Burda Style: 50s shirt dress.

by - 09:00

Sometimes to get the garment of your dreams you have to combine a few patterns (if you don't want to create your own pattern, of course). Sometimes you have a dream garment in your mind, but not in your pattern collection. That's when you have no choice but to draft it yourself, or combine a couple of patterns. I've chosen the second option for my floral 50s style shirt dress. 

This fabric was a gift for my birthday. Slightly more than 2 metres of Italian dress cotton poplin. I knew for sure I wanted to sew something with a full circle skirt, and something I can add buttons to. A shirt dress sounded like the perfect option! I didn't have any vintage patterns with this design and it's almost impossible to find anything similar in modern catalogs or magazines. That's pretty strange, isn't it? Most of them don't have a full skirt and in general look more like a long one-piece shirt, not a shirt with a skirt. I like combining patterns so that's what I've done.

I must say that turning a shirt pattern into a bodice one can be quite chalenging. First of all, you need to make sure you cut it correctly at the waist line. An even more difficult step is to match it with your skirt pattern. Shirt patterns are usually more loose than regular bodice pieces, so you'll need to gradually adjust it, making sure that the side seams of the bodice and skirt match.

I used Burda Style 5/2012 #103 for this project. I like this basic and easy to make shirt pattern, it has a nice fit and a cute collar. I adjusted that pattern quite a lot. Actually, as much as I wanted to transfer all the marks from fabric to the pattern to use it again...I gave up. It was a lot! 

  I also had to change the button placement. One reason was to avoid the unflaterring gap in the bust area, another one - to avoid the same thing where the bodice joins the skirt. Oh, and a quick remark - the buttons have button holes. Even though the dress has quite a lot of buttons, you can't avoid attaching a zipper. The most common place for dresses of this type is a side seam, but I simply hate side zips. I've attached a regular zipper to add another vintage touch. 

The fabric is a 100% Italian cotton. I'd say it's slightly lighter than a medium weight one, which makes it a perfect fabric for dresses. I'm sure I'll carry on combining shirt patterns with full circle skirts. Is it something you do as well? Or do you prefer vintage patterns for that?

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  1. It's gorgeous!
    I have a shirtdresses pattern with a full circle skirt I hope to make this year! McCall 6891 https://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6891

    1. Thank you so much! Wow, this pattern is gorgeous! You should definitely use it. :)

  2. This dress is so cute, and I love the fabric!! The pattern combinations worked really well for you.