The “It Took Forever” Shirtdress

I must admit that I am a complete pattern hoarder.

In Australia, where I live, patterns from the Big 4 tend to retail starting around $10 and go up to around $35 for Vogue.  Every now and then Spotlight (which is the only place in the town I live in that sells patterns) has a sale when they are marked down considerably.  On those occasions I take my list of patterns I want and buy what I can.

I’ve had V9000 in my stash for a while.  Several of the girls in the Facebook group “Those Darn Sew and Sews” have made it up.

 

I bought some light blue gingham to sew it up in after seeing a shirtdress made by Draper James which is Reece Witherspoon’s label.

Southern belle: Reese Witherspoon wore a dress from her Draper James collection while posing with son Tennessee in an Instagram post on Monday

Photo credit: Reese Witherspoon Instagram

Whilst there are other patterns which are a closer match V9000 was a better style for my body.

I cut out my size and followed the instruction and it sewed up rather quickly and easily.

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Once I put it on the dressmakers dummy I didn’t like it.

I let it sit on the dummy for a while and tried all sorts of buttons white, pearl, shell and once I found some big navy buttons I started to like it.

I was looking at it one day when I had a light bulb moment and decided to add some colorful embroidery to it.

It took me a while to find a pattern that I liked but I stumbled on the pattern linked here.

 

After talking to my mum and having a quick lesson whilst visiting her on holidays I bought some thread, washaway and a frame and had a go.

I traced the design onto the washaway and pinned it in to place.

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I wanted the colour to stand out and outlined the design in a darker colour and then filled it in.

I wanted to use brighter contrasting colours to create more interest.

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I originally only planned on doing a back center piece and was then planning on putting a panel down the centre of each side of the bodice.  After I finished the back piece I decided I just wanted to put it on the shoulders rather than the centre.  It took about three months to do the embroidery and I am really pleased with it.

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All it needs now is a wash to get rid of the plastic washaway and whip up a belt.

 

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