While the Sun Shines

Posted Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

Hello crafty people!

Here we are back again within a week of my last blog post. Am I overenthusiastic? I’d say so.

The thing is, after months of gathering fabrics and patterns and dreaming up delicious outfit combos, I finally have had the chance to take back some ‘me time’. Who knows how long it will last? I’m going to make dresses while the sun shines.

Also, it feels good to be working toward a more consistent blogging routine so let’s see how this plays out!

Luke says that this dress (the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress) has very 'mid-century Australia vibes' and I have to agree. The style is very particular to the sort of things ladies back in the day would wear in our hot climate (and curiously, what I have seen on BBC UK’s Call the Midwife as well! Must've been the summertime episodes). I’m totally ok with this because those dresses were quality and always had such lovely prints. I’ll happily wear this dress running errands or a little more glammed up. Also, the tropical print is in keeping with the Palm Springs Retro Vibes which I love. I think that you could take style cues from a variety of elements in this pattern and print, depending on your mood! 

The Vintage Shirt Dress will transition well to the cooler months as well. Being quite fond of a cardi, this is partly why I chose a sleeveless version. I find that sleeved dresses can tend to bulk up when worn under layers and seeing sleeve lines irks me.

Sewing notes:

  • This Vintage Shirt Dress has become my latest go-to as we’re still in high summer mode in the desert (42 degrees Celsius yesterday. Again). I first made it up a couple of years ago, but the pattern got lost in our move. Luckily, through my partnership with Indie Stitches (who kindly provided another copy of this pattern for review*) I’ve had the chance to sew her up again.
  • Size-wise, I am toying with the idea of sizing down for my next version, or perhaps grading in through the waist and adjusting the armholes. I think that my broad back made me a bit too cautious when selecting my size. I knew from the pattern chart that it would be a little loose in the waist, but wasn’t overly concerned as it’s not a super close-fitting garment (as you can see from SOI promotional photos). Because of this, tightening it up in those areas is just a matter of personal preference for me.
  • Fabric used was this linen from The Remnant Warehouse (no longer available online, but I've linked to their linen range). Such a dream to press and sew. (From memory it’s ex-designer. Fancy!) 
  • Also, this fabric was so nice and heavy. I know that the nature of linen is to crease, but I still struggle with that. This fabric doesn’t crease easily and the print is beautiful. Basically, it’s my fabric holy grail.
  • Finish-wise, for the armholes I used pre-made linen bias tape from the Fabric Store. To make my own would have been easy enough, but as I’m being more economical with my sewing time (and felt lazy) I went with this. All other seams were done on my overlocker.
  • The hem is handsewn and I added an extra button to the bottom of the skirt for modesty and comfort.
  • I also tacked the facings down at the seamlines. This is to stop it flapping about too much and keep everything in place. 

*As ever, all opinions are my own.

In case you may have missed this Instagram post, in honour of my First Blogging Anniversary (!) I have teamed up with Indie Stitches to give away one free pattern to one of my Australian readers. For a chance to win (and for full terms and conditions), please head over to Instagram. The winner will be announced on Friday 15th Februrary.

Tell me, is this dress as versatile as I seem to think? I'd love to know if you've made it as well!

Until next time,

Brooke x


  • Lipstick: NARS Audacious Lipstick in 'Lana'
  • Shoes: old, via David Jones. I'm after this rose gold pair next.
  • Bag: old, (made from African Elephant grass and bought locally)