Simplicity 8014: DIY Brushed Flannel Plaid Checked Button Down Shirt Dress

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Simplicity 8014 brushed flannel plaid button down shirt dress

Hey Friends,

Today is a quick share of my most recent make: a button down shirt dress made using Simplicity 8014. This is my second time making this shirt dress. You can see my first version here, made using an African wax print. This time round the main alteration I made was doing a 5/8ths inch FBA which made the whole dress fit so much better.

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Simplicity 8014 brushed flannel plaid button down shirt dress

Here’s my first version. Yes, I know it looks much more eye catching, and it has been worn, but truthfully, it needed an FBA.

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

The fabric is a soft brushed plaid flannel that I bought from Paron Fabrics (no longer in existence? 😦 ) when I went to NYC a couple of summers ago. I am loving the soft, cosy feel. It’s perfect for casual dressing at this time of year.

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Simplicity 8014 brushed flannel plaid button down shirt dress

Of course, sewing plaids means matching them. I like to cut my plaids in a single layer, and flip cut pieces over to get perfect corresponding pieces. I didn’t do too badly, and the fact there is no separate button band on this pattern meant the pattern matching was kept to a minimum. I cut the back yoke on the bias.

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Simplicity 8014 brushed flannel plaid button down shirt dress

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Simplicity 8014 brushed flannel plaid button down shirt dress

Fitting Notes:

  • I did a 5/8ths inch full bust adjustment, which, being as there is no waist seam with this shirt dress, added the 5/8ths inch in all the way down to the hem. I ended up removing about 1 inch I think from the side seams from the hem up to just above the hip.
  • I used the long sleeves included in the pattern and did a 1 inch full arm adjustment.
  • I shortened the sleeves by 2.5 inches. This turned out to be a mistake. They are too short for my liking. I have added 2 inches back to the pattern for next time.
  • I added tower plackets to the cuffs.
  • As before, I disregarded the instructions and used my preferred methods to get a clean finish inside this shirt dress. This included cutting a double yoke (inner yoke cut on straight of grain for stability) and using the burrito method for a clean finish at the shoulder seams, flat felling all seams and using my preferred method to attach the collar.
  • BTW I used the included hem facing to finish the dress and I really like the finish.

Overall, this is such a cute, easy to wear dress. I could see me making this again in a viscose print for the summer.

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Simplicity 8014 brushed flannel plaid button down shirt dress

Have a great week ahead everyone!

 

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Simplicity 8084: DIY Washed Silk and Floral Print Shirt Dresses

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Simplicity 8084 Washed Stretch Silk Button Down Tie Waist Shirt Dress

Hi Friends,

Todays post is all about Simplicity 8084, a Mimi G Style pattern. This is the first time I have ever sewn a version of a pattern and immediately sewn a second version after. So that should tell you how much I like the pattern. But the other reason was I really wanted to make this up in some washed stretch silk I purchased from Chic Fabrics when I was in NYC recently, so the first version (the floral viscose version) was a wearable muslin.

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Simplicity 8084 Floral Viscose Button Down Tie Waist Shirt Dress

I know, the print really hides the details. But I still love it. I wish I had made this printed version up to take with me on holiday because it is so cool and breezy. It has a covered button placket; here’s a close up.

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Simplicity 8084 Floral Viscose Button Down Tie Waist Shirt Dress: Covered button placket detail

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Simplicity 8084 Floral Viscose Button Down Tie Waist Shirt Dress

For both versions I made self fabric bias binding which was used to create the inner casing for the waist tie. I love both versions but I think the silk version is my favourite. I love the colour, the feel and the overall finished look with the gold snaps. You can read all the details in my review below.

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Simplicity 8084 Washed Stretch Silk Button Down Tie Waist Shirt Dress

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Simplicity 8084 Washed Stretch Silk Button Down Tie Waist Shirt Dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
Mimi G’s fabulous style shirt dress in maxi or above the knee lengths. Dress is gathered to a yoke, has a covered placket, drawstring waist, and super convenient side seam pockets.

I made the knee length version.
Pattern Sizing:
10 – 28
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yep.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. Some small minor dislikes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes:

LOVE the overall finished look. Enough to make this pattern twice over in quick succession, which is saying something for me.

Dislikes:

  • Only the right hand side (RHS) placket is interfaced in the instructions. I would say that you need to interface the left hand side (LHS) placket as well (making buttonholes on uninterfaced silk or viscose? No thanks). I used the same interfacing pattern piece as for the RHS for the LHS and it worked fine.
  • The instructions tell you to just cut one yoke piece. This is the second time I have seen this in a Simplicity shirt dress pattern and I don’t like it. I cut two yokes and I used the burrito method to sew them to the dress fronts to get a clean finish inside.
  • Something again that I have come across in Simplicity patterns before: telling you to stay stitch at 0.5 inches when the seam allowance, in some places, is only 3/8ths inch. Watch out for the changing seam allowances.
  • Didn’t like how they have you sew on the sleeve tab. Did my own thing and sewed on the tab using a boxed cross configuration which looks much neater IMO.
  • Instructions have you sew the ends of the waist ties closed and turn out the waist ties which are almost 2 metres in length. Hell no. I just sewed the entire length of the waist ties closed (leaving the ends open) and used my loop turner to turn the ties the right way round. Much easier. In the viscose version I turned and stitched the ends closed but I have just knotted the ends of the silk version for now and am thinking how to finish them…
  • I didn’t like the 3/8ths inch seam allowance on the upper collar which is turned under and topstitched in place. On both versions I found the 3/8ths inch seam allowance too small to allow me to machine this securely, so ended up hand stitching both versions in place. If I make any future versions I will add 0.25 inches to this edge that gets turned under and this should make it easier to machine in place.

Fabric Used:
Version one was made using a heavy weight floral viscose.

Version two was made using a washed stretch silk purchased from Chic Fabrics in NYC on a recent trip to The States. I prewashed the silk and it presses well (with care).

The gold studs on the silk version were purchased from Le Prevo Leathers in Newcastle, UK.

Both versions saw me using my walking foot.

Because of the fact this shirt dress doesn’t have a waist seam it makes the pattern pieces quite long and consequentially you may find you need to take care to support the weight of the dress when sewing and ironing to avoid stretching and inaccurate sewing.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • The only alteration I made was to add 2 inches to the length. That’s it. The sizing is pretty generous and it is designed to be fairly blousy and loose fitting.
  • I managed to sew my plackets on the first version (the floral viscose version) on the wrong way round, so the RHS is on the LHS and vice versa.
  • I made my own self fabric bias binding for both versions to form the inside casings.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might sew this again. It is a great design. I do recommend to others.
Conclusion:

I am so pleased I pushed myself to cut into my precious washed silk and sew these pieces up. I may not get to wear the floral version all that much until next summer but I think the silk version can take me many, many places…

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Simplicity 8084 Floral Viscose Button Down Tie Waist Shirt Dress

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Simplicity 8084 Washed Stretch Silk Button Down Tie Waist Shirt Dress

 

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

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

Friends,

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:

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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.

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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.

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

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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?
Yes.
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.
Conclusion:

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!

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