I sure hope you’re keeping cool (or warm) where ever you are. It’s very hot (109 F) and humid (75%) as I write this here and I sure hope it gets better soon as it’s utterly miserable here. We can take the heat and are used to it here in the Sierra foothills, but it’s usually a dry heat which is more tolerable. As our house is cooled by a water cooler (evaporative air cooler), it doesn’t work well with the current humidity, so it just plain sucks. It’s better than being outside though!
Anyway…. I’ve read that this is the summer of the shirtdress and shirtdresses are trending. Well, they’ve always been trendy with me. And at least being “trendy” might mean that there are more shirtdress patterns to choose from, eh?
*Note: Portions of this post originally appeared on the Cali Fabrics blog
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the hunt for the Holy Grail of shirtdresses for a long time! I’ve been searching for something classic, comfortable, well fitting with a myriad of options to customize and I think I’ve found it with the Cashmerette Lenox. This pattern certainly went together easily and I had no alterations to make. A great fit out of the envelope is always an A+ in my book!
I’ve tested a lot of patterns for Cashmerette, but I didn’t test this particular pattern as I didn’t have time to when it was in the testing phase. That made me especially sad as I love shirtdresses and was waiting patiently for a curve-friendly version like this one. Thus, my first Lenox is the final version, not one made during testing.
I knew I wanted to make my version of the Lenox in chambray and I fell in love the Robert Kaufman Ranchero Rayon Chambray. The color that I used is “indigo” and it’s a really lovely fabric with a wonderful drape that’s fantastic to wear. However, this fabric is a bit finicky to work with as it’s slippery and frays easily. I definitely recommend sergering or zig-zagging the edges of your patter pieces after you cut them and using some kind of stabilizer like spray starch when you’re cutting it out. I also used a lot of pins while sewing it together that were put in at a slant and “double pinned” (pushing the pin twice into the fabric to hold it). Yes, the rayon chambray takes a little bit more work to sew with, but look at how lovely it is? It’s definitely worth some cautionary steps to tame it.
I graded between sizes for this dress as my bust differs from my waist/hip measurement on the Cashmerette size chart. I cut the out the largest sleeve instead of doing a full bicep adjustment. The pattern has a built-in swayback adjustment, but I could probably take out a little bit more of a wedge on the back bodice. It does have a blouson effect that I like, so I’m happy with the fit. The fabric is a little sheer, so I have a full slip on with this dress.
One of the things that I really like about this pattern is that it has some ease and isn’t too fitted. Some of the vintage reproduction shirtdress patterns that I make are fitted in the bodice, which makes it stifling and sweaty in this heat. The Lenox is loose enough not to feel restricted and yet not too loose to be shapeless. Plus, it doesn’t need a belt! (Although, of course you could sew in some carriers and add one!)
It’s so nice to add an easy everyday shirtdress to my closet and look forward to making another. Perhaps a lovely cotton shirting or a poplin for the next one?
Disclaimer: I received the pattern for this dress as a gift as I am a Cashmerette Patterns tester. I received the fabric for this dress at no cost as I am a contributor to the Cali Fabrics blog.
- Dress: Cashmerette Lenox in Kaufman ranchero rayon chambray, made by me
- Shoes: Aerosoles
- Jewelry: Bauble Bar