Ginger Made: Alder Shirtdress, v. 3!

Oh my… I think at this point we can classify my love for the Alder Shirtdress pattern as an addiction. I tried to move on to fall sewing, but I just couldn’t help myself and decided to try out view B before summer was over! Just one more summer dress can’t hurt, right?

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

The fabric you’re seeing here is a rayon blend, perhaps even rayon/linen. It’s lightweight, breathable, and has a very fluid drape. It works really well for this! The drape keeps the gathers looking good, but it wasn’t slippery or annoying to sew with.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

The fabric came from Fabrics for Less in the Garment District. It’s a small storefront that’s jam-packed with fabric bolts, so it takes some careful navigation, but I almost always find something fun in there for very little cash ($5/yd for this stuff!). It was an impulse purchase (palm trees!!! seagulls! sunsets!), and while I love the print, it’s not a good color scheme for me. I like how it looks up close, but it washes out farther away and I feel like I look even paler than usual. But- palm trees! Seagulls! Sunsets! It’s like I ripped the curtains out of a Miami hotel in 1987 and gave them the Scarlett O’Hara treatment! Who cares if I look like I’ve never actually seen a ray of sun, let alone a palm tree?!

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

I didn’t make any fit alterations to this version, although, if I’m being honest, I probably should have lengthened it a bit. It’s definitely riding the line between “acceptably short” and “are you leaving the house in that???” Even just another inch might be enough. Since I’d made this pattern twice before, it sewed up quickly… EXCEPT for the fact that I didn’t really look at the instructions and totally forgot that you need to trim back the right front bodice (the side that you stitch the button band onto), and I didn’t notice that it was way longer than the left side until I’d already topstitched the button band down, noooooooo! I find that I often make silly mistakes when I’m making something I’ve made before, but it all worked out in the end.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

I’m surprised how much I like this version. I wasn’t initially attracted to the gathered skirt- sometimes looser dresses with gathered waists are just too ’90’s for me- but I like that it gives me volume through the hips without adding to my waist at the front. I am sort of a reverse pear, with a thicker middle and narrower hips, but this silhouette kind of fakes an hourglass shape. Another benefit of the gathered skirt is that I could sneak side-seam pockets into this version. What I don’t like- actually sewing gathers! I’m the worst at it… no matter how carefully I distribute and pin them, they always end up getting smashed into ugly little tucks… yuck!!! This fabric couldn’t really handle much seamripping, so I just left it, and it’s not a dealbreaker, but I definitely need to work on perfecting my gathering technique.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

OK, before we go, here are the winners of the Malu coat pattern giveaway! #176, #24, and #2… that’s Jules, Kirsten, and Sarah! Congratulations! I’ve sent you all emails. 🙂

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

Now, what are you sewing right now? Any exciting projects? What’s the pattern you’ve sewn the most times?

130 responses

  1. Yay! It looks great! I definitely want to sew more Alders – I have a cotton/linen blend in a peacock blue that I’m going to make as a shirt – just trying to decide what mods to make (mandarin collar? pocket flaps?) I’m taking a mini vacation next weekend and have a grand idea of having some new clothes to wear. We’ll see how much time I have.

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  2. This pattern looks so cute on you, every version! I feel your pain with the never tanning. I barely change color either. 🙂
    I’m sewing some comfy fall dresses right now. One turned out cute and another I’m trying to keep from entering pajama territory. I think the pattern I’ve sewn the most is my Built By Wendy Tshirt block. I’ve made long sleeve, short sleeve and all sorts of hacks from it!

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  3. Miami hotel curtains ’87 rock! 😉 Love that version – that shape really suits! Working on that Alder Shirt Dress myself right now; thinking about adding 3/4 sleeves to it though (my upper arms are just not made to be out in the open), a v-neck and just leaving it with a mandarine collar… though thinking about all the necessary alterations I’ll have to do make my head hurt a bit 😉 Happy sewing!

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  4. Ha ha, LOVE your Ricky Nelson photo in the background of one of your photos! I love Ricky Nelson, as well as I am a HUGE fan of Elvis Presley!

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