for the time being i will keep my old posts here at blogger, but i have imported all content to wordpress. please don't abandon me! to stay updated, head on over to my new space and follow me there. thanks!

—lisa g.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

this fabric should come with a warning label

so i had been admiring this double sided voile shirting fabric for several months (purchased here), and when it went on sale and i had a few other fabrics i needed, i snatched up a couple yards. i had this cute shirtdress pattern to use for my oldest daughter (to see if i could successfully make my first proper button down and collar garment) and thought it would be perfect!

don't be deceived by it's cuteness

i was wrongokay, i wasn't wrong... but it was definitely not the right fabric to try a new skill on. it's lightweight, it's shifty—shifty i tell you!!! oh, and to top it off, it's plaid. and it's a princess seamed pattern. and i'm just right at this moment having a slap-palm-to-forehead revelation: why didn't i switch the princess seams to darts? duh.

button down shirts have lots of pieces. ergo lots of plaid matching. but the fabric is so darn cute! sigh. by the time i had finished cutting my pieces (one at a time because i could not line up the plaid to cut the fabric double sided—not even the folded pieces) i had already invested four or five hours. just to cut a shirtdress for a seven year old.

this fabric should come with a warning label!!!

but it didn't. and i bought it having no idea what i was getting myself into. once the fabric was cut i had to set it aside for a few days to convince myself that it wasn't really that hard to work with... argh, felt like every single seam was a struggle. it felt like i was sewing for the first time. but, i plowed ahead and sewed and topstitched, and sewed and topstitched. i wanted it to look like a real shirt, so i topstitched every seam i could!

remarkably once all was sewn and done, it actually looked like... a shirt. a real shirt. but the thought of making 8 buttonholes made my head spin. also, a timely blurb on sunni's facebook page cued me in that what i needed to finish this thing off properly were snaps. yes, those adorable pearly snaps!

yes, those are turquoise colored snaps in the background... might
they be going into another shirt in the (hopefully) near future? perhaps...

so, the shirt was sitting in my sewing room completely finished for over a week as i waited for my beautiful snaps to arrive. thankfully my first snap application was a huge success! they went in super fast (i think it took about 15 minutes total. take that buttonholes!) and they totally finish off the look of the shirt. dare i say, they were a snap to put in! you knew that was coming.

i am 95% pleased with the outcome of this shirtdress! which is high, i assure you. despite the horrifically difficult fabric i was working with (did i mention it was shifty???), i finished the whole thing without mishap. but seriously... only use this fabric if your patience is on heroic virtue levels. for real.

believe me, unpicking seams with this fabric would have been nearly impossible. my button placket is passable (two piece button placket, not one of the faux just turn it to the inside button plackets, mind you) and my first real life two piece collar is very close to perfect.

i won't point out the flaw in my collar application, only someone who actually knows anything about collars would notice what's wrong with it. i couldn't accurately mark this fabric so something got a little off... but like i said: you will never know.

and, for your amusement... i also made this skirt.

it is ridiculous and poufy and too stiff of a fabric, so i'll probably never actually wear it. does look much cuter in pictures than in real life though, go figure!

and lest you think i haven't been doing that much sewing, i have five made for easter outfits coming up! just have to finish up that last dress...

—lisa g


  1. That green skirt with the white stripes looks very, very nice. I love it!!

    Aya ♥ Strawberry Koi

    1. thanks! i do hope to make another in a more suitable fabric. i'm sure once the weather warms up it'll still get some use though!

  2. I'm glad that you overcame a challenging fabric to produce a lovely shirtdress for your adorable daughter. Cool looking skirt. It would be disappointment not to wear it again. Is it possible to take in the side seams?

    1. thanks! i could have narrowed the skirt, but i took the time to put in-seam pockets in and didn't want to cut them out or redo them!

  3. I think you did marvelous with this shirt and fabric. I've made up this pattern recently, and it's a great one, isn't it? Lots of great details. Love your version!

    1. thanks so much! something about making a button down shirt was so supremely satisfying i immediately bought some fabric to make myself one. and those snaps are just the icing on the cake. :)


i appreciate all the feedback, but will no longer be responding to comments left here. i have moved all my content to wordpress (see link at the top of the page!) and will now be posting there. all my posts can be found in my wordpress archive. thanks for reading and please visit my new page!