The Shirtwaist Dress with Belt....

May 13, 2010

....will be our next Frock by Friday™! I'm so excited. Here are some ideas for shirt dresses to get your creative juices flowing.

It comes in sizes 34-46 which is 4-18 in US terms.

Some of you had issues with the length of the dress. I will add a step so that you can lengthen the skirt to suit your needs. Also, the skirt has a light elastic at the hem which I've never seen before. I don't know if I will like that but I will do it with and without for those of you who do not want it in their version.
Here is the pattern. It is in German but I will translate so don't freak out:)
Here are the instructions. They are translated to English.

Do you think this Monday is too early too start? How much time do you need to get your materials together?

Here are the materials that you need:

2 yards of material
1/2 yard of contrasting material (the purple in the pics)
4-5 buttons
8" of bias tape for under arm so make sure it matches your dress
interfacing for collar
1 1/4 yards of elastic (optional)

Any questions just leave me a comment and I will try to answer them.

84 {comments}:

Alex said... Best Blogger Tips

I just got a sewing machine for Mothers Day. Never used one before, but I'd love to start with you. Do you think this is to complicated for a TRUE beginner?

Ana @ Don't Fear the Ripper said... Best Blogger Tips

can you post a link to the original German text? I know German so I can try polish the Google translation a bit... Thank you.

Atlanta said... Best Blogger Tips

Cute pattern!! thanks for translating it! Reading a pattern in German would be almost as confusing as working with a 'Simplicity' pattern. :^P

Monday is too early for me. I have to work on sewing orders this Monday and Tuesday.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Here you go:

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, I think it should be good for a beginner. And of course, I am happy to answer any questions!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips


The first thing I ever sewed was a button down shirt which this is very close to.

S.L.North said... Best Blogger Tips

oooh, groan.
I love it!!
I didn't do the last frock by friday, but I think that I will do this one, it's too lovely to pass up.
Will we be starting this next Monday?

Karin van Dam said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks like a fun project. I'm not sure if I will join or not, I'm having trouble finishing the things I planned as it it already, but I'll surely follow all your process. I can't wait to see all the (no doubt fabulous) variations of this dress!

PS. Since it's a German pattern, I'm guessing the pattern pieces are without seam allowences. I'm sure you checked already, but I thought I'd point it out to be sure anyway ;-)

Goodluck and have fun!

charisse said... Best Blogger Tips

I was looking at the sizes and I match up with one size decently well, except in the bust since I'm nursing. How would I go about fitting it? (I'm just trying to prepare myself.)

Quinn's mom said... Best Blogger Tips

Since you have such a great eye for color...can you give us an idea of what colors your dress will be?

MoveYourAsana said... Best Blogger Tips

i will make the dress if you can guarantee me my legs will look like that coming out the bottom!! =)

i especially love the red strip version with the crossover sleeve.

Ashley W. said... Best Blogger Tips

Would you be willing to give instructions on a sleeve like the one on the white dress pictured
Also, what type of fabric would you recommend for this project?
And finally, I think for the next installment of this series, you should do one of your own patterns! That would be fun!

Mama Slice said... Best Blogger Tips

I have been following your blog for a little bit now and I LOVE that you do frocks by Friday. I always feel overwhelmed making clothes for myself because I feel like it will take forever! So I generally stick to clothes for my kids. :) But THIS time I'm going to attempt doing the frock by Friday. Wish me luck. Thanks for your terrific blog!

Alexa said... Best Blogger Tips

I'd like to do this too. How do you know what kind of fabric to use? I've sewn a number of cloth diapers but no clothing. And I get totally confused trying to figure out fabrics work for clothes. Can you use quilting fabrics for clothing or is that a big no no?

Thanks so much for doing these frock-by-Friday series. They make creating a garment so approachable!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

If enough people say they're ready I will try to start it Monday. If not, I'll wait until the week after.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the heads up!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Monday is early for me...I'll be out of town this weekend and I need to scrape up some $$ for the material for this one, which I REALLY want to make. Anyway, I can always sew along later with the tutorial. I'm finishing up my second coffee date dress and like this one even better. Going a size down made a big difference!

