Dress · Sewing · Shirts

Grainline Studio / Alder the Third

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Happy Friday to me! Yep, I’ve been working the whole weekend so I feel like Friday is finally here. How did your weekend go instead? Sewing or knitting anyone? After work I got the time – before it started raining again! – to take some photos of my latest make.
It’s my third Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress (first and second one here) and I’ve to say, I love this dress! Every time I sew it, I find myself thinking about a way to remove the extra fullness around the waist, but in the end, I really like the original shape of this garment. Loose fitting, cool and easy to wear – perfect.

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I’ve basically made this version just to test some adjustments I’ve done to the paper pattern, so I could check the fit before cutting into one amazing fabric I bought for the 2015 Outfit Along dress I planned to make. (Un)fortunately I like this batik print very much, so I might end up knitting something to go with this dress too. I even have the right yarn colors, just need some damned time.

Anyhow, here there are some specs. I sewed my previous Alders without any alterations, but the fit around shoulders and bust wasn’t exactly great so I tried to alter the pattern to fix the problems. Size wise, I’ve traced an 8 for bust, grading to a 4 at the waist and from there to a 2 for the hips, and kept size 6 for the hem. First thing first, I’ve moved the dart up by 5/8″ and lengthened the bodice pieces by also 5/8″. Next time I’m gonna try to keep the dart where I moved it, but angle it differently, slightly higher as it doesn’t quite point to my apex yet.

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Then, as usual, I started with a 1/2″ forward shoulders adjustment, followed by a 1/2″ prominent shoulder blades adjustment. For the forward shoulders alteration, I’ve removed the 1/2″ from the front piece, pivoting at the seamline at the neck and then added the same amount back to the yoke piece. I added the 1/2″ not to the yoke seam line, but where the shoulder line sits, about 1″ towards the back, basically where the notch is. This doesn’t probably change the result of the adjustment, but it made more sense to me than following the instructions I found in many pattern alterations books. Looking at the photos, I’m not sure if I’ve a bit of square shoulders too, what do you think? I don’t know.

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I’ve also done a 1/2″ FBA. This added 1/2″ to the waist too, which I didn’t want, so I simply removed the same amount from the front side seam and brought it back to the original width, rather than creating a waist dart. After I tried the bodice on, I’ve decided to remove an extra little amount of fabric from the sides, so I’ve increased the seam allowances from the dart down, probably only by a 1/4″. And finally, I’ve done a sway back adjustment, eliminating the excess fabric from the back bodice piece and therefore leveling the waistline, which now sits (almost perfectly) parallel to the floor. I’m pretty happy with the overall fit, at least, if still not perfect, it certainly has improved from my previous two Alders.

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Also, I don’t know if you can see it from these photos, but my right shoulder is definitely more forward than the left one. I absolutely refuse to asymmetrically alter patterns for this issue, I’m sure I can do some specific exercises and resolve this problem at the source. Right, right?

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From this close up, it’s clear something went wrong with the construction of the collar, it’s way too far apart and not quite centered. Not a big deal though, as I don’t usually fully button up my shirts.

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I’m very proud of these button holes though, I think they look quite pretty, considering I’m using just a very basic 4 step-button-hole sewing machine. I’m also very happy to have chosen this perfect shade of jade for the thread, it really highlights this particular color present in the fabric.

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And of course I couldn’t resist using some matching bias binding for the armholes and hem, which I ended up cutting it shorter by 1/2″.

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That’s all from me, have a good week everyone, I’m off to cut my fourth Alder!

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14 thoughts on “Grainline Studio / Alder the Third

  1. As always your fabric choices has me clicking to online fabric shops looking for batik fabric! I loved your other Alders but this even more. Your shoulders are lovely! I like your shoulders. I cut out my first Alder last week and I will get sewing next week.

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