A 60s worky shirt-dress

simplicity 6772 shirtdress frontGood afternoon lovely readers. I trust you are having a lovely weekend. I love the peace and quiet of a Sunday afternoon. It’s especially quiet today since Mr O and both children are all out. Best blogging time I thought, but eeek, no photographer! So please excuse the awkward poses to the remote snaps! It’s hard to summon up the enthusiasm when there’s no one bossing you around.

This is the first draft of Simplicity 6772. A lovely fitted sheath dress with front button closing and notched collar. Or a shirt-dress to the layperson!

simplicity 6772 packet

I made version 3, with short sleeves, which buttons all the way down. And I used a £2.50/metre suiting fabric from Dave/Danielle the Drapers in Shepherds Bush Market. I did stop to ponder who might make such a crazy suit in gingham but images of capri trousers and cropped jackets a la Doris Day quickly sprung to mind, very nearly usurping the plans for this dress.

I love Dave the Draper fabric for test garments. I don’t think you can actually buy cheaper and even though the content and quality is an unknown, its always good enough. And generally speaking I end up with something wearable, in this case…. for a fiver!

simplicity 6772 sideThat said, I will be making some adjustments to the next one, which incidentally is already cut out! Namely: taking some of the ease out of the sleeves. They are practically puffed sleeves and it certainly didn’t warn me of that on the packet front. They are also a weird length. I made twice the suggested hem allowance, and turned them up! I’ll also be shaving a centimetre off each shoulder before I sew them in.

I did some proper grading on this pattern using the cut and spread method. A little added to the bodice, moreso added to the waist and hip with the side seams blended together. I remembered to add the extra to the collar and the sleeves, though I probably should have left the sleeves alone to avoid the puff!

Given that it’s suiting fabric it didn’t need a lining. I just overlocked the seams. Suiting is a joy to hem, especially on this kind of check. It’s so easy to pick a couple of threads and the stitches just disappear. It’s presses so easily too. It’s a wool blend of sorts. And I have totally gotten over my snobbery of synthetic/blended fabric, since it doesn’t need much ironing and doesn’t tend to crease when you’ve been sat down at an office desk all day.

I love a shirt-dress but have only made two before. The 1940s Shoe Dress and The Shirt Dress Revisited. Both from the same pattern, both with full skirts. I like how this one is more understated though. Would be completely utilitarian in a khaki! It certainly feels more worky than the other two. To be honest, I’m lucky enough to work in a creative environment where almost anything goes (as is often apparent!).

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have a suitable set of red buttons but it was quite refreshing to be persuaded with blue ones. I toyed with green and checked ones but the winners were some gorgeous vintage buttons kindly inherited from my friend Nigel’s, aunt.

vintage blue buttons

There are a whopping twelve darts going on in this dress! Four long diamond ones in the front, four of the same in the back; two shoulder darts and two bust darts. And its all these ‘lovely’ darts that create the great shape to this dress. The back especially. And I love that little kick pleat. So glad I didn’t exchange it for a slit.

simplicity 6772 shirtdress back view

It would be crazy at this point not to mention the shoes. A more than happy find on my way back from work in the sale at Office. They are of course my favourite Lola Ramona shoes. These ones having pale green polka dots, a cream bow and purple heels. The thing I love most about these shoes is that they don’t go with anything but yet they look good with everything!!

lola ramona spotty bow shoes

I’ll be off now. The plan is to return shortly with a revised version of this shirt-dress. But you know what happens when you make plans. Well, when I make them, anyway!

TTFN x

31 thoughts on “A 60s worky shirt-dress

  1. Thank God you mentioned the shoes!! I love the fact that the polka dots are on the inside too. That shirt dress looks great on you. I’m just working on a shift dress – the pattern came free with a magazine but it’s a ‘proper’ pattern( i.e. not one of those you have to trace off something that looks like a hugely complicated road map) – which also has body shaping darts. They really transform the shape of a simple dress don’t they? Well done with the selfies.

  2. I’m absolutely jonesing for a shirtdress at the moment and this isn’t helping my obsession one little bit! Love it! And the shoes, of course…that goes without saying!

  3. Very lovely Janene, it looks great with the blue buttons, red bag and those PERFECT shoes! Love the shaping you get from all those darts too, gorgeous! x

    1. Haha! I’m so glad I achieved that unknowingly. Otherwise that would have been a very tricky brief! Thanks Mrs C x

  4. Great fit Janene! You really got those darts doing the work for you. Love the back view. And your photos are brilliant considering your usual photographer had the day off. Hurrah!

  5. That looks like a dress you will wear again and again, even with its puffy sleeves (which don’t look too puffy to me, by the way). All those darts are magic to the fit – you look spectacular! I equate shirt dresses with sheath dresses – you can never have too many!

  6. Thanks for the info re Dave’s place in Shephards Bush market, I made a trip to the Goldhawk Road yesterday for the first time, and paid a visit to Dave’s, alas he’s shut all day Thursday, so now know to book a different day for fabric shopping to London, a girl can never get enough of fabric. Love the dress

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