Chicago Here I Come!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Looking through my fabric stash right now. I will be ready on Monday. Thank you for doing this!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

I have this problem a lot myself. Usually I go by my waist and even if the bust is too small it all works out.

However, what you could try would be to go with the larger size that accommodates your bust and when you are sewing the bodice front to the bodice back take some in on the sides so that it matches your waist.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Quinn's Mom,
I actually got spoonflower to make me a close replica of the fabric in the original pictures with the flowers.

I loved it so much. So I'll be trying to make it look as similar as I can to the original version.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Can we please please start this monday ?? I would really love to do this thanks!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

I can absolutely try to give you a sleeve tutorial.

And the fabric is up to you. But I would go with something cotton, maybe polyblends. Nothing too heavy like bottomweights or to gauzy that you can see through.

And yes, I just might do that pattern idea:)

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Absolutely! It's a VERY simple fix.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Quilting fabrics would work. Just be sure they are not too see through as I don't think we'll be sewing a lining.

I would go with something either cotton or polyblend.

Ceci said... Best Blogger Tips

I'd love to do this dress- and hopefully it is a beginner level pattern since I'm new to sewing.

I'll be looking for fabric this weekend!!

So excited!!


Sandy a la Mode said... Best Blogger Tips

are we making this together??? omg i CANNOT wait!!! i love dresses with belts! ok, i'm going to go fabric shopping this weekend!!

Heather J. said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, I'm so glad you decided to go with this pattern! I haven't sewn anything for myself in a looooong time, and I love the idea of taking it in little bites, day by day. It just so happens that Whipstitch here in Atlanta is having their grand opening this weekend...what a great excuse to go fabric shopping!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

What width of bias tape? Monday is a little early, but I think I can get all my supplies this weekend.

Kirsten said... Best Blogger Tips

Ok, I will not let the buttonholes scare me away. I am in. I will likely be one day behind but I am overdue for a sewing success.

rhilborn said... Best Blogger Tips

I opened up the translated instructions and...some of the words did not translate from German and some are translated into phrases like, "Home Affairs passport". I look forward to translations from people like Ana:). Monday works great for me!

Ruhammie said... Best Blogger Tips

YAY! I'm really excited for this next sew-along. I will not be in town Monday, but don't let that stop you because I can catch up on Tuesday! Thank you for doing another sew-along!

Il cucito per ME said... Best Blogger Tips

Cute dress
I like it
I hope I'll able to do it
Thanks for the opportunity
I like so much your blog!

Samina said... Best Blogger Tips

That's a pretty dress. I'm in, but I'll have to try to get all my supplies this weekend.

MIchelle said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh man! I am so EXCITED! This is just the dress, I have been wanting to make! Thanks for such a great pattern choice!

Sew It To Me said... Best Blogger Tips

I am excited to try this pattern out! Monday won't be too soon :)

greatjencreations said... Best Blogger Tips

Those translated instructions are funny. I guess I'm easily amused.

MIchelle said... Best Blogger Tips

I found the english version of the pattern. Here is the link.

Thanks again for choosing such a fun pattern.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

I'd say about 1/4" to 1/2".

Get it to match your sleeve and dress.

Sheryl and Ben said... Best Blogger Tips

My man will be out of town all next week! This will be the perfect thing to keep me busy!

Ruhammie said... Best Blogger Tips

I forgot to mention...what great photo's of inspiration! So many different styles of the same dress. It makes me put my creative thinking cap on. Thanks for showing so many!

tina said... Best Blogger Tips

I will be ready by Monday! This dress is very cute, and I'm glad to see it doesn't include a zipper! The zipper has been my demise in the coffee date dress but I'm determined to conquer it before Monday.

