Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Shirt Dress and Vogue Patterns Magazine Star Blogger


Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress


I am so pleased to be back with you today with a pattern review for Simplicity 8014, a shirt dress pattern. Here are the line drawings:


Simplicity 8014 Line Drawings

I made view D, but with the hemline from View C. My fabric is a Vlisco African wax print cotton, purchased in one of their online sales about a year ago. It is from the Java range and I don’t think it is available any more (at least I had a quick look and I couldn’t see it). Initially I wasn’t sure if this fabric was me, but actually I really love it now. It is quite a statement! The large leaf pattern you can see on the fabric actually ran width ways, selvedge to selvedge, so I had to cut most of the pieces on the cross grain to make the pattern work for me.


Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress

Back to the actual pattern. As ever, you can check out my review below for full details. Bottom line: I like this pattern. A lot. When it is belted. But, much like Beth, I hate the unbelted view, and I am choosing not to share a picture of it unbelted with you, because I would never wear it like that. It looks like a frumpy sack unbelted. But add a belt and it is transformed. Into a classic and very easy to sew shirt dress.


Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress


Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress

When I say easy, I mean:

  • There is no separate button band to cut and interface, at least with the view I made. The front edges are simply folded over on themselves and the self fabric takes the place of interfacing. For my heavy weight cotton this worked well. If you make this pattern in a lighter weight fabric you may want to add interfacing there.
  • There are no separate sleeve cuffs/ bands. Again, for the view I made the little tucks on the sleeves which give the illusion of a cuff are made by clever folding and sewing of the fabric.
  • There are relatively few pieces to cut (again for the view I made).

The downside of the view I made is in relation to doing an FBA. I think I just about got away with not doing an FBA with this dress by taking only 3/8ths inch seam allowance at the bust and sleeve seams. I have added 5/8ths inch extra to the pattern for next time just in these areas. Why not do an FBA? Because this is a waistless shirt front, doing an FBA would add extra width right the way down in to the hips (correct?) and I don’t feel I want to add any more width in that area. So that is the only thing I would say to watch out for.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Vintage shirt dress pattern for miss and miss petite features full length dress with collar and long sleeves, knee length dress with slim or flared skirt, and mini dress with collar and shirt tail hem.

I made view D, with the hem from View C.
Pattern Sizing:
6 – 24
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
For the most part, yes. Watch out for the stay stiching: you are told to do it 0.5 inch from edges but only 3/8ths inch used to sew collars. Also, I didn’t really like the jumping around to different seam allowances when sewing the collar and I would say just go slow when sewing the collar to make sure you don’t use an incorrect seam allowance.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Overall, I love the finished dress, although I hate it unbelted. But worn with a belt I can see this being made over and over again. It is a classic button down shirt dress which is easy to sew (at least the view I made). If you make view D with the shirt tail hem then a facing is included for the hem which is a nice touch. I like how the sleeves are sewn on this view to give the appearance of a cuff but it’s just created by folding over the fabric and sewing a tuck. I also like there is no cutting separate button bands, just folding over the fabric to create the bands. Overall, nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:
Vlisco Java African wax print cotton. Due to the nature of the fabric design I chose to cut most of the shirt dress on the cross grain of the fabric.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I chose to size down at the shoulders/ bust and grade out over the hips. That’s a pretty standard alteration for me. Because the view I chose to sew is a waistless shirtdress, it meant I was unwilling to do a FBA because that would have added width in at the hips as well. So I just used 3/8ths inch seam allowance to sew the bust and sleeve seam. I have now added 5/8ths inch to the seam allowances in these areas for the next time. Unless anyone can advise on the FBA differently? Or I have to remove some with from the hips and do the FBA? Something to think about.

I also did a 1 inch sway back adjustment, adding the removed 1 inch back in to the bottom of the skirt, moved the bust darts down by 1 inch, and did a 1.25 inch full arm adjustment.

I cut 2 yokes and used the burrito method to clean finish the inside yokes.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I will sew this again. Yes, I recommend.

Shirt dresses are a classic but are very much on trend at the moment (did they ever go away?) This is definitely one to have in your stash.

In other news, I am this months star blogger in Vogue Patterns Magazine (US edition). This is a huge honour and privilege for me. I have yet to see the in-print version – it’s on its’ way from the USA but, needless to say, I am very excited. Thank you to everyone who continues to read my blog, leave comments and answer my questions. It truly is wonderful to be part of this online community. If you do read the magazine article, I just wanted to point out that my name is Manju – Nittala is my surname – but for whatever reason the author has used Nittala in the article.

