Handmade and Fabulous: The Shirtdress

Have you seen ‘Midnight in Paris?‘ If you have, then you will understand my recent fascination with the Shirtdress. The movie is Woody Allen’s nth film, set in modern Paris where couple Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) are on vacation with her rich family. Minutes into the movie, it is evident that the relationship between the couple is beset with problems – Gil, a frustrated writer and Inez, a spoiled little rich girl can’t seem to be in the same room for five minutes without the latter biting the former’s well-mopped writer’s head off. Add to that is Gil’s propensity to travel back in time – specifically to the 1920s- when midnight strikes and falling in love with a 1920s flapper named Adriana (Marion Cotillard) and you have a story so charmingly complicated you’d wonder how it all would end. But while the plot kept me glued to my seat, it was the clothes that kept my eyes glued to the screen. In particular, Rachel McAdams’ laid-back glam wardrobe and the endless parade of -yes, you guessed it- shirtdresses. Pictures are worth thousands of words they say so I’ll let these stills from the movie, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics and IMDB, speak for themselves:

One look and I was in love…with the shirtdress
Shirtdress cinched at the waist, dressed up with wedges. Perfect daytime chic.
Rachel MacAdams and Owen Wilson Film For New Woody Allen Film
A silky version worn with low-slung belt for laid-back night-time glamour.

The moment I laid eyes on that baby blue shirtdress, I shifted into I-gotta-have-me-one-of-those mode. So out came the pattern paper, the scissors, the measuring tape, the chalk,  the fabric, and of course, my trusty sewing machine. It took me two days to finish it, but only because I realized I was out of buttons! Then I remembered my husband’s well-worn dress shirts in a plastic bag somewhere waiting for their trip to the recycling drum. The next owner won’t be happy to find he is missing eight buttons 😦

So here is my finished shirtdress, in khaki Irish Linen, bought a couple of years ago from a street market in Brighton, UK for 2.50GBP/meter at 60 width.

The finished shirtdress in khaki Irish Linen with pocket details and slightly oversized collar
The finished shirtdress in khaki Irish Linen with pocket details and slightly oversized collar
Up close
Up close
Those buttons turned out all right!
Those buttons turned out all right!
A close-up of the slightly oversized collar
A close-up of the slightly oversized collar

Overall, I was happy with how it turned out. But on my next shirtdress (I am now in what I call my I-gotta-have-myself-another-one-of-those mode), I will skip the interfacing on the collar as my fabric choice was stiff enough without it. I’ll explain how I made my version on a tutorial that’s coming soon.

Happy stitching!



2 thoughts on “Handmade and Fabulous: The Shirtdress

  1. We must have the same taste in fashion! I love shirt dresses and the movie pushed me up further in love. Inez wore just shirt dresses all through the movie and I think I’ll start making one today. Thanks for inspiring me.

    1. Hi Yettie!

      I was just thinking of making another shirt dress myself! Thank YOU for giving me the tiniest shove. Would love to see yours when it’s finished!

      Thanks for visiting!

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