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Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress | Design The Look 2020

So, today is the big reveal for my Design the Look dress! Design The Look is something I do every year on my Instagram with the help of Style Maker Fabrics. Basically, we choose two fabrics and let my followers vote on which one they like best, then with the fabric chosen, they vote on the pattern I should make with the fabric. And finally with the pattern decided on, they vote on design details like sleeves, hems, buttons, etc.

This year, everyone was presented with this Butterfly eyelet and a rayon denim shirting. It was pretty much a runaway victory for the shirting. So, then they were able to choose between the Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress and the Sew House 7 Burnside Bibs. This was a much closer race, but the dress ended up winning out. With that we let them vote on whether or not it should have sleeves, the skirt hem length, button colors, and whether or not I should use a contrast fabric for the collar and button band.

After a weekend filled with voting and individual campaigns urging people to vote for their choices, the decision had been made. I’d be making the Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress out of a Floral Rayon Denim Shirting with 3/4 inch sleeves, knee length hem, white buttons, and no contrasting fabrics! It really is so fun to let other people make decisions for you. So liberating.

I spent the weekend making my dress giving tips to my Instagram followers along the way. You can see some of that process in my Instagram Highlights.

And, now I’m ready to reveal my dress that all my followers designed for me.

Here she is! What do you think?!

Let’s first talk about the fabric. When I first got it, it felt soft with a bit of heft to it. But, after pre-washing, it somehow softened up even more, revealed its true drape which is fluid and amazing, and it even had another little secret neither I or Style Maker Fabrics was prepared for… the colors. The background ended up becoming more of a true medium blue denim and the flowers all turned baby blue! We tested the fabric in a front loading machine with a color catcher and had similar results. So, what you see in the finished look is really what the fabric was meant to be all along. And, truthfully….I love it even more than its dark denim and white flowered counterpart.

The pattern was a new one for me. In fact, I’d never sewn any of Sew Over It’s patterns before. The instructions were thorough, very detailed, and easy to follow. The only hiccup was converting from centimeters to inches for seam allowances. You also have to pay close attention because the seam allowances change from part to part and they are not consistent throughout the entire garment. Everything was really easy to sew, but in my opinion, the sleeve heads are a really unkind way to torture a sewist. Even someone like me, who is proficient in setting in sleeves with all the right tools and tricks for days couldn’t get them to set in without some gathering. The most intimidating part of the dress is the collar and I have to say that I thought it came together super easy with beautiful results. The entire dress is also unlined which makes for a super fast sew!

The fit is pretty spot on. It’s a little tight across the back…which could possibly be due to the narrow sleeve head, but it’s not uncomfortable. However, if you have a broad back or full biceps, you should definitely double check these measurements and make a muslin. The front bodice has plenty of ease, as does the waist and skirt. I will add though that I never have to length or shorten my hems and this one is a tad short for my liking. I’m 5 foot 5 for reference.

All in all, I’m super happy with the outcome. I am already planning a sleeveless version of this dress! With a few tweaks I think it could be a tried and true for me! And, I know I’ll be wearing this version a ton during spring and fall. The fabric is such a versatile look it would work styled in many different ways for multiple seasons!

So, if you are one of my Instagram followers who participated in Design The Look, thank you! I love my dress. And, if you aren’t you better go follow me right now so you don’t miss out on the next opportunity to design a dress for me!


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