Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress

Looking to make something transitional from winter (California winter) to spring, I decided to make the Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress.  I recently made a button down shirt that I hated on myself, so a shirtdress isn't exactly setting myself up for success, is it? But  here we go!

I made the sleeved version, in a size 10.

The fabric I chose is a black and chartreuse printed cotton from Mood fabrics:

I'd describe it as a heavy-lightweight with a slightly stiff drape. It's heartier than typical shirting. It's a circuit board design, so a bit of novelty but in a chic colorway so it's not too juvenile (in my opinion). I bought 2 yards to make Tim a shirt, he didn't like it, so I bought an extra yard and decided I'd make a shirtdress, and that's how we got to this point.

The pattern is very well-drafted and quite simple to make. There are no darts, just pleats, 2 front and 2 back, on bodice and skirt.  There are no really tricky techniques, just a lot of steps.  I made this in about 4 hours, not including cutting time, and it was pretty relaxing.  The only changes I made were to NOT interface the facing - this fabric is a little heavier and I didn't think it was necessary, and I stand by that decision now that it's finished.  I also had some confusion with the sleeve cuff - it's finished, turned under, stitched down. Then the instructions are to turn it up on the right side 5 cm - but that would have shown my stitching and been very close to the serged edge.  So I just left it down. Maybe it's just my mistake or misunderstanding.

a breezy afternoon!

I wanted it close fitting, so I don't have a ton of ease across my back and shoulders, and if I made this in a stretch woven in this size it would probably be perfect.  It's not too tight to wear, but it is close fitting. If I made it in a lawn or challis I'd probably go up a size.

I like the lower v-neck. You can pretty much put the top button wherever fits your bust best.
The waistline is a bit high on me - this happens a lot. I know I am long waisted, but I'm also only 5'4" so I always figure it's not a big deal. But I guess I have the torso of a 6-footer. I might add an inch in the future.

I love the shape of it - and actually, I really love how it looks open/unbuttoned. I think it would make a great coat/jacket/coatdress/layering piece.  The pleats just give it a really smart fit and flare silhouette.  Here it is over jeans so you can see what I mean:

I may make this again in a suiting for fall and use it as a jacket/layering piece - maybe with full-length sleeves.  And I'm kind of thinking I'd like the sleeveless version for summer (update - yes, I just ordered fabric for a sleeveless version)! Who knew...After my disappointment with the SOI Heather dress, I've been pleased with my results with the Betty Dress and now this. I'm glad I gave this pattern a shot!


  1. Love this! The print is awesome, like the pleats and the overall shape, and wow- I would never have though of using that as a coat but it works well. Can't wait to see where else you take this design.


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