2-in-1 Sewalong: Shirt Dress Reveal Party!

Are you guys ready for a little party? For those of you participating in the shirt dress part of this sewalong, today is your day to shine! Yay! I finished mine about a week ago and could not be more pleased with how it turned out! What do you guys think? You want to hear a few specifics?

OK, OK. I did opt for white linen and I got the fabric for it from Joann – its one of the few things I will buy there as I think the quality of the linen at Joann is pretty decent. Since I did it in white, and white can be seriously see-through, I opted to line the skirt section in a bemberg rayon lining. Also, for both dresses, shirt and wrap, I found that I really needed a waistline stay as both dresses had pretty heavy skirts and the waistline was drooping in certain sections because of it. For this dress, I applied the waistline stay by hand and am pretty happy with the result. It definitely does its job!

I used really simple and really cheap black buttons – those Slimline ones that cost $1, to be exact. Is it just me, or has the selection of stylish buttons just gone out the window in the last few years? Every time I go to the store to look at buttons, I come away feeling like they never have the ones I want. It’s rather dissatisfying to say the least. Also, you’ll note that my buttonholes were done in a contrasting color of thread to that of my dress. Oh my – FAUX PAUX! Ha ha ha! Actually, this is becoming one of those signature things that I do. Don’t know why, but I personally really like it.

I did a baby hem. I’m not entirely happy with the hem on this dress as I think it might not be even, but I’ll be damned if I’m doing it again (and yes, I did just swear!). I connected the skirt to the lining with serged french tacks – something I always forget to do, but am so happy that I remembered this time. Overall, I’m rather tickled with how lovely the dress turned out. It’s white and linen and that does really great things for the serious heat wave we’ve been having here in Utah. Plus I can pair it with several different colors of belts and accessories and wear flat sandals and still look put together.

Now, its your turn to share your shirt dresses! Please leave a comment here and tell us where to find your version of Simplicity 1880’s Shirt Dress! Thanks to everyone who participated in the Shirt Dress section of this sewalong! I really hope you all learned something new and had fun making this pattern your own! I know I did.


  • Lizzy - Hooray let’s PARTY!!
    I loved this sewalong. I had never sewn a collar before and the instructions were excellent – thanks Sunni. And the sleeve instructions were awesome, I’m so glad I learnt that new technique (well new for me!).
    I also made a linen shirt dress however mine was a printed linen. It was very pastel for me so I trimmed the collar and stitched some random beading on the bodice which I’m really pleased with. I think it defines the design. Now I would love to make a black trimmed dress with contrast buttons.
    I only wish I had stay stitched the upper collar as I found it had stretched when I went to sew in the collar.
    Great party.. And hangover free!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I’m so glad you learned some new things and so happy too that you now have a dress that you love! Yay! It’s a beauty!ReplyCancel

  • megannielsen - Sunni! You look fantastic! This dress turned out so well – i love it on you! I have to say, i actually really like the contrast thread buttonholes – i feel like it really makes them pop nicely!
    Hugs! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Kim - Wow it looks so lovely and summery! I love that you used contrasting stitching on the buttonholes! I nearly did the same. 😛

    Mine is here in different degrees of clarity. lol

  • Gail Ann Thompson - You did an excellent job!!!

    I agree with you about the buttons. I really wish there were more specialty fabric and sewing shops. I’ve found some nice things on the internet. The web is fine, for what it is. I like to feel the hand of the fabric, to smell the scent of natural fiber, before I make my purchase. There is no thrill like the joy of discovering a really fine piece of fabric, a perfect lining, and just the right notions, while wondering through a Fine Fabric Store, where the owner knows your name.ReplyCancel

  • Vicki Kate - It’s gorgeous Sunni! I do my button holes in contrasting thread too as I like the added detail.
    I’m intrigued though – is a serged french tack just using a serger’s thread tail and stitching it at each end rather than doing the whole thing by hand?ReplyCancel

  • liza jane - Very pretty! Looks great. I enjoyed it. It’s always nice to sew something a different way and stretch yourself. Thanks for all the detailed posts!

    I’m pretty tickled with my green shirtdress.

