#Make Nine Number Two – Shirtdress

best dress

I wanted to like this dress more than I do.  I like it but I don’t love it.  I was excited when I saw Vogue V9371 last year.  View F with its elongated shoulder line which gives more coverage than a cutaway sleeveless armhole really appealed to me and I was looking forward to having a stylish shirtdress to wear during the summer.  I know it is designed as a slightly loose shirtdress with the tie belt to hold it all together but the problem is that it feels slightly big on me.  To be honest no-one else would probably tell but it is one of those things where you know how something feels on you and although not uncomfortable, I’m just aware that it is a tad too large.  To my shame I have actually had the pattern and fabric to make this dress for about a year and decided to add it to my #Makenine2020 plans to spur me on.  I was given further impetus to complete this project when I read that Sea of Teal’s SewYourWardrobeBasics theme for the month of May was dresses.  This seemed the ideal opportunity for me to complete my dress to include in Sea of Teal’s monthly round up for May.


I read a few reviews beforehand and one commented that style F felt tight on the hips so as I was prevaricating between cutting a size 10 or 12 and, going by my body measurements on the envelope, I settled for a 12.  I needn’t have worried as once tacked up the 12 felt huge on me and even though I had chosen the straight version of the dress I could nearly wrap it around me twice.  The armholes were also gaping (showing underwear type gaping) and so I had to take the side seams in by an inch each side to try and eradicate some of the problems.

There were a few other alterations I also made.  One was the collar which I made slightly smaller (although the neckline still feels a tad too big) and the second was that I reduced the width of the sash.  I do like the sash and think it is a lovely feature but it just did not look right in the fabric I had chosen which, although a lightweight double gauze, does have a heavier appearance.  I feel it would suit something either more floaty or very structural to make a statement.  On a positive note the dress is very easy to make up as it is basically just a long shirt.  The only time consuming part is hand sewing the front edge of the band down before turning it in to make the button band facings.

best button

Despite these hiccups I would definitely sew this pattern again but with the following adjustments:

  1. Cut out a size 8 on the bodice going out to a size 10 over the hips
  2. Redraft the collar to the smaller size that I prefer
  3. Reduce the size of the side splits by around two inches in length as at the moment they are split to well above the knee
  4. Add an extra button on the button band for a similar reason as the splits
  5. Any alteration to the width of the sash would be dependent on the fabric being used

So although I wanted to like this dress more than I do,  it is still very wearable and comfortable but I hope my next attempt will be the perfect shirtdress I was hoping for.

4 thoughts on “#Make Nine Number Two – Shirtdress

  1. Stefanie T.

    Hi Jane,
    your dress looks beautiful. I admired it before on Instagram. I think your version looks so much better then the model on the envelope!
    The difference between the reviewer experience and your experience with the sizing is interesting. On me Vogue patterns are kind of true to size.
    If you got inspired to sew your dress by #SewYourWardrobeBasics it would be very kind, if you could mention my challenge in your blogpost.
    I hope you get a lot of wear out of your dress and that it will be a real wardrobe basic! 😉
    Greetings from Germany,


    1. Hi Stephanie, Thank you. It is always nice when other sewists acknowledge the work you have done and it means so much coming from someone such as yourself as your creations always look beautifully constructed and styled. It is a while since I have used a Vogue pattern as I tend to rely on my back catalogue of Burdastyle magazines and a Burda 12 usually fits me nigh on perfect. I agree with you about the made up dress on the pattern envelope. I don’t think the busy fabric shows off the design features very well as I can hardly see the tie belt. Thank goodness for line drawings! Yes that is no problem about adding a reference in my blog. I am sorry I forgot to include it as your dress theme was instrumental in spurring me on to get the dress made. I think your monthly themes are a lovely idea to bring the sewing community together and share our makes. I hope I can contribute to some of your other monthly themes as well depending on how busy I am 🙂


    1. Hi Audrey, yes it is a double gauze. A fabric that is new to me but I really like it. Very soft and comfortable to wear plus it needs minimal ironing so would be great for travelling. I’d love to work with it again. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s