Cotton Pique Shirtdress!

Hi, guys! We’re nearly halfway through the summer- can you believe it?? I’ve done some wild and crazy sewing this summer, experimenting with different silhouettes and going crazy with prints, which has been really fun. But this month I decided I wanted to make an everyday summer dress, classic in shape and color, that I can dress up or down, accessorize multiple ways, and wear anywhere my day takes me! No crazy prints allowed! (Sidenote: my print and bright colors mania has led to a bit of a situation in the shoe department. Tell me I’m not the only one who’s a little scared to open their closet for fear of death by shoe avalanche!)

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

Meet my new shirtdress! Navy is my go-to neutral color- it’s not as harsh on my pale skin as black, but it’s still pretty chic, in my opinion- and when I found this shade in a crisp cotton pique, I was over the moon! (This Japanese cotton pique looks exactly like the one that I used, although I picked mine up in-store at Mood Fabrics NYC).

Look at that great texture! It reads a little sporty in a preppy way, you know, kind of tennis-y? The fabric has lots of body and little drape, so it really gives you a crisp a-line shape in this dress. It’s really, really breathable, a must for a summer dress! It’s a medium weight and it’s nice and opaque, so it doesn’t need a lining- perfect!

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

The pattern is the new Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studio, view A. It’s a really fun sew! It’s like making a buttondown shirt, but without having to set in sleeves or worse, sew the sleeve plackets! It’s a simple silhouette, but it’s got nice lines, and the drafting is great. Not to geek out too much, but the armscyes are just the perfect depth! Not too low, not too high- just right! I’m definitely a fan of this pattern!

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

The pique pressed nicely, which was great for this project. It raveled easily, but luckily you get such a clean finish when you follow the pattern instructions for this dress that I’m not at all worried about its longevity. There’s an inner yoke to clean finish that seam and the armholes are finished with bias binding. The side seams are serged, but they’re the only exposed seams.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

There’s a subtle difference between the right side and the wrong side of this fabric, so I was careful to mark all the wrong sides with chalk. Isn’t it annoying when you forget to do that and you end up with one part of your garment that’s just a little different than the rest? Ugh! Other than that, I didn’t use any special techniques! This was a really straightforward project. :)

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

Overall, I’m really happy with my new dress! Quite a few of my other dresses are just a little too flashy for wearing around the neighborhood or even to work, but this is just right. It’s nice to have a classic dress in my closet.

Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress | Ginger Makes

Alright, what about you guys? What are you sewing right now? And what’s your go-to basic color?

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Comments


  • Cennetta
    July 28, 2014

    Hi Ginger,
    This is a great looking summer dress. Thanks for showcasing the navy pique fabric. It’s beautiful. Did you say something about shoes. Well, I’m afraid to open my closet these days. But somehow I still feel like I need more. :-) Anywho, you look great in your new dress. And I hope the rest of the summer drag along. I’m not ready to think about fall and winter.
    C

    • Ginger
      July 28, 2014

      I hear you! I totally don’t want to think about fall or especially winter… I don’t miss those Chicagoland winters at all!!!

  • Melizza
    July 28, 2014

    I love the fabric you used. The dress looks super good on you. I can see it made in so many fabrics. I, myself, keep dreaming of an Alder wardrobe.

    • Ginger
      July 28, 2014

      It’s such an easy dress to wear and you can imagine it in lots of different fabrics!

  • Lori
    July 28, 2014

    Love this new dress, the style and fabric look great on you. I like the idea of the pique for the dress, brilliant. Shoes, don’t mention them, I have been so good this summer and only purchased 2 pairs at Target. Oh, I miss shoe shopping!!

    • Ginger
      July 28, 2014

      I was thinking as I made this, actually, that I would love to see versions by both you and Goodbye Valentino! I can see both of you rocking this in your own way!

      I’ve traditionally been a shoe minimalist, but I just counted the other day, and I’ve added SIX new pairs this spring/summer!!! Eek!!!

  • The Nerdy Seamstress
    July 28, 2014

    I love this dress! In navy and it’s a pique fabric! Navy is one of my favorite neutral colors. It’s such a great pattern and Jen’s instructions are great (archer), I’m just sad that it isn’t my shape. I like things a bit more fitted. I’m sure this dress will get a lot of wear in the summer!

    • Ginger
      July 28, 2014

      Navy’s so easy to wear, isn’t it? Would you wear a more fitted shirtdress? I love seeing shirtdresses that are fitted through the bodice and fuller in the skirt on others, although I don’t like them on myself. :)

  • Chris Griffin
    July 28, 2014

    I love the dress! I really want an Alder pattern!!

    I think my go-to color is purple, not exactly a “neutral”…

    • Ginger
      July 28, 2014

      My mom is the same! Her whole closet is in the range between deep purple and periwinkle. It makes it easy for her to pair things to have a color that’s sort of her trademark. :)

  • Peter
    July 28, 2014

    It looks great on you — classic and a little preppy. It looks super-comfy too!

    • Ginger
      July 28, 2014

      Thanks, Peter! My high school self would’ve never believed I’d be wearing something preppy today, but it’s so fun to have the freedom to change up your look based on your mood!

  • Debbie Iles
    July 28, 2014

    Cute summer dress. I can see this being so comfortable and cool that you will just want to live in it everyday! Love the shoes with it.

    • Ginger
      July 28, 2014

      It really is a great hot weather dress! When I first got more fastidious about my sewing, I lined everything, but now I rarely wear those dresses in the summer because they’re just too hot! Glad to have something breezier in the closet now. :)

  • Amy
    July 28, 2014

    I knew you’d look great in an Alder!! Great fabric and pattern pairing – a fabulous summer dress!

    • Ginger
      July 28, 2014

      This would totally work on you! And it’s baby-friendly!!

  • True Bias
    July 28, 2014

    ahhh, love it. another great staple. and that fabric is amazing. i never would have guessed that is looked so cool up close.

    • Ginger
      July 29, 2014

      It’s a little sad that you can’t see the detail from far away, but it’s a fun surprise then, I guess?

      • Jenn
        August 11, 2014

        No qutoiesn this is the place to get this info, thanks y’all.

  • Bella
    July 28, 2014

    I agree, navy is such a chic colour! I made an Alder too, but in a crazy print…. You aren’t alone in the print lovin club! You’re right about the armscye, it is indeed the perfect depth. I bet you’ll get tons of wear out to this.

    • Ginger
      July 29, 2014

      Yours is so cute!!!!

  • liza jane
    July 28, 2014

    I appreciate that photo of the armscye! :) Love the fabric!

    • Ginger
      July 29, 2014

      It’s a weird detail to focus on, but it makes such a big difference to your comfort level!

  • Sallie
    July 29, 2014

    Love it!! Alder is on my ‘to sew’ list this summer too, and yours is pretty much perfect in classic navy. Classic, understated makes like this are totally underrated in my opinion! They work so well for LIFE!

    • Ginger
      July 29, 2014

      They’re not as sexy to sew, but they definitely end up getting lots of wear!

  • Fiona
    August 2, 2014

    What a perfect summer dress! I’d wear the hell out of it if it was mine so maybe I need to back away from the prints I’ve been eyeing up for my Alder and go for something like yours! Ha! I love a bit of pique and you’ve done a wonderful job with it here Sonja

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    August 3, 2014

    Really love this fabric and think it’s an excellent choice for this dress!