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Chambray Alder Shirtdress for All Seasons

October 31, 2014

Red Knits Chambray Alder ShirtdressThis latest project is one of those garments that truly fills a gap in my wardrobe. Specifically, it fills the gap left by an old, cheap RTW dress that I wore to death, spilled coffee down the front of (and hid what remained of the stain with a handknit shawl), and ultimately grew out of. The old dress fabric was a very narrow blue and white stripe, which perhaps looked a bit dingy and drab from afar. This new iteration, however, has better construction, better fit, and a bright chambray that’s versatile and vibrant.
Red Knits Chambray Alder Shirtdress front placketMy dress is the infamous Grainline Alder, hacked for a popover style. I really thought I had this placket thing figured out from the beginning, and I took pictures along the way so I could share a tutorial since I can’t find one elsewhere. But man, I really messed this placket up! I think I’ve saved it from the outside, but the inside doesn’t have the clean finish I’ve come to love on my sleeve plackets. I’m hoping to make up another Alder in an olive green, also popover style. Does anyone have a favorite popover shirt or dress pattern? I’d love to pick one up and have a look to figure out where I’ve gone wrong.
Red Knits Chambray Alder Shirtdress back viewSo sorry about the wrinkles in these photos! We had to take them after I had been in back-to-back meetings all day and before my husband dashed off to his night job.

I’m pretty pleased with the fit of this pattern, which I didn’t adjust at all out of the envelope. Part of that may come from not wanting to over-fit a casual, loose dress like this one, although I may pull in the sweep of the A-line skirt in the next version I make. Other than the placket, the construction was pretty straightforward: I used the burrito method for the yoke, french seamed the two seams that are exposed on the interior, and finished both armholes and hem with bias binding. The pattern calls for self binding on the armholes, but I was short on fabric and opted for the prepackaged stuff.

I desperately wanted to wear sweats to campus on the day I wore this outfit, but since my undergraduate days are long gone, I settled for wearing this dress with a navy Mossimo cardigan, burgundy tights, Madden Girl lace boots, elephant necklace from Charming Charlie, and a skinny belt.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2014 8:30 am

    I think yours is the nicest version of the Alder that I’ve seen on the interwebs!!!! It looks perfection! xx

    • November 13, 2014 9:58 am

      What a compliment! Thanks so much, Zoe. It definitely isn’t perfection, but the biggest problems are on the inside 🙂

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