Hi there friends! I'm sure you've seen the newest pattern released by Grainline Studio's genius designer Jen (that's a mouthful) - the ALDER SHIRTDRESS! I bought it the day it was released, as a PDF, because I wanted to make it RIGHT NOW. Once I realized it was fifty-one pages to tape together, I wished I had ordered the paper version, but oh well.... impatience wins the day again ;) There is an option to print to a copyshop, but the only place I've found that does it is Office Max, and it's around $12! No thanks - I'll get my tape.

In any case, I am SO happy I bought this pattern! View B, with the gathered skirt, is really what sold me on it. Those little details on a classic design, plus great drafting and awesome directions are why I own the entire Grainline studio collection (except the Moss mini skirt - not quite my style). When I organized my PDF's into binders, per Andrea's recommendation, Grainline got it's very own binder. It's pretty special :)

Here are the details:

Pattern: Grainline Studio's Alder Shirtdress, View B

Fabric: Chambray with Turquoise Pin-dot's by Lisette for Joann Fabrics

Sizing / Fit: I am 6' tall and pear shaped

- I made a straight size 8, with the gathered skirt pieces and length (hem) all around a size 14
- Added 3" in length EDIT: Only added 2" in length - my bad!

Construction Notes:

- Everything comes together so nicely! This is my first time sewing a collar or a button down dress and they were both pretty painless!
- I french seamed the side seams but had to resort to serging to finish the waist seam and seams along the center front - how you could pivot at the corner AND do a french seam is beyond me!
- The armholes and hem are finished with a seafoam green bias tape from my mom's stash - I discovered it was older than me! I love the look of it, and you can see it on the dropped hem in the back
- Everything is top-stitched with a turquoise thread that matches the pin-dots. I love topstitching!
- Added an adorable "Handmade with Love" tag from Sewaholic - these are the cutest labels around!
- I do have a safety pin between the buttons at the bust so there is no gaping - I had to space out the buttons a little more due to my added length. Next time I will buy more buttons and just add an extra instead of spacing them out
- EDIT::: I forgot to mention, I left off one of the pockets - I like the asymmetrical look a little better ;)


- This dress will be perfect for school - it is modest and "teacher-y" while still being stylish and cute
- The design of the dress allows it to sit "off the body" so it is nice to wear, even when it's sweltering
- I would like to add side seam pockets next time - they just make everything better
- The sleeveless design will be easy to wear alone or under a cardigan/jacket, and it's the perfect length for bare legs or leggings, so I deem this a year-round dress!

I will definitely be making more of the Alder Shirtdress! I'm not so sure about the straight view on my body shape, but I love the gathered one! And I think I've been avoiding sewing dresses in my stash that button all the way down (Darling Ranges, Bleuet, etc) but this has given me confidence in my button/hole sewing skills ;) If you are a little apprehensive about sewing things like the collar and buttons, check out Jen's Alder Sewalong, starting on Monday!

So how do you feel about sewing button down garments? or collars? Are you a straight or gathered Alder gal? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading :)