Hey guys! This is a really simple DIY pattern hack for curvy women who are making simple A-line shirt dresses like the Alder Shirt Dress - View A.
I made the Alder Shirtdress View B up last week - with no alterations (except bringing it in a little where I needed it), and LOVED it. I have worn it maybe 4 times this week already! So I felt motivated to have a go at the more simplistic Alder View A (on left, below) with some vintage-y fabric my mum gave me for my birthday (thanks mum!).
There are some really inspiring makes of this dress.. see a nano iro version from Winnie and the Stitches, this floral version from Sewaholic, this beautiful mustard coloured one from La mercerie and this dark denim version from Grainline.. but most people seem to be making up View B (on right, above)!
I didn't actually intend to change a thing about View A but I was a bit skeptical as to whether it would actually suit my body shape or not. I made it up as a size 16 in the bust (to be on the safe side - there is nothing worse than spending all your effort on something that doesn't fit!) and graded down to a 14 in the wait & hips. But when I put it on it flared out strangely in the back, and looked really boxy on me - perhaps because I have a larger bust and hips and had to cut a larger size?
So I decided to make a few alterations to improve the fit for my body shape by bringing it in at the back by adding a back seam and adding two additional darts under the bust.. I think this gives it just a little shape but subtle enough to still maintain the simple A -line look. See how it turned out below:
And a bit of a close up.. although its hard to see the detail with this pattern!
Here's how to do it:
First make up the dress as per instructions (leaving off the pockets). Then create a new seam at the back, by putting on the dress and marking the smallest part of your waist and bringing it in 5-6 cm (as necessary) along a centre fold, gradually curving back as shown below. Ideally if you knew how much you were going to bring it in (if you made a muslin first) you could do this step before you sew your dress up.
Create some additional darts underneath the bust (about 1-2 cm below your existing darts) gradually sloping out towards side seams. When you put on your dress these lines should form quite naturally - so mark, take it off, and pin in place. Double check that they measure the same on each side before sewing.
One really helpful tip I've been given by a friend who sews - is to curve the end of each dart to so when you press it - it should sit really flat. Once you have sewn and pressed - you are ready to add your pockets!
And your done! ;) Simple really.. when you've figured out what your doing!
I'd love to hear from anyone who's done anything similar - or followed this pattern hack - to see how you've gone with it! I really like how this has turned out, and no doubt will be a lot quicker next time I make it!
I hope you found this useful! :)