I’ve been meaning to add some more black and white pieces to my wardrobe for a while now. I actually have this material in three colour ways, white and orange, white and black and black and white. I mainly bought it because it was pretty cheap and perfect for toiles. Most of my toiles end up wearable and although cheap, this fabric is pretty decent for its price. I’m not sure I’ll end up wearing the white and orange colourway but it’s getting good use for mock ups and experiments.
I bought this pattern a while ago, I think probably in the Black Friday sales. As you already probably know, shirt dresses are a particular favourite of mine and I’m always looking for new variations. I also decided I needed to add in a lining which wasn’t incorporated into the instructions but turned out not to be as scary or as hard as I thought. It also meant I finally got to use belt hole puncher/rivet thingy I got from Lidls a few years ago!
Despite having tonnes of buttons, I don’t have a lot of matching buttons and had to go and get 9 large buttons for this dress. The belt buckle I raided out of my vintage stash which is why it looks slightly random.
The side pockets were the fiddliest but only because I was attaching a lining. First I made sure I cut the front lining minus 5cm from the edge up to the fold point, so that it would sit neatly in the button band. I also cut in a few inches shorter at the hem. The only reason I added a lining was because the material was a little too see-through, which is why I don’t really wear white.
I then secured in place when finishing off the button band and finally I finished off the belt and the hem line and sewed on the buttons. I made a bit of a hash job with some of the button holes, half came out fine, the other half not so great. Not sure what happened there but needless to say buttonholes are have gone on my nemesis list along with zips! These photos have also reminded me I need to add a snap button to deal with gapage due to too much boobage!
All in all I like this pattern, the instructions were easy to follow, there were a lot of pieces to cut out and iron interfacings on to in prep of making this dress but the actual construction was pretty easy. Adding a lining wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, in retrospect I should have attached the lining to the sleeves before attaching the collar but I’ll know for next time.
Things I would do differently next time are probably choose only one set of pockets, I think I prefer the outer pockets and would raise them up a bit. I might also lose the sleeves as I quite like going sleeveless, especially in the summer. A thought has crossed my mind that if I were to lengthen the sleeves this might also make a nice trench coat but that’s an experiment for later down the line.
This is officially my 5th item of the year. I was little apprehensive about this pattern especially with adding in the lining and I’m not sure 4 pockets are really necessary but it was definitely good practice. Also as you can see from the photos with this grid pattern, it looks a little better with just a plain black belt which I think helps break up the outfit a little.
I’m not sure I like the sleeves on the dress but it could just be the material and the fact that I usually prefer sleeveless dresses. I used a cotton fabric I bought for practice makes, this is technically a toile, so I’m not too fussed over the mistakes. I’m a little concerned it looks a bit too much like a funky lab coat or maybe that’s just because I’m not used to wearing white! Though you can see my love of grids has not waned.
And that is the Alpha Beta Gaga Dress, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of sewing up this pattern.
Pattern -Lempi Button down dress by Named Clothing
Material – 100% cotton fabric
Size – 42
Post Title -Alpha Beta Gaga by Air