Polka Dots Again!

cami1Why did I wait so long to sew my first shirtdress?! I’ve been collecting patterns, fabrics and inspiration for years, but so many projects, so little time, such a slow seamstress, you know how it works…

Anyway, here is my first shirtdress then! The pattern is Pauline Alice’s Camí dress. This version is actually a wearable toile: I used some very inexpensive cotton (the same as this one and this one but in a smaller scale) which had a few flaws so that it wouldn’t bother me too much if things didn’t pan out. The buttons are vintage, from my mother’s stash.

cami2I first cut a size 36 bodice with 38 shoulders, but it was way too tight so I sized up to a 38 with 40 shoulders. It’s still not a good fit at the shoulders nor at the collar, which sometimes hangs a bit funny, but it’s passable. I wonder if lengthening the collar stand buttonhole a touch could not solve part of the problem. At the moment this button is not perfectly in line with the rest of the buttons/buttonholes as it should be, and this makes the collar tighter than intended. Not truly uncomfortable, but less comfortable than the collar of my Cardamome.

cami3The rest of the dress fits well (I lowered the waist darts by 2 cm), contrary to what some of these pictures, taken after a day of wear, would have you believe. The waist could maybe stand to be taken in a tiny bit? I’m not sure. The shoulders fit better (and the collar points hang better, too) when the collar is open, but I always wear it closed, so that’s not a satisfactory solution. This has not stopped me from wearing the dress a lot, especially since I usually pair it with a cardigan! Still, I really must learn to fit my (giant?!) shoulders!

cami4I didn’t use the skirt that is included in the pattern but cut twice the whole width of the 150 cm wide fabric x (60 cm + waist seam allowance + wide hem) for an extra full skirt! I also added a buttoned breast pocket (inspired by Annie Coton’s Camí and using Pauline Alice’s optional breast pocket template).

A lot of reviews of the pattern complain about too low pockets, and rightly so. I personally used Clémence’s nifty tutorial (in French, but she links to this one in English) to raise them and couple the left one with the invisible zip instead of placing it right under the zip.

cami7

Pocket AND invisible zip!

Another small complaint I have, which I haven’t read about anywhere, is the lack of precision of the pattern: a grainline arrow that isn’t parallel with the button placket by a couple millimetres (unless that’s intended?), shoulder and side seams that aren’t the exact same length on the front and back pieces (and yes, I triple checked, my tracing isn’t to blame)… Nothing serious, but it does make it look a little bit amateur, and I prefer it when things are more rigorous. I don’t remember encountering the same kind of issues making my Quart coat, so I’ll chalk that up to the Camí being Pauline Alice’s first pattern.

cami6I’d really like solving my shoulder fitting problem on this pattern, so I do intend to sew it again, but first I want to try the other shirtdress patterns I have in my stash, so it may take a while before I revisit this one!

Just you wait until I find my TNT pattern and the shirtdress might become the new gathered skirt!

cami5

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14 thoughts on “Polka Dots Again!

  1. Ah c’était un de mes objectifs post-‘Slow Fashion October’ (2015…) mais je n’ai pas encore eu le temps/courage de me lancer, tes conseils me seront donc bien utiles : merci ! Et yes, the shirtdress is the new gathered skirt 😉

  2. I love it! And so strange that this is your first shirt dress, somehow I always imagined that you wear a lot of shirt dresses? They definitely suit your style well! Love the pocket detail, and you are right about pockets being too low – I guess they were positioned like that in order to avoid sewing them and the invisible zip at the same time.
    Also, one of the reasons I love reading your blog posts is that I always identify with the fit issues you’re experiencing – I think we have very similar body types! (giant shoulders paired with hips two sizes bigger than waist :D) The weird thing is – same as you, I never considered my shoulders to be particularly big, but since most of the clothes I make tend to be a bit tight around the shoulders I guess they are? Unlike you, I was always too lazy to try and find the way to fix it – but grading the shoulders up seems like the easiest way to do it! I might try that next time. Also – about too tight collar (another shared issue, do we have too thick necks as well?!), aside from lengthening the collar stand maybe it would be a good idea to position collar a bit lower (i.e. make the neck opening bigger and deeper)? Not sure would it work, but that’s something I’m considering doing with my shirts in the future.
    Anyhow, the dress looks lovely and none of those small issues is visible. And I love the cardigan as well!

    • Hi body twin! 😉 You know what? I too find it strange that this is my first shirtdress: I’ve been wearing lots of them… in my imagination! 😂
      Regarding shoulder fitting, on the dress I am making at the moment (Deer&Doe Aubépine) I’ve tried a more traditional wide shoulder adjustment instead of simply grading different sizes. Looking at the pattern pieces, the result doesn’t look that different from grading, but we’ll see once I finish the dress…
      As for the neck, I usually don’t have that problem and I’ve come to think it’s the pattern’s fault: I looked for images of the dress online and absolutely everyone keeps at least one button open. I’ve only found one version with the collar closed, and I’ve had to search for a long time! And I’ve just checked: in addition to all product pictures showing an open collar, even the collar of the technical drawing is open. So maybe it’s simply intended to be worn that way? Either that, or maybe my sloping shoulders are to blame? In any case, I should be less rigid and wear the collar open myself!
      But for any future version, I’ll definitely keep in mind your idea of lowering the collar in addition to lengthening the collar stand, thanks! 🙂

      • Your dress is lovely and you should wear it a lot! I have to say that I had similar problems and I do not have wide shoulders. It seems that the pattern is made for square shoulders, maybe mine are sloping a bit. I can not close the collar button, this would look absolutely awful.
        You have already made a shirtdress: isn’t The Bleuet a shirt dress? There, everyhing fits me nicely. You can also sew any shirt pattern with an added skirt 🙂

        • Thank you so much! 🙂
          That’s interesting to know that you’ve had similar problems yet don’t have wide shoulders! So maybe I was right in suspecting the slope of my shoulders might be at fault?
          I haven’t made the Bleuet yet; I’ve only used its sleeves! But I do intend to sew it in not too long: it’s one of the shirtdress patterns I absolutely want to test (also on my list: McCall’s 6696 and the one in Gertie’s first book)!

          • So I am staying tuned! The Bleuet is one of my favorites. I changed the sleeves and made one with the Archer sleeves. I was sure that you had made it. Have lovely days and a good New Year!

            • Yeah, I’ve been meaning to sew Bleuet since it first came out, it was love at first sight, but I’ve been procrastinating like crazy! I MUST sew it in 2017! 😉
              Happy New Year to you too! 🙂

  3. Très chouette ! A fond pour les robes chemises. Du coup, je suis bien curieuse : c’est quoi tes autres patrons en stock ? Car j’aime Cami, mais je ne suis pas non plus 100% satisfaite du patron, maaais il me FAUT d’autres robes chemises !

    • Merciii! 🙂
      Mes patrons en stock sont: Bleuet, qui n’est pas tout à fait le même genre de robe chemise, et plus dans le même style, McCall’s 6696 et la Shirtwaist Dress du premier livre de Gertie! Yapluka! 😀

  4. J’aime bien sur toi ! Et j’adore tes chaussures, c’est toi qui les as faites ? Suis fan de la Bleuet mais à part ça les robes chemises ce n’est pas trop mon truc.

    • Merci beaucoup! 🙂
      Ouhlàlà non, ce n’est pas moi qui ai fait ces chaussures, penses-tu, si c’était le cas, je m’en serais vantée comme c’est pas possible! 😀

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