This shirtdress hack was an experiment, and I’m thrilled with the result. I love the Toile À La Mode collection, but I had to start my toile dabbling with the REVERSE, ‘Safari Bright Royal’. There is something about this blue . . . 💙
The Maison Fauve ‘Skyline’ is one of the new patterns in this French Indie Pattern Company's range. The triangle cut-out in the back yoke is the key feature of the design, and it’s a welcome cool vent for warm days. The construction is lots of fun and I love it when aspects of the making process keep things interesting. Could you do this cut-out without a pattern? Well, yes, but I wouldn’t have thought of it without Maison Fauve’s design. I should note that the pattern also comes with a regular yoke.
To highlight the back yoke, with the unique triangle cut-out, I used the contrasting ‘Safari Bright Royal’. The whites in each of these is a little different, but they still work together. I also used the contrast fabric on the under collar, and the darker collar stand provides a lovely break between the yoke and collar. I used white top stitching around the triangle, and blue top stitching on the seam that joins the yoke to the back. I wish I’d used white for both, but I can live with it👌.
The ‘Skyline’ has several options, including either the classic French collar or the Peter Pan collar. I opted for the former. Both have optional pleats, and I know it gets lost in this print, but this is a great feature. If you’re making a plain colour shirt, this pleated detail will look amazing. Again, this component is much easier than it looks.
I didn’t include the pleats all the way down the front, as my Maxi shirt dress is A-Line and I wasn’t sure how that would sit. To do this I simply folded the pleats in the pattern pieces before I cut out the fabric. I used 15 simple, white 4-hole shirt buttons all the way down the front. They offer a little relief from the sea of blue and add a nice vertical line. I also didn’t bother with the front pocket, and as for the cuffs, I cut them out but whilst trying on the shirt I decided that the three quarters sleeves were much better for summer.
To make this shirt into a dress was a straightforward process. I used the Simplicity s8546 shirtdress pattern (View B) as a guide from the waist down. I tapered the waist on the ‘Skyline’ in a bit rather than following its straight shape. The fabulous ties are also from the s8546, although I cut mine a little narrower. I love this type of shaped tie that’s sewn into the side seam.
This was an amazing dress to make, and I will be doing another maxi shirt dress soon, and I’ll certainly circle back to the ‘Skyline’ pattern in the autumn/winter.
I hope my shirt dress adventures encourage you to do a bit of hacking. The shirt-to-shirtdress hack is one of the easiest. The Simplicity pattern is a great guide. It works well for me as I like a bit of waist shaping, and there is just enough ease over the hips. The pattern is very long, so save yourself some fabric and measure your desired length beforehand 😉.