Shirt dress with gathers


Let's draft the pattern for this amazing shirt dress with a retro vibe. The bodice is shaped to lengthen the torso and the skirt has gathers that drape toward hips to fit them.

To create the pattern, we suggest starting from a block with 10cm ease at bust, 8cm ease at waist and 4 to 6cm at hips - our method for drafting made to measure blocks is included in module 1 of our course.
We suggest choosing a plain cotton or cotton blend woven fabric, linen, double gauze or wool blends with minimum to no stretch.
You can of course adjust the amount of ease according to your style and preferences, and to the type of fabric you are using.

Step 1

Trace front and back separate, then adjust length to 5 to 10cm above ankles.

Flare 10 to 15cm from sides at hemline, blending to zero at hipline.

Draw one parallel inward and one outward by 1,5cm to center front, from neckline to hipline, so that you identify a 3cm band that is button stand (space for buttons and buttonholes). Cut through the line to separate it from front main piece.

Step 2

On back, measure up 8 to 10cm from armpit and draw a curved princess line ending at dart points at waist, then square down from dart bottom apex.

On front, square 4 to 5cm inwards from button stand bottom edge, measure 5 to 7cm up from armpit along armhole and redraw waist dart following this new direction. Dart width remains consistent.

Still on front, identify shoulder line midpoint and connect it to bust point. Cut through the line, close shoulder dart and open its volume in the new line.

Step 3

Cut through all slash lines, so you get:

  • back: pivot at hemline to open 2cm at armhole – this is the room needed to sew the princess cut ending as a dart at bottom
  • front: separate skirt and bodice by discarding dart volume
  • button stand.

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