Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress in Lisa Comfort Fabric

Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress in Lisa Comfort Fabric

Another printed pattern that has been in my stash for about three years! The design features on this are gorgeous - gathered shoulders, the waist pleats, the notched collar. It takes a lot of vintage features and makes them easy to wear without looking like you are playing dress up. I have had fabrics earmarked for this that have come and gone, but it was obtaining 2m of Lisa Comfort's new fabric that gave me a push in the end. Inspired by her version, I now have a perfect summer dress!


During May's #sewmystyle2018 Sew Me Sunshine had a wonderful discount on their cotton lawns and rayons to make the Deer and Doe Myosotis dress. They had already sent me some rayon for this, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to obtain some discounted Lisa Comfort fabric (normally £16 per metre). I had fallen in love with both of the navy colourways, but saw her featuring this 'Busy Blossom' design with the Vintage Shirt Dress and decided to make exactly that! I bought 2m, which is slightly under the 2.2 required as per the envelope (actually 2.7 if you want to use it to make bias binding for V2). I made binding, covered buttons and the dress with some left over.

Pattern and fabric review of Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress and Lisa Comfort Fabric

The fabric itself is a cotton lawn. It is lightweight (enough for the skirt to be a little see through in the sun) but also has a fair amount of structure. This structure is what makes it perfect for the Vintage Shirt Dress as it means you can get nice crisp pleats and collar points. It was a dream to sew with - easy to cut, iron, press and finish. Even the button holes went in well! It reminds me a lot of Liberty cotton lawn, if you are looking for a comparison. The only drawback I find with cotton lawn is that as you wear it, it creases.

I decided to go for self cover buttons for this dress so that they would blend in to the design. Again - these Hemline self covers have been in my stash for ages, waiting to be used. It was quite straightforward assembling them; I used the card guide at the back and cut it into a template for all the button covers. I also doubled up on the fabric so that the plastic had no chance of peeking through.

Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress and Lisa Comfort Fabric

Pattern and Instructions

This is available as a printed or pdf pattern. I have the printed version. In the card folder you get an instruction booklet and the pattern printed on tissue paper. There aren't as many pieces as you might think when you first look at the pattern as the collar is simplified. The only thing that can be easy to overlook is that you will need bias tape if you are making the sleeveless version. If you make yours using the same fabric as the rest of the dress it will require more fabric (though like I said above, depends on your pattern tetris skills).

Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress in Lisa Comfort Fabric

This is not as quick and easy sew as some of my other recent makes. There are a number of features that make it fabulous, and these require time and care - they aren't complicated and the instructions are very clear. Illustrations are in the book with the explanations and this helps too. I didn't have to get out my stitch ripper, so it can't have been too complicated! I particularly like how the collar comes together and sits in the end.

Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress in Lisa Comfort Fabric; Pattern and fabric review


I didn't make any alterations to this pattern. Normally I would take in a Sew Over It size 10 at the waist, but I've left it this time as I want something with a little more wearing ease in the heat. Often I also have to adjust the length, but again this wasn't an issue on this occasion. The skirt already has a nice wide hem which gives some room to play around if you need it.
I would look for a crepe or suiting to make the long sleeved version next time - maybe for work? The sleeveless version is perfect for summer though!

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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