I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring! As it’s right around the corner, I figured it was time to start sewing some new dresses for warmer weather. For me, that means cotton dresses that I can throw a cardi or a light jacket over and head out looking polished. I love the retro simplicity and structure of a shirtdress, even if I don’t like ironing them before I walk out the door.
For my next Cali project I decided on Vintage Vogue 9000, a kimono sleeved reproduction shirtdress pattern from 1951. I used this delicious teal and fuschia plaid fine cotton shirting, which is the perfect fabric to make a shirtdress with. This fabric is lightweight, but not too light that it’s sheer, so I didn’t need to line or underline my dress.
As I was matching plaids, I ordered more fabric than suggested. The problem that I failed to consider when planning this project was that the plaid is a directional design (meaning that it is a one-way print) and I couldn’t cut out the flared skirt panels and match the plaids with the yardage that I had. I spent a lot of time laying out my fabric pieces every which way I could think to try and make it work, but in the end, I had to forgo the lovely skirt included with the dress pattern. Instead, I went with a gathered skirt that I cut into six rectangular panels to give the skirt an even and full effect with this retro dress. Plus, gathered skirts are so much easier to plaid match!
I love the little details of this pattern that it set it apart from other shirtdresses — like the sleeve cuffs, the large collar, and the self-fabric belt. This is a Vogue pattern, so that means more hand sewing and vintage techniques. The pattern includes shoulder pads, which I did make, but in the end I felt that this dress looks better on me without them.
As this dress didn’t utilize the beautiful flared skirt from the pattern, I look forward to sewing another version — possibly view B. Whilst perusing the Cali Fabrics website, I picked out a few fabrics that I think this pattern would look lovely in, like pink and hot pink plaid cotton shirting, natural and light blue stripe cotton/tencel chambray or a lovely overlay with this wine daisy design floral lace.