Long time no see! I’ve been in a bit of a sewing funk lately with a lack of sewjo. It may be because it’s summer and the heat and smoke from the wildfires are killing it or that my husband is off for the summer (he’s a teacher). Or …. maybe I burnt myself out with sewing multiple projects before our trip to New Orleans in June. Whatever it is, I haven’t been in my sewing room very much until recently. I do, however, have a backlog of garments that I have made and have not shared yet and this is the first of them. Fingers crossed that my sewjo has returned as I plan to be sewing later today. 🙂
This dress is the Colette Penny shirtdress pattern. I’ve loved this pattern since it was released, but wasn’t so sure I actually needed it as I have many shirtdress patterns, including vintage 1940’s and 50’s patterns that the Penny is inspired by. However, I eventually sold myself as I love the little details and generally love the fit of Colette patterns and decided that this would be my most recent project for The Confident Stitch.
I just love the buttoned sleeve cuffs and used some vintage buttons from my stash for both the cuffs and the shirtwaist bodice. I did cut out the bodice pockets and sewed them, but when I pinned them to the bodice, they just didn’t look right. It was a shame as they were cut on the bias and I thought that they would be cute, but I was reminded again that shirt pockets just don’t work for me. I probably should have pinned some on that are “invisible” and matched the gingham to see how I liked those, but I didn’t have the energy to do so.
Although this pattern does come in my size, the store didn’t have the pattern in the upper size range, so I sewed the 0-16 version and sized up. I am not a big fan thus far with the Colette plus-size block used with their woven dress patterns, so I was happy to use the smaller block as I prefer the fit on the earlier Colette patterns. Aside from grading up, the only alterations I made was a full bicep adjustment on the sleeves and a swayback adjustment to the back bodice piece. Next time I would shorten the bodice, which was something that I pondered while I was in the fitting process, but I left it for this dress.
I chose this lovely Riley Blake navy and white gingham from the The Confident Stitch for this dress. They don’t currently have this colorway in stock online, but they do have the red gingham. I’ve sewn with a lot of gingham fabrics and this one is the best that I’ve ever encountered. This is also the second blue gingham shirtdress that I’ve made. I’m actually wearing that one as I write this post.
There is a snap placket on the skirt which has a tendency to pop open, so I’ll be adding a couple of hooks and eyes to ensure that I don’t have a wardrobe malfunction. I also made a mistake with the skirt placket and accidentally serged some of it. Fixing it wasn’t an option from where my serger cut the placket, so I had to fold some of it over it topstitch it down to make it look acceptable. Before the accident it looked 100%, so I was pretty miffed at myself to make such a mistake.
The pattern has a back yoke with two pieces like a proper shirt. I skipped the inner one as I didn’t feel that this dress needed it. I do wish I would have cut the yoke on the bias, but it didn’t even occur to me when I was cutting this pattern out.
A neat surprise with my package from The Confident Stitch were these cute little labels (the other one said: “I made this.”) This dress really did take forever, BTW. There are a lot of pattern pieces to cut out and I think my general sewing malaise was starting to rear itself.
I also made a self-fabric belt cut on the bias with a covered buckle. There’s a tutorial on the CSC that I created when I made this belt.
Colette has stopped producing paper patterns, so if you prefer paper patterns like I do, The Confident Stitch still has them!
Disclaimer I received both the fabric and pattern for this dress from The Confident Stitch at no charge in exchange for a review. This post also includes affiliate links.
- Dress: Colette Penny in cotton gingham, made by me
- Shoes: Sam Edelman
- Earrings: Luxulite
- Sunglasses: Modcloth
- Lipstick: Besame 1939 Tango Red