Tasia’s Alder Shirtdress: A Change From My Usual Style

Remember the green Nani Iro double gauze print I mentioned at the end of this post? I thought about making another Bleuet dress using this fabric, but then decided to try something different. With the big floral motifs, I wanted to use a design with less seams so they wouldn’t be chopped up into half-blooms across the princess seams.

I chose a popular pattern in sewing blog world: the Alder Shirtdress. When this pattern was released I wasn’t sure it was my style. I thought it was super cool and classic and simple, like all of the Grainline patterns, but not ‘me.’

I think it’s fun to try something outside your normal wardrobe style now and then. Especially if you sew! It’s a chance to practice new skills, try a new design and learn something new. If it works out, success! But if not it’s never a wasted experience. You always learn something with every project.

Short story: I made the Grainline Alder Shirtdress, I loved the sewing and construction of this pattern, I’m undecided on the final result.

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-5

I didn’t make a muslin. Shocking, I know! I usually do, and I was tracing out the pattern on a Friday here in the office, planning to make it from the Nani Iro double gauze. Marissa suggested that I go for it in the real fabric – at the end of the day, I’d have a new dress!

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-10

So I did. I cut the size that matches my bust, tapered out to a size that matches my waist, and tapered out three more sizes to the size that matched my hips. I aimed to keep the lines straight, not curvy, since the whole look of this dress is loose and swingy. I ended up taking out all of that extra I added at the hip, resulting in pretty much a straight size.

If you fit our Sewaholic Patterns size chart, and wanted to make this pattern, you’ll likely be able to cut a straight size according to your bust measurement. The bust does fit quite snugly, so don’t be tempted to choose a smaller size for a closer fit. It won’t give you a fitted look, it just won’t button up.

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-8

(Nice lighting in the late evening. Photo-taking tip of the day: prop your camera on a mailbox for face-level photos!)

This dress is all about the legs. Legs and arms. There’s absolutely no waist definition. Awesome when you know you’re going to eat a big meal, or perhaps you already did and need to switch out of skinny jeans. Because of this, good posture is really important if you want to avoid ‘bump’ rumours. I took lots of photos that made me look extra-maternity, which made me wonder, what do I look like when I’m not conscious of my posture?

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1

It’s very different from my usual style. It’s super comfortable to wear though, especially in the soft cotton double gauze. I tried belting it, but it looks better without. Best to own the A-line shape in this one and just go with it!

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-7

I have mixed feelings about whether it’s too cool for me, or not the right style for my body, or it’s just different. I am A-line shaped in a way, so it makes sense that a dress of this silhouette would work. You can see how straight the dress is cut when it’s hanging up.

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-9

I like where the print ended up. I didn’t want to match it and I didn’t want a mirror image on left and right front. The big ivory blooms alternate from side to side down the front. There’s a lot of flowers concentrated on the top and near the hem. I couldn’t have planned it better, in fact I didn’t do any planning except for making sure no one big flower ended up over the bust or bum.

I do have a big ivory flower ‘target’ on my back though. (Now that I’ve pointed it out it’s obvious, right? After I noticed it, it’s all I could see!)

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-4

The details on this pattern are really nice. The pockets have a cool angled shape to the top hem. The hem is curved nicely, I really like the shaped hemline here.

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-6

I used plain ivory voile for the armhole bias strips and that worked out well. Double gauze (my main fabric) has two layers of fabric, using something thinner made the binding process easy with flat, smooth results.

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-11

I haven’t sewn labels into my projects for a while, but remembered to add one here!

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-12

More notes on this project:

  • I like the pockets on this design. Even in a print, where they don’t stand out, it adds interest and makes it look finished.
  • You might not need to add length if you are short. I added 4″ (why so much, I’m not sure) and cut it all back off. It looks more appealing as a short dress, it looked overwhelming  on me when it was 4″ longer.
  • I prefer my method for attaching a collar. I followed the pattern directions but I wish I’d stuck with the method I like best. There’s no best or correct way to sew on a collar, it’s all a matter of preference. I prefer mine and no matter how many collar methods I try, I still have a clear favourite method.

