August has been a very productive month for me sew-wise. Since I decided to use shirt making as an overarching theme for my makes this month I’ve been unusually motivated and have sewn quite a lot. Having limitations set you free, they say, or at least having some limitations can free you from decision fatigue, a very annoying and time wasting state of mind.
I have accumulated quite a lot of patterns and a substantial fabric collection which have started to weigh on me a bit. Of course I don’t think I have to sew up all and every pattern or fabric I buy, but I felt a need to take a step back and consider what I can do with what I already have. Since starting on this I’ve made four shirts and a shirtdress and tried two of the previously unused patterns in my collection. My stash is reduced by several meters of fabric, and so far I haven’t had to buy as much as a new spool of thread, and I’m quite pleased with the results. I have more in the pipeline, too!
My third project is very straight forward and a quick make. Since we’re in the last couple weeks of summer I wanted to make something that easily can transit into autumn, layered over or under other garments. I was thinking of a shirtdress, but they tend to be quite summery unless the fabric is clearly seasonless, like a denim or light wool. I had a tencel chambray with stretch that fit the bill, and I paired it with the Indira shirt dress from Fibre Mood 8.
The Indira is a quick make with few pattern pieces. Initially I was rather skeptical towards a pattern with a dolman sleeve, thinking it would produce a shapeless sack of a dress with little shoulder definition, and be too wide across the bust. That can easily happen with a pattern like this, but I think the pairing of pattern and fabric went really well in this case. It’s always helpful seeing the gorgeous photos of it modeled on fabulous women in the Fibre Mood magazine, but then I’m not that tall and slender, so would it work for me? There are a quite a few makes of this dress on Instagram too, look up the #fibremoodindira. Seeing how the pattern works really well in a number of fabrics and on various bodies, I took my chances.
The pattern instructions recommend a fluid fabric, and I completely agree. A crisp and structured fabric would do this dress no favors. My tencel chambray has a certain weight to it which results in a very soft, but still firm garment that hangs really well. The fabric is sourced locally at Rainbow Fashion.
I made no modifications to the pattern, but being between sizes I chose the smaller one, and it’s plenty big enough. This was an opportunity to practice using my coverlock machine, so I cover-stitched the sleeve/shoulder seams and the bottom hem for a nice double seam. The wide cuffs was a bit tricky to stitch down because of the deep hem, so I dropped cover stitching those out of fear for a wonky result. If I try this again I might sew the hem before I close the side seam. Everything else is made by overlocker or my regular machine. I contemplated adding contrasting buttons, but ultimately went with some extremely well matching buttons from my collection.
The Indira dress has already proven itself to be very versatile. Since I made it a few days ago I’ve worn it several times already. I can wear it on its own, with or without a belt, or I can wear is as a light overcoat now. Later, when the temperature drops, I can layer it over a turtleneck and tights, over trousers etc. and it is light enough to wear under a long cardigan or a coat. The dark blue color is easy to wear all year round, and it looks good with sneakers, sandals and boots – the only footwear I wear these days.
What do you think, are shirtdresses purely summer wear, or do you wear them year round (if you wear them at all)?