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?

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?