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-3

Quite different from the fit of the Bleuet Dress (try to ignore the slip seams showing through!) You can also see the difference in where the collar sits. The collar is open on the green dress, fully buttoned on the pink dress.

bleuet shirt dress in pale pink linen-1-13

I think it’ll be great in winter, layered with jackets and sweaters. The collar looks great peeking out of sweaters. The hemline has a lovely shape and will look great with tights and boots, or under a long sweater.

alder shirtdress in nani iro-1-2

I’m 75% sold on this style on me. The other 25% wants to stick to my usual shape of defined waists and hourglass silhouettes. I’m not certain I’d sew it again, but that’s not a reflection of the pattern itself, just my own style preferences. It’s incredibly comfortable so I know I’ll wear it, either way!

, ,

75 Responses to Tasia’s Alder Shirtdress: A Change From My Usual Style

  1. Maria August 19, 2015 at 6:14 am #

    It’s a beautiful shirtdress—lovely color and print. Perhaps try belting it to give it more of a defined form?

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

      Thanks! I tried belting, but it made it even shorter with a lot of bunching around the waist. It might be better if I didn’t have a small waist in comparison to hips, but in my case, it ends up cinched in a lot and looks odd,

  2. Hanne August 19, 2015 at 6:29 am #

    I love the fabric of this dress! I was quite on the fence about the silhouet you picked so I went with version B with the full skirt (more in my comfort zone)
    However, Love your pairing of fabric and pattern!
    Also: your hair is fabulous. Welcome to the dip dye hair club ;-)

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

      Thank you! Love your dip-dye hair too, it’s such a fun way to try out coloured hair. I looked at your Alder Dress, it’s really cute! Hm, maybe I’ll have to try it as well!

  3. G August 19, 2015 at 7:00 am #

    I think higher shoes and a loose hip belt would go well with the dress…

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

      True, but I like to be able to run and walk and haul stuff, so I’m more often in flats or low shoes these days. These are surprisingly one of my highest heels.. things sure have changed! I used to wear 4″ heels all the time, not as much anymore. But I agree, that would make this look even more about the legs!

  4. Allie August 19, 2015 at 7:01 am #

    Um, 100% sold! I love it and think it looks great on you! The v-neck sweater is a great idea, too!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

      Thanks Allie!

  5. Sue August 19, 2015 at 7:27 am #

    I’m in love with this! and your hair. so good!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

      Ah thanks! Another fun change. :)

  6. Nayla August 19, 2015 at 7:43 am #

    I love the fabric you chose, but I’m not a fan of that silhouette. I’ve made a Grainline shirt and I found it made me look shapeless and slouchy. I can’t wait for this shapeless 80’s “fashion” to disappear. I much prefer Sewaholic patterns with the shaping and definition that makes them feminine. I also love Deer and Doe Bleuet dress. I can’t wait to make that!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

      Yes, if you like shapely silhouettes then you’ll want to choose something like the Bleuet Dress or our Nicola & Harwood dresses, something that features the waist rather than hides it. I think there will always be interest in loose and oversized silhouettes, they’re super comfortable and forgiving in case of weight fluctuations. Easier to sew and fit, too. It’ll probably never go away. :) I’m glad you like that our patterns often feature feminine shaping and definition, that’s great to hear!

  7. Kaoru Marie August 19, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    I’ve been hesitant to make this pattern for the same reasons. I’m so used to wearing dresses with much more defined waists so I totally get the whole “do I look pregnant?” concern. It looks really good on you and also with the sweater! I wouldn’t have thought this dress would work well in the winter, but you’ve changed my mind!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      Ha, yup! I’m in the age range where that’s a legitimate question people could ask or wonder. :) It’s a change to wear something with less waist definition but I tell you, it sure is comfortable!