Ashley said... Best Blogger Tips

I just pieced together the pattern in photoshop to print on a large printer. It looks like a piece is missing(#35 the collar) when I compared it to the line drawing on the instructions. I scaled the little line drawing to match the pattern so I think we could get that extra piece that way and I can email it to you to share with everyone if you'd like.
Also, in the drawing it looks like it has pockets. Anyway you could show us how to incorporate those?
Thanks! I'm very excited if you couldn't tell!

Melissa said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the gray dress in the first right. Where's that from? That one is more my style. I need A-line, this dress looks a little to fitted for me.

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, please email it to me. Thanks for the heads up!

Katie said... Best Blogger Tips

Ok, I think I can do it. I have to look through my stash to see if I have something that is heavy enough, though. I really want to do it in a striped material.


Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, are all of these dresses really from the same pattern? I'm trying hard to use up my fabric stash, so I'm going to rummage through things right now to see if I can make this dress all from things I have on hand. Woo-hoo!

Brittany said... Best Blogger Tips

I'd love to do this, but do you think I could scale it down to more of a size 0? I know, I'm ridiculously "petite." Ugh.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

I downloaded the pattern and put it together and it appears that the back yoke pattern piece is missing. Has anyone else had this problem? Also, the illustration shows pockets and there is no pocket piece -- I think that may be a mistake as the instructions do not mention pockets.

Farah said... Best Blogger Tips

If you start on monday - will do my best to join in...I love the design and have wanted a dress like that for a while.

redspool said... Best Blogger Tips

So cool! I'll have to go shopping now - bummer! ;)

Looking forward to Monday! Thanks so much for doing this again!

Nancy Pechinski said... Best Blogger Tips

I have a stupid question, do we have to remember to add seam allowances?

April said... Best Blogger Tips

love this dress. Can't wait to get started. I have never sewn anything for myself. I'm so excited. I'm going to try to convince my friend to do it too!

Holly S. said... Best Blogger Tips

I am in! I am digging that emerald green. How much fabric do you think I would need to make this knee-length? I didn't see a cutting layout. Thanks.

e.ann said... Best Blogger Tips

Adorable! I would love to make this and I think I could start Monday! I would also like to be able to make longer sleeves as well if you are able to include those instructions, if not it will still be just as cute! Thanks for sharing!

Alex said... Best Blogger Tips

Ok I'm going to need to go fabric shopping and other tool shopping.

I literally just have the machine still sitting in the box.

What else do I need to start something like this?

It might take me a month or two to finish but I'd love to try :-)

Sally Deck said... Best Blogger Tips

I printed the pattern as well. The collar is there, it just is more "peter pan" shaped. And the front yoke and back yoke are one piece that will fold over our shoulders.

But as far as I can see, the sleeve pattern really is missing. Ditto the pocket.

Pockets are extremely easy to draft, but sleeves are less easy...

It also looks to me like the pattern has a huge amount of ease. I'm sizing down considerably.

Chandlers said... Best Blogger Tips

Count me in! Looking forward to a new dress in a week.

Carrie said... Best Blogger Tips

Oooo yay! I just found your blog and am all set for a Monday start!!

Rachel said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm really excited to participate this time around, I was a couple of days late with the last dress. I'll be ready this Monday.


Karen said... Best Blogger Tips

Oooh, I'm in too---going shopping tomorrow---my first official fabric shopping trip in Japan!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm so excited! I can have all my things ready to start for Monday.

Binkydoll said... Best Blogger Tips

darn! I have the PERFECT white with multiculored windowpane fabric already, but I a final project for class due on tuesday and leave for vacay on wednesday :(

I'll have to catch on this one at a later date...

Binkydoll said... Best Blogger Tips

hmm. I think my post got eaten.

regardless, while I have the perfect fabric, I don't have the time.

Can you tell me though, what pattern the grey dress in the upper right corner is? it's absolutely lovely

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Further to Ashley and Sally's posts and my post, the yoke is indeed in one piece, the collar is there (but labelled with the wrong number) but the sleeve facing/sleeve is missing. Looking at the instructions, I think the sleeve is just a narrow piece which is the same shape as the armscye folded in half but I can't be sure.

