This is how the model looked in a linen version of the Betty shirt dress from Love Sewing magazine. I made this up in a green gingham hoping that it wouldn’t turn out looking too much like a school dress.
The pattern is included in issue 68 of Love Sewing magazine, the instructions being in the mag and you download and print the PDF file from their website, and it’s designed by Fiona Hesford of Sewgirl.
This is how my version turned out.
The gingham was bought locally with this dress in mind. It’s 100% cotton, slightly thicker and softer than school dress fabric and the squares might be a bit larger. I specifically wanted to make it to wear on holiday in Greece so it had to be cool and loose and I loved the pockets.
The bodice design is similar to my previous make with no actual sleeve pieces so avoiding all those fit issues. There are no bust darts which concerned me slightly because the model appears to have a small bust and I was worried how this would work out for my body shape.
The skirt is softly gathered with patch pockets and has a shirt tail type hem.
I printed out the pattern pieces and mulled over which size to make.
The armholes were large, no problems there, the V neck looked about right too. I cut size 16 bodice, 18 waist and 14 hips, probably could have shortened the bodice length a cm or two and used a size 14 on the shoulders.
I wanted a dress which had a lot of room in it and that’s how the fit turned out.
To check the fit, as always, I machine basted the bodice pieces together and tried it on. All seemed OK and at that point I realised the dress would pull on over my head, which meant I could sew the button placket shut an use some large buttons from my stash, last seen on a corduroy jacket.
The buttons would probably have been too large to fit in the buttonhole foot but as they were only there for show I just sewed them on and I doubt many people would notice there wasn’t an actual button hole.
I missed out the self tie belt, as am not a fan of belts.
This dress turned out to be everything I had hoped for in a holiday dress and it got worn for several evenings out to dinner on the Greek island of Paros. The weather was 20 – 25 degrees in the evening and not too humid which was perfect for eating outside.
This bodice design is devoid of any fit issues but does result in excess fabric around the shoulder area. Its not something that worries me too much and the extra fabric almost seems to fold itself into a bust dart shape quite neatly during wear.