Oh Jen of Grainline Studio… I heart you forever and ever for giving the world this pattern. The Alder Shirtdress. I’m having trouble forming sentences about how I feel about it. Alder. Shirtdress. Me. Make. Love. Cookie. Oops…got a little off-track there.
I made view A, since I don’t love the idea of gathering around the hip area. The fabric is a Michael Miller pindot cotton in a citron color from Fabric.com (it’s still in stock), and the color and print make me so stinkin’ happy. Frankly I don’t think I’ve ever worn yellow before, but I’m digging it. I paired it with some cream colored wooden buttons that I found at…uuuhhhh…I have no idea. Somewhere in New York. That was helpful.
This was my first attempt at making a collar, which terrified me. I did ok on one side, but the second side is a little wonky. But not wonky enough to me that big of a deal. (Since making this dress I’ve been pointed to Andrea’s collar tutorial, (thank you Sonja!) and her technique is absolutely the way to go, by the way.)
This was also my first time making adjustments to my paper pattern pieces after fitting myself with a muslin version. I’ve been reading up on how to do it for ages, but have been seriously chicken. With this project I was too excited about the pattern to allow lousy fitting, (it was really gaping all over the place on the yoke and the upper section of the back piece,) so I just forced myself to dive in. And I’m SO happy I did, because now I’m thrilled with how the upper back fits me. Like a glove.
I’m seriously petite, with every single one of my measurements being at least a half-inch smaller/shorter than a “normal” person of my clothing size, so there were A LOT of adjustments. But that said, it’s no fault of the pattern. I could tell that if I was not a petite size, it wouldn’t have needed many adjustments at all.
(In case you’re petite too, and considering making this dress, I’ll list the adjustments I made at the bottom of this post.)
So… this photo shoot. For your amusement, imagine if you will our socially awkward building super, standing just outside the shot, staring at us while holding a gigantic pink mattress. SO AWKWARD. I spent the shoot muttering to myself… justignorehimjustignorehimjustignorehim.
(All photos by Mercer Street Photography)
So there she is! So cute right?? I may have to make about 17 more of these. ASAP. The only thing I want to address fit-wise is the excess fabric in the back around my waist…and I have no idea how to fix it. I feel like it’s just not that flattering when the fabric is fairly crisp like this one, to have it bunching up so much back there. See the photo below? Ok, you’re right… it doesn’t look awful in this shot, but I just don’t love it in person.
I’m not sure how to fix that, because I don’t want to remove volume from the bottom or top of that piece… just the middle. I don’t really want to curve the side seam in on the back piece…No idea. Anyone?
The Alder is the most amazing dress for NYC living, because the wind tunnel thing we’ve got goin’ on here can’t lift the dress up. SCORE. Granted, I still need to be really careful bending down to help Sadie with things or get her in and out of the stroller, but for schlepping all over the city on foot it’s perfect.
Love. Love. Love. Here are a couple of detail shots fer ya…
Here are the adjustments I made to the pattern pieces, in case you’re still with me here and might need to make a bunch of petite adjustments yourself…
-removed 6/8″ width out of back and yoke pieces by slashing/overlapping vertically twice at 3/8″ each
-raised pockets 1″
-raised dart points a bit (angling them up), redrawing the side seams to line up
-slashed/overlapped back piece horizontally, just below where it attaches to yoke, removing 1/2″ at outer edge, fading to 1/4″ at CB
-raised bottom of armhole 1/2″
-took in side seams on front and back pieces by 1/2″ starting at waist curve
-shortened shoulder seam by 1/2″
-shortened at the lengthen/shorten line by 1″
-took 1/2″ out of yoke pattern piece by slashing/overlapping at a slight diagonal, 2″ below the shoulder seam, from the neckline to the armhole, fixing the shapes of both afterward
-lessened the extreme dip of the hem on both front and back pattern pieces by about 1″ at the lowest points, blending in with the original shape as it reaches the highest points of the hemline
Phew. That was a lot.