  8. K-Line August 19, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    I think it looks great and it’s good to shake up one’s silhouette. If you always wear the same (albethey flattering) things, it gets boring.

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

      I agree, sticking to only one look is boring to wear and boring for people to look at. (Not that the point of getting dressed is for other people’s entertainment, but in a way, it’s part of the equation.)

  9. Jaime August 19, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    Super Cute! I think it looks great on you! The hasbeens (or whatever shoes you have on) really pull the look together. And I love the idea of throwing a sweater on overtop.

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

      Thanks! Yup, I think this will be an easy one to throw a sweater overtop.

  10. Kate McIvor August 19, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    Tasia — Dresses like the Alder don’t photograph well, but they look great when you’re moving in them. I love your version for both summer and winter. You will want to wear this dress a lot! Great job.

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

      That’s a good way of putting it, I always figure the camera tells the story more than my impression in the mirror, but neither considers movement. Thanks for the fresh viewpoint!

    • Jane August 19, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

      Oh yes this is exactly what I was thinking when looking at the photos! There can be a big difference between static photos and the reality of a garment on a moving body, particularly when there’s not much fitting like this. I think it’s lovely on you. I can understand that you would be right in the ‘is she or isn’t she?’ demographic though, especially when it’s not your usual silhouette! No helpful hints there I’m afraid, except maybe accessorise with a beer and some soft cheese :D

  11. Shannon August 19, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    This is so pretty – I love the fabric! I remember seeing it in Spool of Thread a while ago (I think… it looks familiar anyways) and being really tempted to buy it. I’m not sure why I didn’t… I probably thought it was too expensive, but all the fabric I’ve bought there have been definitely worth it.

    I feel the same way about this pattern – I love the lines, but I’m not sure it’s really my style. I think it looks great on you, but I know how sometimes a dress just doesn’t feel right. I especially love it with the sweater, though! So perfect for fall.

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      Yup, it is from Spool of Thread! Ages ago, I believe back in 2011. It is a bit expensive but it’s so very soft, and the prints and colours are interesting. I know I’ll wear this dress, just because it is so comfortable and soft!

  12. Anne August 19, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    I’m just as ambivalent as you! If it was my dress I would pin out some back darts and see how you feel about it then.

    I’ve personally found the problem with this style is that it needs a shorter hemline to offset the looser shape, which ends up highlighting the legs of whomever is wearing it. And like many other pear shaped women, I don’t consider my legs and thighs my best feature! So if I wear something loosely fitted I usually make it in to a longer length shirt rather than a traditional dress, and wear it as unbuttoned as possible with slim (but not tight) dark colored pants and 3″ heels.

    I agree that it is good to try sewing a different style every so often, even if it doesn’t turn out the way you originally envisioned. At least you can say you tried!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      You’ve pinpointed exactly what happens when I try this sort of style – I think, I better lengthen it to not show as much leg. Then it loses its coolness, so I hem it short again. It is all about the legs in this one. Maybe in winter with tights, it’ll be better? I don’t mind my legs so much in tights.

      I think I could do the longer-shirt-over-pants look with this one! Maybe I’ll try that. And yes, it’s always fun to try something new, you never know what might be surprisingly flattering until you try it on!

  13. Jaclyn August 19, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    I think the dress is beautiful–lovely fabric choice for the style. But, I’m with you–not too sure about the silhouette. At least, I know that I would be frustrated by the lack of shape if I were wearing it. I really like the last photo with the sweater over it, though–I think that gives it just the right amount of definition! And lets you get a little more use out of it, too. (I live in Montana, so sleeveless summer dresses have a very limited season–and I’m sure Vancouver is much the same!)

