Coral Pink Shirtwaist Dress

Back again to my original TNT bodice pattern for a sleeveless shirtwaist dress. I have had this pretty Lisa Comfort Cotton Lawn – Elderflower Press in Coral colourway in my stash for a long time.

Lisa Comfort Cotton Lawn – Elderflower Press Coral

The fabric was washed on receipt and since then been stored awaiting inspiration. As I am currently sewing ‘pink’ projects now was the time to retrieve the fabric and get it made up.

The fabric is particularly fine and needs an underlining/lining for the bodice to avoid transparency to my undergarments! I checked how I had achieved this on the Anaconda Antithesis dress made in November 2018 and decided to repeat the technique.

Sage background Anaconda Antithesis Shirt dress from November 2018

I cut a bodice lining in plain White polyester cotton but will not be lining the skirt. The fabric is very wide and with the amount of gathers combined with a waist slip there should be no problem.

Having a lining in the bodice fulfils two functions – it makes the fabric opaque and also enables me to have clean finish armholes, no bias binding to make!

The collar is always a feature that requires precision and is not to be rushed. As usual I took my time and tried to be as accurate as possible but I was not happy with the way that the left hand side of the collar was sitting. I unpicked and tried again but still no joy, this side is not as even as the right hand side. With a good press I found that it was just about OK but I will never be happy with this aspect of the collar.

Only when I came to take photographs did I realise that although I had managed to place a motif on the facing on one side, the other side did not match! I note for the future – check motif placement.

Motif placement on collar and facing

Moving on to the skirt. I cut two widths of the fabric x 30 inches length and joined to make a centre back seam. Allowing for 3 inches of facing for the button placket I then placed markers for where the side seams of the bodice should align. I set in my standard ‘side seam’ pockets using the White polyester cotton for the pocket piece that sits next to the front of the skirt to avoid any ‘show through’ of the print. This worked well. The finished length of the skirt is 28 inches and falls below my knees. It appears that as I age, I am also shrinking as 29 inches used to be just below my knees!

I was fortunate that when I checked my button stash I found 12 buttons in exactly the right size and shade. The buttonholes stitched beautifully on my Brother 4000D machine. Finally I hand stitched the bodice lining to the waist seam and also hand stitched the hem which is 2½ inches deep.

Lisa Comfort Coral Pink Lawn Shirt dress

Conclusion Project 28 of 2020: As the collar was so problematical and motif placement is not perfect this dress gets only 8/10. I have to say that I am a little disappointed with the quality of the fabric. When it arrived it had a beautiful soft smooth finish but after the initial wash that finish has disappeared. The fabric is also very, very fine therefore not suited to an unlined dress and will always have to be worn with a slip.

Completed 14th April 2020