Kristie said... Best Blogger Tips

I can't wait to pick out my fabric! In the end it will be fun to see what everyone else chose for fabric.

Elizabeth said... Best Blogger Tips

I got fabric today, and will be ready to do it, even though I have a really busy week. :) I can't wait!

sofabellie said... Best Blogger Tips

How wide does the elastic need to be?

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm in... now wish me luck on finding a non-knit or non synthetic here in Colombia.

Dei said... Best Blogger Tips

I am so excited about this dress. Perfect for work and it will be nice to sew along with fellow sewists.

Amy said... Best Blogger Tips

I printed out, pieced the pattern and have cut out my fabric (thanks to the stash!). After cutting out the fabric, it is apparent that the collar piece #35 is missing. The sleeve facing is included and it is piece #34 and the instructions are correct.

I spent quite a bit of time looking through the comments yesterday and the pictures to be sure about the missing piece. The link to the English instructions Michelle provided on 5/13 was helpful and we are missing a stand collar piece. I am excited and ready to start - thankfully the collar is the last piece to apply in the instructions. Does anyone know how to the pattern piece from Bernina?

AngelZ said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for hosting this wonderful idea of making a frock by Friday- I am sooo in!

Angel Z

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm looking forward to making this dress, just having trouble finding the fabric. Guess that means another trip to the fabric shop!

Joanie said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm in! I bought fabric yesterday, and I'm going to throw it in the wash now.
I'm loving the pattern, but I'm a little worried about the missing sleeve piece--I can't quite imagine how they intended it to work in the original design.

janet lee said... Best Blogger Tips

i'm a newbie to your blog, which i love btw! i hope to keep up with everyone on this sewalong. i think the dress is great!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I am such a beginner but have been looking around for some sewing classes locally and just haven't had any luck due to work commitments. Missed out on the last Frock by Friday sew a long and am so looking forward to this sew a long, am heading out today to grab some material, can't wait to get started.
P.S. Came across your blog just a few weeks ago and am loving it.... Thanks!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm SUPER excited to make this dress! I've been eying a white linen with embroidered navy anchors at Joanns for a while, not sure what to do with it... this might be the project... gonna go grab it tomorrow, and then be ready to sew tomorrow night, hopefully (did you get enough of us to start?) also, any tips on how to enlarge the skirt... i want more fullness, more like a circle skirt than a pencil skirt...

Mindy said... Best Blogger Tips

I am ready to start! I bought my fabric yesterday. What size bias? Single or double? I am sort of new to this sewing for myself thing. I love this idea and hope mine will turn out!

Brynn said... Best Blogger Tips

I am excited to begin. Just went with Ramona (commented above) to get our fabric this morning together!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

First off, thank you so much for running these projects, I don't have the confidence to make my own clothes yet but with these tutorials I'm hoping it'll only be a matter of time before I'm making commercial patterns. They're greatly appreciated, I know they must take up a lot of your time.

I'm a little behind and will be making this dress this weekend. Can I just ask though, I'd like to make a version where the skirt looks a lot more like the dark grey dress on the top right of your examples on this post. Is there any advice you can give me on doing that? Is it just a question of adding more fabric to the skirt portions of the patterns?

Many thanks,

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips


If you would like to do that I would recommend printing a pattern with an A-line skirt piece. Like this free one:

Lay the front skirt piece on top of the front piece of the bernina pattern to make a new shape.

Do the same for the back piece.

If you have problems printing it out, just send me your email address and I will send you the chopped up version.


Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks Kathleen, that's fab. I'm just printing it now and will see how I go!

Jenny said... Best Blogger Tips

I don't see anything when I click on the link. Is the pattern still available? Thanks :o)

Carrie said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi! I was trying to find the dress pattern for this shirtwaitst dress but the links seem t have been changed/are broken. Is there any way that you could email me the pattern please?
cecblackwell @ gmail. com

Kathryn said... Best Blogger Tips

I too am looking for the pattern. Both the links are not found when I try and follow them.

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