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      I know right? It’s such a popular design, I’m betting the comfort aspect has a lot to do with it. And the pattern is enjoyable to sew. In Vancouver, sleeveless dresses have a short window too but I prefer them to sleeved dresses in winter – you never know who’s house will have heat blasting, and it’s easier to layer a cardigan or sweater over a sleeveless dress than one with sleeves. So yes to sweaters!

  14. Lidia August 19, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    This is a lovely dress with a vibrant pattern, and it looks lovely on you.

    I know the feeling of wearing something I like, but that isn’t my usual shape tried and true shape. Angie — a stylist whose blog is called youlookfab, calls this concept “waist surrendering” — she means that sometimes, you may want to wear traditionally figure flattering shapes (for you) , and other times it is fun to step out of a comfort zone — in the name of trying a new trend, style, or just having something different.

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

      I love that! Waist Surrendering. That’s an apt description of how it feels. I surrender my waistline to this dress! :) Clothing is supposed to be fun as well as practical and so this advice makes sense to me.

  15. Stefanie August 19, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    I really like the dress, more of a casual/comfortable look, but I adore it with the sweater on top – I think it will be perfect for the cooler months and layered!!!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

      Thanks – I agree, the sweater will take it well into fall and winter months! A taupe open-front cardigan would be nice as well.

  16. nothy lane August 19, 2015 at 10:44 am #

    I love it – the colour, the fabric, the shape…it looks really nice. And i like it with the tan sweater on too.

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm #


  17. Ofer August 19, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    “I was tracing out the pattern on a Friday here in the office”. I am so jealous that you build your life in a way that you can (and even should) sew at work! and the fabric is beautiful! the dress is so lovely with the sweater!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

      It’s pretty awesome, even though I have a hard time letting go of my to-do list and enjoying sewing for pleasure! I have to tell myself out loud, most of the work stuff can wait till Monday. Of course it is easier now that I have Sandra’s and Marissa’s help, when it was just me work had to always, always come first. I listen to Marie Forleo’s videos and her advice is all about crafting a business *and* life that you love – not just creating the business part and forgetting to have a life!

  18. Christine August 19, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    OMG this is incredibly adorable Tasia!!! I totally get that when you try a new shape it feels not so “you” sometimes, but trust me that this is crazy cute on you! And I think you’re right that layered with sweaters, cardigans, or boots for the winter it will be a great staple!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

      Thanks, Christine! It’s nice to hear that it looks good to your eyes! I think a cardigan and boots would make this excellent for winter weather – and make it a little more ‘me’ in the process!

  19. Krista August 19, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    I love it. I also have a Nani Iro dress that’s about this length. I wear it all the time and love how soft this fabric is.

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

      It’s so soft!

  20. Jana August 19, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    I love the dress, and I love it on you! I made an even more A-line dress at the beginning of the summer, from a stiffer fabric, and it makes me look a lot more “extra-maternity” than this one makes you look. But it’s comfortable and I think it’s great fun—and why shouldn’t I wear something I like just because it might not be the most “flattering”? So, I say, don’t worry about possibly looking pregnant, wear it a few more times and see whether you get used to the new silhouette! (:

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

      Agreed! There’s so much emphasis on ‘flattering your figure’ – not that I disagree, who wouldn’t want to choose things that are generally seen as attractive to the world? and be seen as more attractive in return? It’s fun to try something new and find a way to make it work within your comfort zone. I like this dress with a sweater and I like it best when I’m sitting up straight. :) I think it’ll also be more ‘me’ with tights, I’m more comfortable wearing shorter skirt lengths with tights.

  21. Jenny August 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    I felt about my first Alder much the same as you do about yours… and now I have three and love them all! I think we all have preconceived ideas about what suits us and what doesn’t but I really think it’s more a matter of what we’re used to seeing on ourselves. Personally I think this looks great on you so I hope you persevere wearing it. I also wear mine layered with long or half sleeves underneath which I think works quite well

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

      I looked at your blue one when I was making mine! It’s cute on you. See, it’s funny what we think looks good on us and what other people think.

