ok and the instructions were really clear.

The section where the top button goes somehow ended up being a bit too small so I won’t be able to do the top button up as it will look a bit weird – but I would never do the top button up anyway so its fine, I can live with that.

My biggest tip is to make sure that you carefully read the instructions and make sure you have all of the pattern markings correct for the button band. If the button band goes wrong – the collar won’t fit!

You have to cut a section off for the right button band and be precise when you fold and press everything. I used my seam gauge and clover chaco liner to mark mine.

I think gathers sit really well in this fabric. And it also means that I can just fit into it with the bump. I made a straight up size 6 with no changes to the pattern, so depending on how big your bump is, it will serve you for a decent chunk of the pregnancy.

It’s a fraction too tight on the chest for me – my boob situation is out of control right now! I figure it will probably be up and down over the next few months so fingers crossed they shrink a tiny little bit so it’s not quite as tight. Or am I wishful thinking there?!

I also really love the dipped hem at the back. Getting an even hem in a fabric like this can be tricky as the fabric moves so much – when you are cutting out and when you are sewing. So having the dipped hem is more forgiving to slight variations in length.

Happy Sewing!

Image credit to Victoria Beddoes Photography

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