Back in February, while my sewing machine was away for its annual service, I discovered Salme patterns. Figuring I’d have enough time to print and cut out a pattern before the machine was returned to me (slightly less disappointing than before), I bought myself the Buttonless Shirt Dress pattern.
The instructions, for the most part, were great, and this is a simple design to put together with no zips or buttonholes to cause problems. I didn’t really understand how I was supposed to add interfacing to the little split in the front, so I didn’t bother – its a bit floppy without it, but not terrible. I also managed to get really confused with the belt instructions and ended up with something twice as long and half as wide as it should have been. I think these were schoolboy errors on my part, and that anyone with an ounce of common sense could have worked them out.
I struggled to sew the bias facing onto the armholes by machine, so I ended up doing it by hand. It was a bit of a chore, but it doesn’t look too messy. I’m not really sure why I was struggling with it, but I suppose I can always use more hand sewing practise, so I mustn’t grumble.
I chose the correct size for my measurements, but after wearing it a couple of times, I decided it felt a bit matronly over the bust, and that the armholes were gaping. Today I finally got around to taking it in about 1cm each side at the armholes and bust, tapering to an inch each side from the waist to the hem*. It’s still pretty loose over the waist – all the better to hide food babies!
During the taking in process, the belt loops which I’d sewn into the side seams were lost. I’m not too fussed about that, as I decided a belt in the dress fabric was a bit too much, so I’ll always be swapping belts of different widths in and out. I suppose the saddest thing about the loss was that Ben had been strangely impressed by the loops.
I’m not in love with this dress on me (yet), but I think most of the blame lies with my fabric choice, which is too chintzy and a bit crunchy. I’d normally have sleeves on a loose fitting shirt or shirt dress, so maybe I’m also just not used to seeing my arms in this type of dress. I certainly don’t hate it, and I can see myself wearing it a lot in warm weather, so I should have some opportunity to get used to the look!
I haven’t seen any other versions of this dress online, so I feel pretty special at the moment! I’d like to try some more Salme patterns as I really like the quite simple Scandinavian aesthetic. I think this dress would be great for the office, and I can imagine a lot of the other patterns as workwear, too.
Have you tried Salme patterns yet?
Important note: please ignore my red legs and feet, I’d just had a bath. It’s important to look clean in photos, is it not?
*Yes, I do switch between metric and imperial measurements with alarming regularity, sometimes mid-seam. #britishproblems