    • Graca - I love your version with the buttons continued down the skirt!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - Your dress is absolutely perfect, Sunni! It’s so chic and summery! Beautiful job!ReplyCancel

  • prttynpnk - Wow- the linen is so crisp and makes the skirt so swishy- love it!
    Here’s mine:

  • Amanda S. - Great dress, Sunni!ReplyCancel

  • Christi - Love the white linen. I feel your pain on the hem issues. I spent more time on the hem than anything else on this dress and I still don’t think its even either!

    Here’s mine:

    • Kim - Oh christi the red is amazing! Love the statement buttons! very rockabilly! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Corinne - What a perfect summer dress. It has classic lines and will work for several seasons I am sure. While I did not participate in the sew along I am anxious to see how everyone interpreted their projects. Great documentation on your whole process, Sunni. Beginners and experienced Sewists alike had plenty of information to follow.ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - I love a good reveal post! Your dress turned out wonderful and looks very comfortable and versatile.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - Unf, it looks SO GOOD. Love that white on you – the black contrast is so crisp. I can see this being paired with lots of colors and looking equally stunning.

    I totally know what you mean about the lack of good buttons on the market – seems like everything these days is either really cheap looking plastic, or really really cheap looking novelty buttons (the kind that would be better suited for a craft project involving glue, kwim?). I’m still kicking myself for passing up the bin of GORGEOUS Czech glass buttons from the ’30s I saw at the flea market a few months ago… they were $1 apiece and I felt it was too high. STUPID STUPID. Those plastic buttons cost about the same!ReplyCancel

  • anto - the dress looks great! I have the same problem with buttons. I finished a similar shirt dress this week but the button placket extends to the skirt. I had a hard time finding buttons I like but I ended up finding the perfect ones on a thrifted shirt.ReplyCancel

  • Leah - Oh, Sunni, yours is so lovely! What a lovely event, thanks for hosting this sew-along! I found my dress to be rather big in the bodice, so if I were to make this again, I might cut a smaller size. But I do love the style! I got my buttons from my stash, but I agree, buttons have gone downhill in the past few years….

    Here is my post about my dress!

  • Tiffany - Beautiful job Sunni! LOVE LOVE the black and white combo. So CHIC!

    I feel so bad for slacking on my dress. When I come back from vacation I’m going into wrap dress boot camp.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Sunni it’s gorgeous! I love the crisp white and agree that one of the only good things at Joann’s is their linen section. Oh, and the contrast stitching on the buttonholes is divine! I think it’s a great detail! Can’t wait to see everyone’s dresses!ReplyCancel

  • maddie - It looks so great I love how you styled at and I love how well the dress looks against your hair!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Beautiful!!! I love the contrast buttonholes and your styling! The white linen is perfect! Here’s my shirtdress: http://replicatethendeviate.blogspot.com/2012/07/our-patriotic-outfits.htmlReplyCancel

  • Linda, bathtub fabric queen - Sunni, that dress is great, and I love your shoes! I am so far behind. First the power outage, then the catch up work, and now replacing floors from water damage. Don’t you wish you lived at Chez Bathtub fabric?ReplyCancel

  • Donna - You look marvelous! I really love the contrast stitching and buttons too. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ripple Dandelion - Loving seeing your version and all the other beauties. Here are two of mine, one featuring one of your buckles: http://asewinglife.blogspot.com/2012/07/two-more-of-simplicity-1880.html. Thanks for all the great info and inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - I love these! The brown and white dotted fabric looks amazing and the colour of the other one is stunning! 😀 Everyone looks so happy in their dresses!ReplyCancel

  • Becky - Thank Sunni – this was my first sew-along and I really enjoyed it! I’m still woefully behind and a bit intimidated by all the work that lays ahead, but I’m also really looking forward to it. I will definitely finish the dress and be back to post it when I do (don’t hold your breath), if for no other reason than I really love my fabric. This weekend my family is out of town so I’m planning some major fitting and sewing sessions by myself – sounds blissful! Thanks again for being such a great host. And yes, this heat in Utah is trying to kill me – another reason to finish a cute summer dress!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - This looks lovely!! Thanks for noting the need for a waist stay. I’ve made a note to add one when I finally have time to make my shirt dress (in wool crepe).ReplyCancel

  • Graca - Sunni, yours is lovely in white, I do like the contrasting buttonholes. And those orange sandals too! And what is wrong with the hem? It looks perfect.