  22. nicole August 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

    I actually really like this on you and have to agree with the comment Kate made about these type garments looking better when your moving in them.
    You have such a good eye for picking colours that flatter your skin/hair etc this green is so lovely on you :-)

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

      Thank you! I’ve been leaning towards a lot of green lately, must be thinking about Fall!

  23. Helen August 19, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    I really like it, and I agree with some of the other commenters that it’s good to mix things up a bit by trying silhouettes. I’ve made two Alder dresses – the “bum ruffle’ version and same one as yours and they both got lots of wear during our hot Australian summer. A warning though – the one with the ruffle is a bit hazardous to wear on a windy day! :http://funkbunnysgarden.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/alder-number-1-ive-joined-teambumruffle.html

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      Your ruffle version is so cute! Thanks for sharing the link :)

  24. Heather August 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    I think it’s just different than your normal style. I would give it some time. It looks really lovely on you – a swingy summer dress! That fabric is gorgeous too!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks! It’s very swingy and comfortable to wear.

  25. Hannah August 19, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    Ah this is gorgeous Tasia!!! I’m the same as you – I am a pear/ hourglass (I do have the big shoulders too…), and so usually wear things that really emphasise my smaller waist. Recently though I’ve been trying to branch out with shift dresses – like the Colette Laurel. At first it felt really odd having so much room around my waist, but it also feels really chic and comfy! Plus I hemmed my dress super short to show off a lot of leg! Heh. I agree that it’s sometimes good to go for a different style – you might just be surprised!
    I’ve actually got some similar Nani Iro that I think I’m going to use for a loose-ish dress. You’ve inspired me!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

      It does feel odd having so much space around the waist. I haven’t tried the Laurel but I can imagine it would have the same effect! Choosing a loose fitting style for the Nani Iro fabric is a good decision, as it’s a bit delicate and you wouldn’t want to have the seams under any strain, I’d say.

  26. Kaitlyn August 19, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    I get what you mean about the silhouette, I don’t think it suits you as well as a lot of other things. But good on you for trying something new. I actually think it looks best with the sweater, so maybe keep it as a layering dress for winter?

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Works out well since it’s sweater weather most of the year, more than sleeveless dress weather! :)

  27. Jessica August 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    I like it!! The fabric is a really nice choice for the pattern. I’ve made an Alder myself and although I was a little ambivalent about the way it looks in the mirror, truthfully I find myself wearing it quite a bit. It’s a cotton-linen blend, so cool in the heat but non-wrinkly, and I find the style works well for my life – I feel put together (enough) without feeling overly dressed up, it’s super comfortable, the looseness is great in the heat, the pockets keep surprising me in their usefulness, and I never have to think about what I’m wearing when I’m wearing it (if that makes sense). It’s like the best kind of no-brainer dressing, and I find myself not caring that it’s not *the* most flattering thing on me. It’s flattering and chic enough, and I feel comfortable in my skin when I wear it, which is all I really care about.

    Of course, that said, I’m not pear shaped and my waist is not nearly as small as yours, so you might feel differently :-). [Hence grading from a 6/8 bust to a 2 at the hip!]

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      The looseness IS great in the heat, when you don’t want anything touching your skin! I also feel like I’ll wear it more than I expect, just because it is so very comfortable and I like the colour.

  28. Tina August 19, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

    Love the fabric not sure about the style, You have tried belting it and it wasn’t a success how about side ties so you can pull it in a little to give it a little shaping?

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      I think I’d have the same problem as belting it – too much material across the back and a dress that ends much shorter than I’d like!

