Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress aka my leap of faith dress

Hello everyone!

I am back with a leap of faith make that I am so excited to share. Leap of faith because I made no muslin in contradiction with my sewing goals from end of last year!  My waist and hip measurement fitted squarely into Grainline Studio Size 4.  After my success with the Morris blazer – I felt justified in going ahead and cutting into my fashion fabric.

Let me talk fabric. This is cotton lawn – shares top spot with linen as my favourite fabric to sew. Saw the palms and flamingoes against the navy blue and it was love at first sight for me. Initially I saw this as a Granville shirt but as I was about to cut into it – the fabric whispered “Alder shirtdress……”and the rest is history. Do you find that happens sometimes – a fabric you bought specifically for a pattern turns around and literally becomes something else? Its weird to explain but I heeded the call. Granville would have to wait for another day.

On to the pattern. I have had my eye on Alder for a while especially after seeing SewBusyLizzy’s versions here, here and here then CarlyinStitches’s versions in polka dots and batik pushed me over the edge and I purchased literally after reading the batik post. Tis so hard keeping to a pattern buying fast……ah well…

The PDF taped up beautifully. I went with the easier view A i.e without the bum ruffle. A lot of reviews mentioned the length as an issue but I decided to see how it would look before lengthening. Held up the bodice front pattern piece against me – it seemed ok. Plus if it turned out too short I could always wear it as a shirt with jeans and leggings, so fine. Deep breath and I cut.

Throughout the sewing I was nervous about whether it would fit and the moment of truth came after sewing the front and back together. It looked OK. It looked good! My faith was rewarded by a well fitting shirtdress. A lovely fitting dress that I very much love. Its very comfortable.Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress August blog photoshoot1 318 August blog photoshoot1 315 August blog photoshoot1 308 August blog photoshoot1 295


The sewalong is outstanding. I didn’t even use the instructions that came with the pattern. This pattern is well drafted and all the seams meet perfectly on point.

The yoke went in smoothly. I loved doing the pockets. I didn’t bother with pattern matching them. Does it show?

My collar making skills are improving with this collar taking less that 30 mins to do.

The buttons were harvested from an old M&S shirt that had frayed collars so could not be reasonable reused even if donated.

I love it so much I monogrammed it.August blog photoshoot1 323 August blog photoshoot1 328 August blog photoshoot1 329 August blog photoshoot1 330 Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress

This was so much fun to make. I cant recommend the sewalong enough!  There were no head scratching moments for me at all and I like that.  True to form Grainline has delivered. And I am very glad I listened to the fabric whisperings – cant even imagine this as Granville now!


Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!





41 thoughts on “Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress aka my leap of faith dress

  1. This looks so good on you!! I love sewing with cotton lawn, too. It’s so easy to work with and feels so nice to wear. I absolutely love that print and your monogram is a really fun touch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this make!!! The fabric is perfect. Lawn is one of my favorites to sew with and to wear – – so comfortable. I have the Alder in my pattern stash but have yet to make it. Now I’m inspired to give it a go. The pockets look great as is – doesn’t seem to me like pattern matching is an issue at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your Alder! I haven’t bought any Grainline patterns yet but I’ve been hungrily drooling over everyone’s Alders and Lindens and Archers. Thanks for making something drool-worthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seemed a fitting end to the lovely time I had making the dress. I am rather precious about the monogram when ironing it – no direct contact, press cloth😂. Mmm wonder how long that will last..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great job, it looks wonderful! I have made two sewalong projects and it made them so easy. I am a fan of those sewalong posts. Problem is, there are so many out there, which to make next…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read that post too and though she is not fully convinced I thought she looked great in it.I also loved the Nani Iro used. It is a loose fitting shirtdress that is incredibly comfortable and as someone who like fitted silhouettes I was surprised at just how much I love this style. Go for it I think you would love in the balmy climes of summer😃

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely,as everything you do.I was just talking to a friend about your blog and she was amazed that you’ve only been sewing for a year or so.
    I always buy fabric with a plan,but most of the time the plan changes 🙂
    I’ve just sewn the buttons on mine, I can’t wait to wear it. So what if autumn is already here (it;s pouring as I type), I’m sure it will look great with boots and a cosy jumper. You have to try view B, I think it;s more fun with the gather at the back.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really love your new dress and your fabric choice! And I also love a good sewalong! A significant number of my makes would be absolute rubbish if it wasn’t for the accompanying sewalong!

    Liked by 1 person

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