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Transitioning to Fall with the Great Shirt Dress

The Shirt Dress

This is the second in a series of posts on Back to School Sewing, only this post is on sewing a little something for yourself. Knowing what to wear as the seasons change from summer to fall can be difficult. The weather is often cool in the morning but hot as the day goes on. Then of course, we all would like to look like we have our act together even if we don't feel like we do! The solution: do as women have been doing for years and embrace the Shirtwaist Dress, or Shirt Dress as it is sometimes known! The Shirtwaist dress originated in America as a uniform for working class women, was embraced as a tennis and golf outfit in the 1930's, was commissioned by the British Board of Trade as the Utility Dress during WWII, and promised hope and beauty when restyled by Dior in the 1950's. No decade has not had a version of the dress since. This is a great article if you would like a little more history on the style, and so is this one.

If the latest pattern releases are any indication then a shirt dress is the item to sew for your fall wardrobe! Colette Patterns just introduced Penny, which has a very 1950's vintage feel to it with its set in waistband and full skirt.

Penny by Colette Patterns

Another pattern with a set in waist, but an A-line skirt more reminiscent of the 40's, is Chai from Itch to Stitch.

Chai Pattern

Often a Shirt Dress has no set waist, but takes its styling more literally from a man's shirt. Liesl Gibson of Liesl and Co. just finished a series of blog posts showing how to alter her Classic Shirt pattern to a dress, and provided a free pattern for a pop-over placket if you would prefer to not have buttons going to the hem.

Classic Shirt Dress

Merrick of Merrick's Art provides a tutorial on how to make a Linen shirt dress with sleeve ties if you are comfortable drafting your own pattern.

Linen Shirt Dress

I reviewed StyleArc's Italia Dress pattern here which I made for my daughter.

Italia Dress

And just in case you can't make up your mind if you would like a set in waist or not, Simplicity 8014 was named a Best Pattern for 2016 by Pattern Review and offers both alternatives!

Simplicity 8014

I love the versatility of these patterns from the fullness of the skirt to the length of the hem. There is a style for everyone! So which shirt dress are you going to sew for fall?

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