  29. Susannah August 19, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

    I think the fabric is nice but I have to admit, being the same figure type and height as you, the style is hiding your best bits and doesn’t necessarily flatter, ooh I’m sorry if that sounds bad or blunt but I am being honest, how I see it. The colour, the fabric, your beautiful sewing all lovely. It’s just the style. The top, great, but if the skirt had a more bias feel and clung to the hips and flowed over the back curve a bit, awesome. I think that’s why it might feel maternity as it is aline at the side not the front! A touch longer with wedges too would be good. Love the sandals you’re wearing. I always think as you’re putting a garment on, you just ‘know’, almost straight away and if you need convincing to change that instinct, it’s just.not quite right and don’t buy! That’s what worries me when choosing patterns, all that effort but will it be right in the end, do I risk my hard work… Many times I’ve been disappointed that the end result won’t work…. I blame my awkward sway back and derriere!

    • Tasia August 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

      I’m totally open to critique on my projects, whether it’s the end result, or technique suggestion, or a tip for next time! It’s OK to say something’s not flattering in your opinion. Doesn’t bug me at all, I’ve had the same thoughts of ‘does this actually look good, or what’ and the point of a blog is sharing and discussion. Especially if the blogger has already said they weren’t certain about the end result.

      Longer length was way less flattering when I tried it – a few in the mirror photos confirmed my suspicions! I feel like you need to see the knees in a style like this. It’s not the most flattering thing I’ve ever made but perhaps with this one, that’s not the point of the dress. (It’s for buffet days and all-you-can-eat sushi days where a snug waist would slow me down. :) )

      I am enjoying the discussion on this project though – what’s flattering? what’s our style comfort zone and do we experiment with styles outside that zone? Lots to consider.

  30. Laura August 19, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    I think it looks lovely. It’s a nice shape, it’s well fitting and it looks comfortable and wearable. Plus the fabric is really cute. I’d call it a success!!

  31. Andrea August 19, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    I am a classic hour glass as well and usually stick to waisted designs. Yours are among my favourites. I wasn’t instantly sold on my version of this dress when I made it but it has grown on me. One of the options I was tempted to try was adding darts to the back but this never aventuated. For the spring I have made up but haven’t yet blogged, the full skirt version. Surpisingly enough I think I like this version better even though it is a little shapeless.

  32. Sewer August 19, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    I think it fits well and is flattering. But I don’t like the hem of the Alder. I would never make it, but if I did, I’d change the hem to a straight one, or at least make the shirt hem symmetrical.

  33. Jen August 20, 2015 at 1:35 am #

    The fabric is so beautiful and it looks good! I too really like the Alder Shirtdress but didn’t think it was really me. I’ve seen some wear it with a belt so I think if I made one, I’d opt for that.

  34. Suzanne August 20, 2015 at 1:55 am #

    this looks great Tasia – it’s such a different look for you but I’m loving it!!! I too struggled with the “arms and legs” concept of this pattern at first and then tried the alternate option (cut a size based on finished measurements that were closer to my actual waist measurements) for a more structured look and I LOVED it. So much so that I’ve put a ban on sewing myself any more or buying stash fabric for it!!! It’s also one of those dresses that I’ve made a million times for friends and family (almost more than your lonsdale, but not quite!) of all different shapes and sizes!!!

  35. Lisa G August 20, 2015 at 5:46 am #

    I think this turned out beautifully! It is hard to surrender the waist definition, but sometimes it’s freeing. I have made this Alder dress and usually just wear it as is (I did add small fisheye darts to the back). In the fall I wear a wrap cardigan with it and it looks really great together! I have considered adding an external casing at the waist and putting in a drawstring to pull it in a little, but still not cinch it entirely. I think it’s a fun dress, and really no one is looking at your waist (or lack thereof) when so much leg is on show!

  36. mari August 20, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    I think sewing other kinds of dresses is quite liberating. It adds a different take to ones wardrobe. I have sewn dresses with no waist definition. I have an hourglass shape, so this was a bit hard for me. But once I did, I feel so comfortable in the dresses that are just a-line tunics.

    Your dress looks comfortable…but you are right, posture is truly the key here.

