Well, you were warned. I seriously love this Alder Shirtdress pattern. It’s really “me”, which adds so much joy to the sewing process for me, because I know it’s not gonna languish in the back of my closet, unworn. I started cutting out my second version while the citron pindot dust from my first version was still settling in my sewing room. I am definitely seeing the allure of making a TNT (tried and true) pattern multiple times, because man is it quick and easy when you already have pattern pieces cut and altered! (I did a ton of alterations to make it a perfect petite fit… if you’re looking for those alterations, click here.)
This time I used a medium weight Kaufman linen blend from Fabric.com. It’s a gorgeous aqua color that looks like nothing I already have in my closet. It almost looks like it’s glowing a little bit, which I love. I chose to sew view A again, and decided to jump right in without figuring out that issue I had with the excess fabric pooling in the back, just because I was feeling impatient. The good news is that I got a fabulous tip from Oona to pull up the back of the dress a smidge from the shoulder seam, which can often fix the problem. I tested it out and it absolutely works. Amazing. It’s too late to alter either of my completed dresses, but I’ve altered my pattern piece so for Alder #3 I’ll be all set. Yeehaw.
The only thing I did differently this time around was using Andrea’s collar technique instead of the order of construction on the pattern directions. HALLELUJAH. I’m forever indebted to the lovely Sonja for that tip. And to Andrea herself of course. The collar looks flawless, thanks to this non-fiddly method that’s kind of fool-proof, as long as you’re not watching season 4 of the Sopranos while you’re working. Which I would of course never do. Obviously.
I kept Sadie busy with several packages of fruit snacks while I browsed for buttons at M&J Trimmings here in NYC, and I’m thrilled with the ones I picked. I also chose a thread that’s a teeny bit lighter than my fabric, and am really thrilled with how it looks. I like that you can see the top stitching when you’re close to the garment, without it being high contrast, and I think the buttonholes look adorable with the thread being slightly lighter. I fixed a weird tension issue that I had with my last buttonholes, so these ones definitely turned out slicker looking.
Here’s the dress!
(All photos by Mercer Street Photography)
I wore this dress to a dinner party last night, and actually told my husband that I think this may be my favorite thing in my closet! I need to make myself step away from this pattern now and go do something else, before I use every fabric in my stash to make a closet full of Alders. Walk away Aspen. Walk away.