My latest project was supposed to be a Fall shirtdress…but as you can see, it has turned into a winter shirtdress! Vogue 9201 is a great cross-season pattern, with View B’s long sleeves and detachable collar making it suitable for fall. If you’re going to wear it in winter though, I recommend a coat while outside, don’t follow my photographic lead 😉
I was intrigued by the option of a detachable collar and the hidden button placket, as a follow-up to my interest in shirtdresses which began this summer. Plus the views in this pattern are quite distinct, allowing for lots of variation.
And then I fell in love with this navy elephant print, an Alulu cotton — it’s lightweight and crisp with a smooth hand. This makes it great for this dress’ sharp pleats and fitted bodice. The gathers on the back waist were a little more difficult because of the lack of drape but there was only one tiny section of gathering to worry about.
There are many interesting details in this pattern; none that are really very difficult, but there are many steps that you’ll have to take your time on. The detachable collar, a front band and fly button closing, a side zip, a stand collar, pleated sleeve cuffs — all things to work at a little more than an ‘easy’ rated pattern, but well worth the time.
I made a few changes. First, I added a pocket to the right hand side, as I hate wearing clothes without pockets – I’m too apt to lose my keys! There’s only one pocket, since there is a side zip on the left side. And that’s the other change I made. When I got to that step I realized I didn’t actually have a 14″ navy invisible zip and there were none to be found anywhere in my city. (I would have ordered one online from Fabricville but I was running short on time!)
But I did have a 12″ regular zip, and since I’d shortened both bodice and skirt quite a lot, the 12″ was a perfect length for me. Using the reliable instructions in the Readers Digest Guide to Sewing, I changed it to an enclosed lapped zip, and it went in so smoothly, with the waist seam so perfectly lined up (on the first try) that I may just use that option more often!
I made a bodice muslin, and shortened it a bit more than the petite lines on the pattern suggested. Also, the shortening was taken in different spots (above the bust in my case). Plus I pinched an additional swayback wedge out of the back bodice. I shortened the sleeves as well, and of course the skirt, as I am quite short (5’2″). So be aware if you are also petite that you’ll want to muslin this one first.
Anyhow, the final result will do well as a fall-to-spring outfit. The cotton is nice and crisp but the lines of the pattern don’t feel summery at all. Some nice warm tights for winter and I’ll be fine!