Dress · Sewing

Alder The Second!


Here I am with my second Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio. I enjoyed so much sewing my first one that I cut another one straight away. This time I’ve gone for view B, the variation with the sweet gathered skirt.
I’ve used a quilting and fashion cotton I bought at the beginning of my sewing adventures, more than a year ago. It’s a “very me” print – gorgeous peonies in girly shades of pink and orange scattered on a mint background with enormous yellow polka dots. This great quality cotton is part of the collection Soul Blossoms, designed by the talented Amy Butler for Rowan, and this particular print is Twilight Peony in saffron. There is another version available as well, in beautiful shades of azure and green, which I might buy, sooner or later ;)

I decided not to line this dress as I wanted something very easy and light to wear in this tropical soon-to-be warm weather and I thought I could use a slip if it looked to sheer. For the armholes binding and yoke facing I’ve used a contrasting fabric, a bright yellow polka dots cotton. I really like the look of this two fabrics together! The huge polka dots in the main fabric are kind of echoed in the facings, so everything kind of matches in the end.

As for my first Alder, for the topstitching I’ve used regular polyester thread, in matching yellow, which highlights and at the same time blends very well with the main fabric. I tried several other colors – every possible tone of pink and orange – but yellow won the battle.

Size wise, I’ve cut an 8 for the upper bust, grading down to a 6 for the waist and to a 4 for the hips. I wanted to raise a bit the underarm, but in the cutting rush, I completely forgot about it. I also forgot to slightly move up the bust darts, oooops! And guess what? I don’t care!!! This dress is perfect as is!

I had the idea of cutting the pockets to exactly match the print underneath, but I couldn’t be bothered. I also thought to cut them in the yellow polka dots fabric, but I didn’t like the idea of a mismatching patch on my boobs – too much. So I cut them with the print upside down and bingo – they look great to me!


I’ve instead decided to use the polka dots fabric for the hemming – I’ve cut few 2.5cm wide strips and joined them together so I could hem the dress with this lovely handmade bias binding. I really like this polished look and the fact the hem matches the armholes binding and the yoke facing.


I can’t wait to cut a shirt out of this pattern, it would be perfect for work! Jen should publish a post in her sewalong very soon – she designed several variations and they are all awesome!

Have a good week end everybody – I sure will, enjoying this my new making! ;)


13 thoughts on “Alder The Second!

  1. Il modello è molto carino, e la stampa favolosa! Mi piacerebbe vedere anche la versione sui toni degli azzurri, se prima o poi la acquisti………Brava, bravissima! Ieri parlavo di te a mia mamma, che è bravissima a fare tutto, e le dicevo:”Pensa conosco una ragazza che lavora a maglia e si taglia e cuce anche gli abiti, bravissima, è toscana ma vive in Australia etc etc” le devo fare vedere le foto che pubblichi, è veramente impedita con il PC (ha 73 anni). Continua così, sei il mio mito. Io per ora sono ferma alle mie tovaglie, che sono venute bene, ma sono pur sempre dei rettangoli!!! Ciao, buona giornata Paola

  2. Brava Paola, fammi pubblicità che magari divento famosa! Ahahahah!
    Anche mia mamma é impedita con computers sicché ci pensa mia sorella a farle vedere le foto….mal comune mezzo gaudio, no? :)
    Un abbraccio xox

  3. Your dress looks fantastic. It was this version that inspired me to make the version with the ‘bum ruffle’ :) which I have just finished and love it to bits!

    1. Thanks! I love both versions, but probably the ruffle one is more feminine and my favorite too! Alder is a great dress and I find it very satisfying to sew, with all the little details. Need another one I think!

  4. Carly I love your Alders! I am making mine this weekend and reading your posts religiously 😃. I love how your bum ruffle Alder fits and I wondering about the grading down you did. Did you grade down waist and hip because that was your body measurement? My measurements are exactly size 4 for bust waist and hip but given the loose nature of the fit perhaps I should grade down as well…..

    1. Hi Hila! I’m happy you find my posts helpful, thank you! I did grade down to the hips because mine are pretty narrow and I need this adjustment basically on every skirt or pants I make, otherwise they’re too big on me. My hip measurement is a 2 so I cut that. The design is meant to be slightly loose, at the waist too, so I’d recommend you to trace the size you fall into and go with it. Happy sewing and can’t wait to see what you make!

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