Over the past year I’ve acquired three silky prints in my fabric collection – and I had images of all three of them becoming dresses. I’ve actually been wanting to make a shirt dress with one or more of them, but other, more pressing projects always got in the way. When the Instagram challenge #sewtogetherforsummer came up on my feed, I thought it was just the excuse I needed to finally make my dream shirt dress!
This challenge was introduced a few months ago, and I said to myself “I have so much time…I’ll wait to start”. Why. Why do I always say that?? Please tell me I’m not the only one to procrastinate! I actually did shirt dress research way back when the challenge started so I had my pattern ready to go, but didn’t decide on a fabric choice until yesterday morning!
Since I knew I wanted to sew with one of my silky fabrics, my pattern options became limited since a wide range of patterns were more suitable for chambrays or cottons. After looking over a ton of shirt dress patterns, I came across Mimi G’s Simplicity 8084 and loved the cleanliness of the pattern. The buttons were covered up with a placket as to not disturb the look of the fabric, and it had sleeves, which is something I was looking for!
This was my first time sewing with a Mimi G pattern, and I enjoyed it! I will say, when the pattern said there was a youtube sew-a-long, I was expecting a little more than a 30 minute video. It did help me with my problem areas (sewing on the plackets and collar) but I think I’m used to the super detailed sew-a-longs from indie patterns, so I expected more. This was just a small observation I had, definitely not a deal breaker if you are thinking about making this pattern! I’m happy the video was even offered!
In general, the instructions were good, again there were some parts I think could have had more detail but construction was pretty painless! The dress took a full day to construct, it actually took a few hours just to cut my fabric as I was being super careful to get the print even.
There is one thing I need to point out for my petite friends. When I was tracing the pattern, I knew I would have to shorten the dress a bit. When I know I need to do this, I pay close attention to the “shorten here” lines, because I know I will use them. This pattern is so petite friendly!! There are actual lines that say fold here for petite! I didn’t specifically measure how much I was taking out, but I think it was about an inch – which was just enough! I figured I would take the hem up a little if needed, but I didn’t even need to do that! (For taller seamstresses, you may want to consider lengthening the pattern). I don’t remember the last time I sewed a Big 4 pattern without making some sort of fit alteration that wasn’t included in the pattern. So huge props to Mimi G & team Simplicity for the fit on this one!
For reference, I’m 4′ 9″ ish and cut a size 10.
The only thing I didn’t do was make the drawstring out of my fabric. I have SO MUCH of this twill tape that I like to use it every time I need a drawstring. It’s much faster, and I like the contrast it offers.
I’ve mentioned before I don’t really wear dresses, but this has such a casual yet put together feel that it isn’t just a summer dress I’ll only wear once a year. I needed a go-to dress that I could just grab out of my closet if needed and this is it!
I picked up the fabric from Pendleton Woolen Mills in Oregon – it was on sale for $5/ yard. Guys, it’s SILK! For $5/yd! If I sewed with silk more often, I would have bought so much more but I contained myself! I’ve started buying fabric in place of objects as souvenirs when on vacation – so I’ll consider this my Oregon trip dress!
I also have to re-press the placket down, I see it’s peaking open in my photos! I finished this dress last night and made Drew wake up early to photograph my dress for the challenge deadline (today!). He’s a good sport.
Looking for some shirt dress inspiration? Check out the hashtag #sewtogetherforsummer on Instagram!