Alder Shirtdress


I’m back with some sewing, and some questionable dance moves.


My sister Sachi took these photos while we were out hitting the shops, and the only ones that are even slightly in focus are the ones where I’m doing something silly. Since I figured that most people who look at this blog come to see sewing projects, I thought I’d sacrifice a bit of pride in exchange for slightly better garment photos!

You might recognize this pattern as being the cool new Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studio. Grainline patterns are some of my favourite. The simplicity of design, great drafting and super instructions make for a very enjoyable sewing experience. I had lots of fun making this and it was a great way to get back into sewing after my knitting hiatus!


The fabric I chose for this is a print from the Liberty archives, called Achilles. Funnily enough, it’s not the colour I ordered (I had intended to purchase the blue version), however red is fine with me too. At first I thought it was a bit zany but I’m OK with it now. As usual, I purchased it online from Shaukat.

Here is the one good photo I have that really shows the print in detail:


In terms of the pattern itself, I made up a quick toile but ultimately made no adjustments, sewing View A in a straight size 2. Although you can’t really tell because of the busyness of the print, I did add two patch pockets at the bust, and used self-covered buttons, which I had made at a great place here in Auckland called Hawes and Freer. I am really pleased with the result!

Of course, it’s winter here, so not really an appropriate time to be sewing light cotton dresses. However I was too excited about this pattern to be bothered by the weather, and it made a fun ensemble with tights and a cardigan.


I don’t have a lot more to say about this dress, except that I am really happy with it and will be making more soon. I think my next version will be view B with the gathered skirt. I have several fabric candidates in my stash so it’s just a matter of choosing one!

What do you think, will you be trying this pattern?




  1. I really like your dancing: it is nothing like an average blog picture! Please keep on exploring your creativity in both sewing- and photo-related areas! Congratulations on the fine execution of front pockets. If you did not mention it, I would have never guessed they are there.

    1. Thanks Inna! So glad you like the dancing. It is definitely more reflective of my personality than the usual stand-and-smile…. And way more fun to do!

    1. Thanks a bunch! Yep it’s pretty soft. Just wait til you see the print I’ve selected for my next one…. Neutral it is not! Think I need to take a cue from your lovely navy number!

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