Have a great week and hurrah for sunshine!


Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Button Down Shirt Dress




50 thoughts on “Simplicity 8014: DIY Vlisco African Wax Print Shirt Dress and Vogue Patterns Magazine Star Blogger

  1. I love the dress – and the colors are wonderful for spring. I’ve been thinking about adapting another pattern for a shirt dress, but I may be won over by this one now. Congratulations also on being named as Vogue star blogger – totally deserved!

    • Thanks Jen. I am sometimes lazy about adapting patterns and I picked this one up in the recent Simplicity sale here. It’s a good one to have as an alternative to McCalls 6696 ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love this dress and the fabric is stunning. I would look at the fabric and think “Oh that’s too bold for me” and walk away. Seeing how great it looks on you I now feel inspired to be more adventurous. Thank you.

    • Thanks Margaret. Yep, even I was hesitant about the print when I initally saw it, but, when the sun is out it makes me braver ๐Ÿ™‚ You won’t know until you have tried it…

  3. Lovely dress! Am so glad you mentioned turning your pattern so the design ran up & down rather than across, and the reasons you chose not to do an FBA. Still feel slightly guilty when I do that pattern turning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks CurlsnSkirls. I will cut on the cross grain if the fabric looks better that way. But, even though I cut it on the cross grain I will still draw new grainlines (at 45 degrees to the original ones) and try and follow some consistency. I have just finished a peasant style top which I have also cut on the cross grain.

      • Oh, THANK YOU! Do I understand that you also carry that realignment thru all the pattern pieces? Hadn’t thought of that! Am eager to see your blouse & read more about it’s construction. ๐Ÿ˜˜

  4. Love this! The fabric looks great on you… good choice to have the print run vertically. Congrats on your magazine feature!

  5. Wow! I’m loving this on you, I think it’s my favourite thing I’ve seen you make, but then I think that every time you make something and post it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Hi Manju, like everyone else I want to congratulate you on the magazine feature,and I also look forward to all your makes. I am not a very experienced sewer but I hope that I can help with the FBA. But first I want to say that I’m not being paid in any way to promote the book or craftsy class. I bought when on offer the Joi Mahon class, and the book from Amazon. I refer to both quite often. On the bust area, that is the apex to underbust they draught in about 2 and half to 3 inches. If you measure down 3 inches from the apex and draw a line across your pattern. Now if you measure yourself from your bust point to the band on your bra you may be longer than that 3 inches. If so,draw a line between your bust point and the line you have drawn (at the 3 inch mark below the apex) cut and spread the amount that you require. You are only altering the pattern at that point and it wont affect your hips. Also measure from bust poรฌnt to side seam and increase at the side seam and taper down to nothing at the waist. Hope this helps. Regards, June.

    • I think I understand June! Thank you. Which Craftsy class is that you are referring too? Because I have a Joi Mahon class which I started watching and never finished. I might have it ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your comment and reading my blog.

  7. What awesome fabric, I love the colours and your decision to cut the print on the crossgrain. And congratulations on being a Vogue star blogger – totally deserved as you make a beautiful wardrobe!

  8. Hi Manju, the craftsy class is Fast Tracking Fitting, I wasn’t sure that my explanation was clear. But if you can figure it out I hope it helps. Regards, June.

  9. Oh, I wish I liked shirt dresses on myself because this looks fabulous on you. I’ve yet to try the Vlisco fabric – or even visit their website – I’d better leave it for a while the amount of money I’ve spent on sewing and fabric recently!

  10. Congratulations on your feature–how exciting! I can understand why they selected you, as your garments are so wonderful and varied; I certainly always look forward to new posts from you. =)

    I adore this dress on you: the colors really shine! I’ve yet to buy a Vlisco print, but their fabric is on my “Someday List” for sure!

  11. Your dress is goreous. I really love the fabric, and good idea on cutting it width-ways, the print looks great that way. This looks like a very versitile pattern.

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  13. That’s gorgeus Manju and congratulations on being featured! How is the vilsko compared to the usual african print fabrics, they have such beautiful prints, if only they were more affordable

    • Thanks aida. I have never sewn with any other African wax print so I can’t compare. Vlisco is beautiful heavy weight cotton and the stuff I got softens up after a couple of washes. Wait for a sale and splurge! ๐Ÿ™‚

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