The shirtdress

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Is there any type of garment more magical than a dress? With, maybe, the coat, the dress is the only garment that really draws a silhouette. Other types of clothes have to work together to compose a silhouette, an ensemble _ only the dress is self-sufficient. I didn’t wear any during a long time: as a teenager I might have worn a few skirts, or dresses over trousers, under sweaters (eeek). I retrospectively wonder wether I was ready to give them all the importance they deserved. 

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Lisette plaid traveler dress - Carlotta Stermaria

Salvation came with the shirtdress. A light, easy-going, unpretentious garment, somewhere between the ubiquitous plain shirt and the familiar nightdress, with an added charm, or zest _ maybe the easiness with which it lends itself to unbuttoning. I love the shirtdress because it always makes me feel so dressed up, but just a few buttons away from nudity, which I love.

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So it was about time I tried my hand at a shirtdress. I did french seams all over it, except for the armholes, which are covered with navy biais tape. I covered the gathers at the waist with red biais tape, using invisible handstitches. The plaid was carefully matched (I now realize the pictures don’t show it too clearly), and I used my vintage buttons stash for the first time with these white porcelain buttons, lined on the white lines of the plaid.

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I think it might be my favorite dress. I love its soft fabric (maybe it’s Madras?), its colors, its fitted and flared figure, but also the fact that well, it seems that I’m now capable of making one of these “magical” garments. How about that?

Light-filled pictures by Madhya.

2 thoughts on “The shirtdress

    1. Thank you ! And yes, it was made from the Lisette traveler dress pattern, but I gathered a rectangle for the skirt. If you have difficulties finding the Lisette pattern, You could also use the Cami dress pattern for a similar effect – I made it once and liked it very much, too!

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