A Shirt Dress

The dress of the summer has been one I bought from Whistles on a cold grey day in April. It’s been worn with tights and a vest for cold days, leggings for slightly chilly days and just as it is on really hot days. It’s been to the office, up mountains, to dinner and everywhere inbetween.

This is a picture of us at Montserrat just outside Barcelona in 32 degree heat.


The only problem with the dress has been that it was not made out of very good quality fabric – a viscose, polyamide mix according to the label. It’s very light and floaty but a bit itchy and has developed a shine in a couple of places.

There is only one answer to this and that is to copy it! Copying most of it was fairly straight forward but the front has big pockets sewn into the dart line, a placket and a deep pleat which made it a bit difficult to trace.


Muslin number 1 had some strange pulls across the front. But muslin number 2 was almost perfect.  The linen came from Ditto fabrics. It looks white in the pictures but is actually silver. When it arrived it was very silver and Gill warned me that some would come off.   She was quite right and now it has a lovely slightly battered look that linen should have, rather than the full on bling it arrived as.

img_1977Of course now it is turning into Autumn I can’t see that I will wear this much before next year so I am busy making a second out of black pinstripe wool.

Have you ever copied a dress you love? Did it work out?




11 thoughts on “A Shirt Dress

  1. Silvery linen sounds perfect for new year’s imo. Don’t need to wait until next summer to use it. Gorgeous dress, and we’ll done copying it. Most copying I’ve done is with tees. Why try a new pattern you’re not sure fits across the shoulders/bust/whatever, when you can copy a garment that fits and you love.

  2. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to recreate favourites? I copied some jeans and even tweaked those to be exactly what I wanted. Your dress looks fabulous, and I’m sure a wool version will be really useful for cooler weather.

  3. hi Jane! Love the dress. Incidentally I was thinking about something similar recently and stumbled onto a beautiful pattern from Liesl&Co that looks a lot like this dress. Not that you need it, you have done a wonderful job at tracing it.

    I have traced a couple of garments before, and so far been happy with the results but nothing as complex as this dress. I’m so impressed!

  4. Ah, the Lola dress. This dress caught my eye some time ago, but I just couldn’t spend nearly £100 on such a simple dress. How wrong was I! Clearly worth every penny. Many times I have copied a RTW. I love to sew, but don’t love so much, fitting, so this is an ideal way to go for me. I always have to totally unpick the original garment however. I know some get the pattern by draping over, but I find this too difficult.

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