Silk Jersey Shirtdress

This month’s Mood Sewing Network garment is NOT another silk blouse. It’s a… silk jersey dress. I may have a bit of a silk addiction. I just can’t help it. Once I got over my fear of sewing with it, I want everything in silk! This fabric is from MoodFabrics.com and has recently sold out, but you can find plenty of other beautiful silk jersey prints here including another colorway of this print. Editor’s note: We have some of this same fabric Amanda used at the NYC store. Email jena@moodfabrics.com to order. $25/yd.

Shirtdress made with a silk jersey print from MoodFabrics.com.

I had a lot of difficulty deciding on a pattern for this fabric. It really wanted to be a maxi dress but I’d only ordered 2 yards. It had to be a fairly simple design because of the linear print. Finally I settled on making a shirtdress from Vogue 8903.

Shirtdress made with a silk jersey print from MoodFabrics.com.

Initially I wanted to make the view with the collar and roll up sleeves but I didn’t have enough fabric for the collar and the sleeves were too bulky to roll up. As a result this looks more like a fall dress then a spring one.

Shirtdress made with a silk jersey print from MoodFabrics.com.

I’m not in love with how this looks belted and am toying with the idea of cutting a few inches off the bottom hem and wearing it sans any waist definition. The fabric is lightweight and drapey and I’m thinking with the shorter length it will be sassy instead of kindergarten-teacherish. Editor’s note: “Kindergarten-teacherish, Amanda? We think this dress is more Kate Middleton visiting a kindergarten class. We like it as is, but that’s us.

Dressform pictures:

Shirtdress made with a silk jersey print from MoodFabrics.com.
Shirtdress made with a silk jersey print from MoodFabrics.com.
Shirtdress made with a silk jersey print from MoodFabrics.com.

While cutting the pattern out, I paid special attention to lining up linear print. Especially at the fronts I wanted the little fawns to match up perfectly. That was probably the most difficult part of making this dress. I had no fit issues since it’s a looser design and my fabric is stretchy and I was also able to skip the muslin stage.

Shirtdress made with a silk jersey print from MoodFabrics.com.

Isn’t this print so fun? These little animals sort of remind me of Hugh Lofting’s fabled push-me-pull-you from the book Dr. Dolittle. In hindsight I probably should have put some interfacing along the front button facings. The pattern didn’t call for any but the neckline would stay up a little better and not flop over so much if it had been included. I always like front details like these pockets for the added volume they supply my small-busted shape. These do blend in a bit, but would have looked awful if not matched up.

Shirtdress made with a silk jersey print from MoodFabrics.com.

The insides were sewn with French seams including the armholes. I had to use some stretch lining from my stash for the inside yoke and pocket flaps because of fabric shortage.

Although the fabric was easy to sew with and the pattern simple and not needing any altering, I had to hardest time finishing this dress. My sewing mojo has completely evaporated. I really hope it returns soon because there are so many cute things I want to make!

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Comments


  • Ginger
    February 27, 2014

    Wow! This is gorgeous! What a statement it makes! I love this print, and I love the way you used it. You look really stylish and amazing!

    • Amanda S.
      February 27, 2014

      Thanks so much Ginger!

  • Peter
    February 27, 2014

    What a glorious print! I’m with the mystery editor: do not shorten. I wish MY kindergarten teacher had looked that fabulous!

    • Amanda S.
      February 27, 2014

      Haha Peter, that mysterious editor strikes again! I am now thinking of adding an elastic casing to the inside to pull the waist in and be able to eliminate the belt. It looks too busy to me like this.

  • Jenny Clarke
    February 27, 2014

    Go for the cut Amanda. Nice fabric beautifully made but I think your instincts are correct.

  • Manju
    February 27, 2014

    I think this looks lovely on you. I hope you grow to love it and get your sewjo back!

    • Amanda S.
      February 27, 2014

      Thank you Manju! I’m planning to stick it in the back of my closet for awhile so I can get over the feelings of dread I felt while making it. Isn’t that so weird? I never attach feelings to clothing unless it is homemade.

  • Christy
    February 27, 2014

    This is just divine! And as a member of the teaching profession, it is not at all kindergarten-teacherish!

    • Amanda S.
      February 27, 2014

      Thanks Christy! I guess it feels a little prim and buttoned up – no disrespect to teachers intended! 🙂

  • Kimberly
    February 27, 2014

    Well, as always I appreciate the effort you put into the dress and the quality of your work. In the end you have to do what is necessary to benefit yourself from your work. Do you – and thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Amanda S.
      February 27, 2014

      Thanks Kimberly!

  • Mary Danielson
    February 27, 2014

    So lovely, Amanda! Wow. I absolutely adore this print and you used it perfectly. There’s a vague 60s vibe happening, which is so chic. It doesn’t make me think “kindergarten teacher” at all, honestly. I hope you sewing mojo comes back quickly!

  • Lori
    February 27, 2014

    Oh, Amanda, this is fabulous and stunning. It does not in any way resemble a kindergarten teacher but a stunning star on Rodeo Drive. Fabulous job matching the fronts.

  • Fiona
    February 28, 2014

    Really great dress Amanda, I too think it looks great as it is. The colours of that print really suit you too. The mystery editor makes me laugh!

  • Sarah Gunn
    February 28, 2014

    What a beautiful dress, Amanda! Tailored yet feminine – practical and pretty. A true winner!

    • Amanda S.
      March 1, 2014

      Thanks so much Sarah!

  • Luisa
    February 28, 2014

    I’m in awe of your pattern-matching and construction talents–what a beautiful dress. So glad to see you back and hope your sewing mojo returns! What helped me get it back was sewing a small quilt in an uncomplicated design. It was stress free to work with so many colors and such simple fabric and just take a break from thinking about fit or construction issues. (I’ve even considered making one out of silk!)

    • Amanda S.
      March 1, 2014

      Thank you Luisa! Perhaps I should make my daughter some quick and easy little girl clothes to get me out of my slump.

  • Cennetta
    February 28, 2014

    Your dress is pretty. It’s amazing that you were able to match the print across seam with only two yards! I’ve been a long admirer of your beautiful work.

  • Pam
    March 3, 2014

    Hi Amanda. I love the dress and your workmanship is impeccable as usual. I know what you are saying about it being a little prim and I think you might resolve it with sheer hosiery and high heeled pumps. You can also try leaving it unbuttoned lower with a lacy cami poking out. Sometimes it’s all in the accessorizing.

    • Amanda S.
      March 3, 2014

      You are so right, Pam. It was super cold that day and we usually have an impossible time finding a place with good lighting indoors. I was trying to stay warm with those tights, and definitely need to play around with the styling. Thanks for your comment!