Little black shirt dress

A year or so ago I found a pattern (Burda 3504) in an op shop. I’m not sure when the pattern was published, but I think it’s safe to say that the styling, at least, is more than a little 80s! :-P But, despite the styling, it really is a great, simple pattern for a dress that everyone needs! At the time I found this pattern, I was in need of a new black shirt dress – my current, shop-bought one was quite faded (due to much wear) and definitely not as black as I desired… so #WIN!

I made up a practice version of the pattern first, and decided to make a few alterations. The most important change required was to change the sleeves – the pattern didn’t even come close to accommodating my upper arms! After a bunch of googling/reading I found a tutorial which showed me how slice and dice the pattern piece so as to keep the armscye the same size, but add width around the bicep. Fixing this pattern piece was one of the best things I’ve ever done – I NOW USE THIS SLEEVE PATTERN PIECE  IN ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!

So, here’s the dress I ended up with >>

The dress is made out of a black cotton from Potters. The stock number is something like #2950… #2905? Hrmm… I don’t really remember. It’s a cotton that Potters generally have in stock out the back (I’ve never seen it on the racks in the show room), and it comes in a range of colours (I’ve also bought it in navy blue and red). It took me ages to find the sort of cotton I wanted to make this dress out of. None of the big-box fabric stores had anything of even close to the right weight – all the cottons were quilting cotton weight or heavier, whereas I was looking for more of a lawn/voile weight. This fabric is pretty good weight-wise, thought while I think it isn’t see through, I tend to wear a slip under dresses made out of it… just in case!

This is the 3rd dress I’ve made using this pattern. There’s another one made out of navy blue (with 3/4 length sleeves), and another one out of black, with 3/4 length sleeves and gold buttons. The one with the gold buttons was actually the first version I made, inspired by this picture.

Now, truth be told, I am contemplating one more dress using this pattern (other than the replacement needed when this one gets worn out)… I’m not generally a maxi-dress person, but this picture seems to have gotten to me! But, we’ll all just have to wait and see whether or not I ever get around to it making it!

Oh, and yes. My new pink shoes are awesome! (My tights had to be put away with the arrival of warmer weather… so I needed to add some colour in some other way!)

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9 responses to “Little black shirt dress

  1. Oh, Sarah! That pattern is so cute an the result is just stunning on you! The fit is really spot on! Good on you :)

  2. It looks amazing on you Sarah. A shirt dress is an absolute wardrobe essential imo ;) great fit, it’s very flattering, loving the pink shoes too xx

  3. Do you still have the link for the tutorial Sarah? Would love to see the other versions you have made – maybe at the November sewing weekend ? :) Kate

    • Unfortunately I don’t remember what tutorial I used – that’s the price you pay for blogging about a creation so long after you make it! But, I vaguely recall it being in a real-life book (the Vogue sewing book) rather than online… sorry Kate!

  4. I’m SO EXCITED. Not only did I just discover you (as in, I found another blog about people who sew their own clothes, IN PERTH), but you also mentioned Potters, a fabric store that I didn’t even know existed which looks AMAZING. I’m about to explode with excitement… Like seriously.

  5. Wow, this is lovely! You are right everyone needs this dress! I didn’t realize you could go out the back to buy fabric?!? I can only imagine what I have been missing!

    • Technically *you* don’t go out the back… but you have a conversation with the staff about what you’re looking for, and they might think of something that is out the back and bring it out for you ;) .

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