    Thank you so much for sharing :0)


  37. Joen August 20, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    I love it with the sweater! I have this pattern and my fabric washed and ready to go thanks for the fitting tips I will keep them in mind. I was thinking that it would also be great over a swim suit, my daughter and I like to go to the beach then grab a bite to eat after so I thought it would be perfect for that. However, now that I see it with the sweater I think it will also transition into fall rather easily boots and leggings here I come.

  38. Jennifer Gill August 21, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Wow! I love the fabric, love the pattern and all the features. You just gave me an idea for a dress pattern.

    Although I don’t wish to disagree, the flower on the back does not look like a target at all.

    You look gorgeous in this dress.

    – Jennifer

  39. Renée August 21, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    A great dress. I also shy away from this silhouette as I’m pear shaped and I find a straight line from my chest to my hips is not very flattering. While it might not be your usual style, I think it turned out really cute and looks quite nice on you. Not every garment has to emphasize your waist or match a certain ideal. Looks like it would be perfect for the last hot days of summer.
    I have view B with the gathers cut out and waiting for my post-pregnancy body as it’s a bit closer to my usual silhouette while still being a bit different.

  40. Jo August 22, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    Tasia, I think the dress looks great. It looks to me like it will come into its own with the sweater or cardigan layered over the top – you look so comfortable in that photo, and I get the feeling you might find yourself wearing a similar combination quite often. I’m also a sucker for sticking to fit-and-flare dresses with a defined waist, and high waisted skirts to give the same effect, and had been sceptical as to whether this pattern would do me any good… but paired with a sweater, I think I might be sold!

  41. Roisin August 24, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    I really like this Tasia, and I think it looks really cool and very cute. I have been talking myself in and out of making the Alder for ages – I always go for dresses with fitted waists and usually full skirts, but recently something in me has been attracted to these looser and wider silhouettes. I made a Xerea dress by Pauline Alice and it felt like a complete style shift for me, and although I feel pretty great in the dress when I wear it, I just don’t like how it looks in photographs. It’s hard to tell if it’s flattering or not, and whether that matters. I think I need to keep experimenting though – it might just be a case of getting used to how you look when you begin to look slightly different. I had the same sense of discomfort when I started wearing my glasses all the time – it took ages for me to get used to how I looked with them on!

  42. karen August 31, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    i think you’re right – you just have to embrace the loose-cut. you don’t look at all maternity in this, and it looks particularly smashing with the sweater! i would have thought it would be too bulky, but it adds some lovely definition, and makes this a year-round piece. clever!

  43. Sonja September 7, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    I love this on you! It’s so pretty! It doesn’t look maternity at all! I think it just takes a bit of getting used to whenever you try a new shape. I hope you decide you like this because it really is gorgeous!

  44. Jessica September 30, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    I love everything about it; I think it’s gorgeous on you! The silhouette is relaxed and flowing but it doesn’t look sloppy or overwhelming on your frame.

    I’m currently pregnant and was considering this for something I could wear before and after baby. But after seeing your version, I think I’d have to alter it…you say it can accommodate a big meal, but I think a baby might be pushing it.

    You ask if it looks “too maternity…” I’m thinking, I wish it looked a little MORE maternity!

  45. Jen June 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    I love your version of this dress—the fabric choice is just perfect! I feel that the floral pattern adds a little femininity where the looseness of the style could hide some of that, seems like you found a good balance.

    It’s funny that you mention wanting to keep yourself from bump rumors. I actually bought this pattern to make after having a baby because I thought it might be a bit more forgiving as I learn to sew for my new figure (plus, I thought the buttons would make it possible to both wear a dress and modestly feed the wee one), haha!

    While a little less form fitting is something I was going for, I also am a bit unsure about this style. I would like to show my figure a little bit. I was thinking of maybe adding back darts… Any chance you might have some advice on how to accomplish this (I have never added back darts to a project)?