Ever since I made my gingham shirtdress, I am completely obsessed with this type of garments. I see them everywhere, I think about them all the time, and I feel like my wardrobe needs a lot more buttons and collars. Given that in the past ten years I have accumulated a pretty big number of sewing patterns, from magazines to Big 4 to indies, I have a lot of options when it comes to picking which one should be my next shirtdress project. So I felt like it might be interesting to share my selection with you. Most of these are already on my shelves, and a few are still on my wishlist waiting for the next pattern sale at Jo-Ann. Actually, the Sew Over It shirtdress was also on my wishlist, but after seeing Emilie’s version while preparing this post, I couldn’t resist and I ordered it as well. As if I didn’t have enough patterns already!
Unsurprisingly, almost all the patterns on my list have some kind of retro feel, with a fitted bodice, a defined waist and a flared skirt. There are some other shapes, such as the Grainline Alder Shirtdress for instance, that I like on others but that don’t really work with my style or body shape. I’m not so sure about the latest Sewaholic patterns either: I really don’t get the Harwood dress, and I think that the bodice of the Nicola might be too blousy.
So sure, looking at all these patterns, there might be a couple that seem well… exactly similar. But the nice thing with shirtdresses – or just regular shirts by the way – is that they are full of little details: collar, sleeve cuffs, plackets… So all of these patterns have a little something that makes them different. Still, I tried to present them here using their line drawings rather than the finished garment pictures, so that it’s easier to compare the design details and see the similarities and differences without getting fooled by styling, fabric choice or packaging.