Salme Buttonless Shirt Dress


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 think it’s my hair that’s crooked, not the dress or my shoulders…

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!


Regard! I have new specs!

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