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Pattern Review: Alex Shirt Dress by Sew Over It

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

The pattern is part of the eBook from Sew Over it and is one of five patterns. The Alex Shirt Dress is very versatile with different fabrics, it looks very different. I made two versions: one in a light blue chambray and another one in cotton lawn Jungle print (I think it was part of the Lady McElroy fabric range).

This pattern comes in sizes 8 to 20 (UK). I made size 14, as the dress is a very loose fit I didn't grade between sizes. I think I could even go down to size 12 for a slightly more fitted dress. The dress comes out quite long for my height - 5,2'' or 157cm, so once I had sewn up the first version, I had to shorten the dress by 8cm. For the second dress, I shortened the pattern by 10 cm prior at the lengthen & shorten line.

The instruction are not as detailed and extensive than the usual patterns from Sew Over It. On the pictures along with the instructions, they use white fabrics with black polka dots, white background and white thread which I find is difficult to see. I printed it out twice and even with my new printer, the pictures weren't great.

The step to finish and hem the dress could be a bit more detailed described. I have never sewn a dipped hem and would have been grateful for more detailed instructions or perhaps a blog post or sew-along would be a good way to accompany the instructions.

Hence, I wouldn't recommend this pattern to a beginner. With advanced tasks like setting in sleeves and a collar as well as sewing buttonholes as well as edge-stitching, I would recommend this pattern to an intermediate sewer. Although the collar doesn't have a classic collar stand, I believe it is a good pattern to start as a first shirt making experience.

For the light blue chambray version, I didn't buy enough fabric, so I opted to shorten the sleeves.

As mentioned above, I only shortened the dress by 8 cm once it was sewn together. This version is basically my wearable toile. I finished the hem with store-bought bias tape and would do that again if I'd make this shirt dress in the future.

I made a tie belt out of the same fabric but prefer using a regular belt in brown or black to break the fabric a bit so it doesn't look like a uniform. I used simple clear shirt buttons.

My second version of this pattern has a much bolder print. Before sewing the buttons holes and finishing the hem, I had to do a poll on Instagram and also posted a picture on the Foldline Facebook Group because I was very unsure about the fabric on me. And the feedback was overwhelming and blew me away.

Someone suggested to wear it with a black belt to again break up the busy print and goes along with the black top I wore underneath - which by the way I prefer for both versions and that means I can keep the first button undone.

At times, I am still a bit shy to wear the dress with the leave print but my confidence is building up.

What is the boldest print you have ever sewn? Did you overcome your initial doubts and wear it with pride?

Thanks for hanging out with me.

My mom is a pretty good photographer - thanks again :) xxx

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