Alders for Spring

Hi everyone!

Lately I’ve been churning out Spring appropriate clothes in anticipation of warmer weather. Today was one of the first bare-legs days so far, so I twisted Ben’s elbow and we hit the streets to get pics of two of my newest Grainline Alder dresses.

Grainline Alder

This first one seemed quite popular when I posted an in-progress shot to Instagram and I think that’s all down to the amazing fabric, which is a gorgeous medium-weight cotton that I bought at Tessuti on a visit to Melbourne last month. It has a fantastic geometric pattern that I think looks quite cool broken up across the Alder style lines. With a full-on print like this I don’t think you can go past self covered buttons, so I had some made at Hawes and Freer. I like the way they blend in while still providing an opportunity for some extra print placement fun.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

For this view B version I cut a size four and lengthened the hem by about an inch, as well as raising the bust darts a little as they sit a bit low on me. Originally I sewed the pockets on but removed them after determining that too much was going on. I’ve been wearing this with my favourite new cardi, which has proved to be super versatile and is featuring in most of my outfits at the moment!

Grainline alder

My view A denim Alder came about on a bit of a whim, as its my belief that since sewing is my favourite hobby I’ll sew what I want, when I want, otherwise the fun might diminish! Anyway it was very enjoyable to make and I am surprised by how much I love the finished dress – I thought that I preferred the view A gathered style but I’ve really fallen for this one.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

The denim that I used for this is a lovely medium weight. I’m not sure if it’s technically denim or more of a thick chambray, but either way I’m into it. I used some nice black metal buttons that I got from a wholesaler, and I really like the way that they look with this fabric. Looking at the photo below I wonder if I should have played with the shoulder slope a bit, but I’m not too worried about it – I’ll definitely wear it even if it has some shoulder wrinkles.

Grainline Alder

Grainline Alder

I used a scrap of Japanese quilting cotton for the inner yoke and the armhole bias binding. I love the way it looks!

Grainline Alder

I’m so happy with how these two dresses are fitting into my wardrobe, they seem to go with everything. Right before I made these I sewed up another view B Alder in a gorgeous dark navy cotton with a textured stripe, and it’s been on high rotation. I would show it here on the blog but I’m not sure that photos would accurately depict the fabric, and at this point I don’t think I need to blog a fifth Alder! You can see my previous two versions from last year here and here.

How about you guys, are you sewing for the new season?



  1. Excellent use of japanese fabric, a reminder to make the innards pretty. I also must thank you for reminding me that lace ups needn’t make me look like a dag! Gorgeous wearable dresses Bella. x

  2. They look great on you and I can understand why they became your wardrobe staples! I like the Japanese cotton fabric, it looks like honeycomb 🙂 It’s incredible how each fabric changes the mood of this shirt-dress! Why won’t you make more? Among my winter crafting plans are a coat, a few sweater dresses and some knitting.

    1. Ha you never know, there could be more in my future! I can see this pattern being a classic for me for many years. I’m looking forward to seeing your coat, I just bought some coat fabric despite it being Spring here… Maybe I will sew along with you northerners.

  3. They both look great but I love the print on the first dress! Also, weird coincidence over here on the other side of the planet: I have that same Japanese cotton that you used on the inner yoke.

  4. It will come as no surprise how much I love both of these. I also have a denim View B (straight skirt) and adore it – also surprising as I wasn’t convinced before it was made. And that geo!!!! Oh my I need to go back and make the ruffle bum version. So great!

    1. Thanks Jillian! Yep it’s a pretty great pattern. I think that the two views are surprisingly different, and I’ve made one with a mandarin collar which gives it a whole new feel too. I hope you give the ruffled version a go!

  5. I love both alders. I do love the gathered version, and the fabric you’ve chosen is lovely. The chambray/denim one is fab too, especially with the japanese fabric for facing. Lovely! We’re going into autumn/winter here so thinking of making a wrap knit dress for Christmas.

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