    I posted pictures of mine here. Too hot to wear it today though… http://sewessentiallysew.blogspot.ca/2012/07/2-in-1-sew-long-party.htmlReplyCancel

  • lynne b - IT looks great Sunni! The white linen is such a fresh and pretty choice. My shirtdress is shown on my blog:

    Thank you so much for hosting such a fun sew-along!ReplyCancel

  • Sallie - Wow Sunni! This is stunning! I absolutely love the white linen and contrast buttons (and the contrast buttonholes – faux paux shmo pah… I think its a lovely touch!)ReplyCancel

  • Christina - Say Sunni, when you said you added stay tape to the waist, did you add it to the skirt part or the bodice part? Great dress babe!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - And now I need to make a white dress–yours looks so clean and fresh! Love it!
    Thanks so much for putting this together, Sunni! I really enjoyed sewing along for the first time 🙂ReplyCancel

    • kim - V cute! Love green with blue accessories! Did you cover your own buttonsReplyCancel

  • Mary - I love it Sunni! This was such a great sew along, and while I didn’t join in this time (had a broken wrist for the first half) you can be sure I’ll be back revisiting it sometime soon.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh that is so crummy! I hope that your wrist is doing much better now!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - Thanks so much, Sunni. This was a blast. Your dress came out beautifully!!

    I have a few photos on the Flickr set as shelshel, and here’s my blog about this dress http://cuckoochanel.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/completed-shirt-dress-for-2-in-1-sewalong-simplicity-1880/ReplyCancel

    • kim - So cute! The alternating red and white accessories work really well. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - I am coming to the party late. 🙂 I have finished my shirt dress, not without some struggle, but I think it turned out wonderful, thanks to some of Sunni’s tips. I put in a lapped, prickstitched side zipper for the first time ever. I decided to “sandwich” the collar between two back yokes, then I stitched in the ditch to finish off the bottom edge of the yoke. Overall the dress turned out very nice and I got a lot of compliments on it. I posted a picture in the flickr group.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Oh I’m so glad! Hopefully not too much trouble and I do so hope that you learned a few new tricks. Hopping over now to see your finished dress! Yay!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - First of all, a big thanks from me for your time putting together this awesome sewalong! 1) because you showed us so many nifty tricks & tips and 2) because this is not a pattern that I would have been inspired by to try on my own, but I am loving my finished dress 🙂

    I really love the simplicity (ha, no pun intended!) of your dress. It’s so easy to get carried away with prints and added extras when you sew your own clothes- just because you can- but your dress is just beautiful, and as you say, a bit of a blank canvas to accessorise as you please. I can’t wait to have a look through everyone else’s posts when I have a bit more time.

    I’ve added a pic to the flickr group and also posted about my finished dress at http://rennous-oh-glennus.tumblr.com/post/27585288024/s1880#

    Thanks again!

    • Kim - Wow I love your dress! the fabric and trimmings are so cute! It reminds me of a rockabilly look! And the fit is great on you! 😀ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Thank you Jenny!ReplyCancel

  • Janelle / Sew Hopefull - I am really looking forward to looking at everyone’s dress. This has been a great experience, very useful to see so many different versions of the same dress. I have learnt heaps! Love your version Sunni. I totally agree about the button issues. Its a real gripe of mine.

    My dress can be seen on the flickr group and also I did a quick post about it with more pics here: http://sewhopefull.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/simplicity-1880-shirt-dress-and.html

    Still need to take some pics of me actually wearing it, hopefully this weekend.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - I love that fabric! So colourful! The hem is beautiful and the buttons fit perfectly! Amazing how different everyones is!ReplyCancel

  • Milenushka - I share your love to shirt dresses 🙂 this one looks fabulous. I am always late to the sew-alongs, but I eventually I catch up. Beautiful work.ReplyCancel

  • Completed: Advance 8295 « LLADYBIRD - […] are those yellow buttons – I took a tip from Sunni and stitched all the button holes with bright blue thread, to tie in the blue yoke. Unfortunately, […]ReplyCancel

  • Layla - A lovely reveal! I like accessorizing it with the red necklace especially.

    About a serged french tack – would you mind sharing what that method is? I’m intrigued!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Great dress, Sunni! I missed the sewalong, but after seeing all of the finished products I want my own!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - You need your own! It’s a great pattern and the finished result is really easy to wear for this excruciatingly hot summer we’re having!ReplyCancel