Thursday, July 10, 2014

Denim Shirt Dress: Simplicity 2246

My love for shirt dresses continues. I have wanted a Winter denim shirt dress for a while, and now I have one!
For this, I used a very popular Simplicity Lisette pattern, the Traveller Dress - Simplicity 2246. Oliver & S patterns are known for their wonderful instructions, so I did expect something different from this pattern which is drafted by the same designer, but the instructions are stock standard Simplicity type. That's OK for me, but I thought they might be different to cater to beginner sewers.

I wasn't a fan of the mock collar and stand on the dress, so drafted my own true collar and stand as I prefer how they sit. I used a cotton/rayon, black spot remnant for the stand and button band facing for a little interest.

I omitted the pockets as they didn't look as clean and crisp as I'd have liked. I added proper cuffs to the dress, as full sleeves make it easier to wear a cardigan or jacket over a dress in Winter. I also added sleeve tabs for rolling sleeves, and belt loops so I don't need to wear my belt tight.

I made a straight size 10, my standard size (though my measurements always put me between a 12 -14) and it fits perfectly, surprisingly perfectly, though I wouldn't want the hips any smaller. The fabric is a light-weight, 4oz denim from Kelani Fabric and was just delightfully soft to work with, though I may not have washed it enough before wearing this dress as my hands were a little 'smurf-like' toward the evening yesterday.
When I read Carolyn's post a little while ago about paying attention to the finishing on our home sewn garments, I could help but connect to her words for the wrong reasons. I only own 4 serger thread colours and don't often pay the best attention to the inner finishing of the garments I make. I know! Tut tut! :) So thinking of her words, I took my time with this dress to make it special. In total this dress took one and a half weeks to complete, slow and steady and not at all rushed. I flat felled all the seams (a first!) and really took my time to ensure the whole finish of the dress is very neat and crisp.When I look at this dress now, it makes me happy and I'm surprised by how smooth flat felled seams are to wear. There will be more of them in the future.

My only complaint with this frock is that the hem is probably half an inch too short, and although I thought dipping the hem at the back would be a good idea, I don't like it, so I will be re-hemming this frock.

I'm very satisfied with this make and very proud of the finish. I also have another shirt dress cut and ready to sew tonight, because I just couldn't help myself and bought the Alder dress pattern and whipped out some new Liberty - yum!!!

Pattern: Simplicity 2246, purchased on sale $3
Fabric: 1.8m lightweight 4oz denim from Kelani Fabric: $34.20
Buttons: Many!! from Tessuti only 20c each!! What a miracle! $2
Buttons: two from the stash for the cuffs, as I didn't have enough matching ones: free??
Thread: 2 spools!! $6
Total: $47.20


  1. Very cool dress, I especially love the dipped hem which is funny that you don't! Great perseverance on all those buttons too

  2. I love this dress and the dipped hem. You have the legs girl!

  3. Great dress! I love a good winter dress. I get so tired of wearing jeans and tights to keep warm. By the way, I love the length on you and the dipped hem looks fabulous!

  4. You did a wonderful job making this dress...I think the hem is really nice, but understand that you have to like it...

  5. Very stylish shirt-dress and the contrast cuffs look great.

  6. What a great dress. All the details sound wonderful.

  7. Great dress! All the details look fabulous especially the sleeve tabs. I really like the dipped hem!

  8. This is such a nice silhouette on you! I too loved the dipped hem but if you don't love it then definitely hem it. Sometimes it's taking blog photos that convinces us one way or the other.

  9. Great winter dress ~ looks super styled this way ... J

  10. Really awesome dress! I made this pattern once a while ago, and I also drafted a real collar and stand. It's the little things that make you love a make!

  11. Snap! I actually like the length- I think winter skirts should be shorter rather than longer otherwise they can look a little unbalanced.

    I was also wondering whether I'd buy Alder, but I'm finding this style super wearable so I'm sure it won't be long before I buy it :p

  12. This looks so nice on you, I admire shirt dresses from afar having not yet found one that works for me, one day though I will find it.
    How lovely that you changed your construction methods and were happy with the results, I really enjoy that type of sewing risk taking.

  13. Try Vogue 8028. It has a waist seam, so much easy to modify and fit. :)

  14. Ooh, I want one. That is the perfect teacher dress! I'm a big fan of denim shirt dresses, too. This is awesome! Also, after that same post about serger thread I went out and added two more colors to my collection. I'm up to five now :)

  15. This looks amazing! I have this pattern, tried to make the full skirted variation last year and couldn't get the upper bodice fit right but am tempted to have a go at this view. I've recently made a denim dress and like you took extra effort on seams and it makes such a difference! You look fab :)


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