Sedona Shirt Dress – Test and Review

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Designer Stitch has been one of my favorite PDF pattern designers (Ann has some REAL fashion and design cred, folks!) so it is no wonder I hopped on the wagon to test the new Sedona Shirt Dress** pattern. As with all of her patterns, there are loads of options!

The Deets:

Pattern: Sedona Shirt Dress by Designer Stitch

Size Range: [US 2-22] [AU/UK 6-26] [EU 34-54]

Fabric Recommendation: light- to medium-weight woven fabrics

Options: 5 lengths, waist darts or center back pleat, three sleeve lengths, patch pockets, concealed button wrap, in-seam pockets

Skill level: Intermediate (3 out of 5 difficulty rating)

The Test:

I chose to make the maxi-length dress, short sleeves with button tabs, no patch pockets, and waist darts. I chose to work with a crisp, cotton African wax print.

As is often recommended, I started with a muslin fitting before cutting into my pretty fabric. Designer Stitch provides separate pattern pieces based on cup sizes (this does not follow bra sizing so do pay attention to how to calculate the sewing cup size); the muslin will help you determine if you have chosen the correct cup size and to see if you need any other adjustments. I usually need to raise my side bust darts a bit which was needed here, otherwise I had nothing that needed changing!

I spent a lot of time cutting my actual dress fabric so that my prints matched up at seams and at the front button overlap area. And… to make sure I didn’t have any flowers accentuating certain areas!

With all my concentrating on matching up my print, I forgot to fold out the part of the pattern for the CB pleat, which I wasn’t using. I ended up stitching it down and pressing the extra fabric open and it looks just fine!

There are two parts of this pattern that can be a little tricky: the collar and the concealed button wrap (keep an eye on the Designer Stitch site for how to change it to a regular button placket if that’s what you prefer). Below are a couple of tricks on how to make it a little easier.

For the collar — when the instructions say to mark a line at the bottom of the collar (to easily see where it should go in the collar stand), don’t skip it! This will ensure a nice, even collar. I tried out a fun little tool I got from a friend and it worked pretty well in lieu of chalk or other marking tools. It just makes a crease so you don’t have to worry about “erasing” your mark. Use sufficient pins to hold the collar in place inside the collar stand and double check that your stitching has caught both sides.

For the concealed wrap — take your time with the folding to make sure it works correctly. Don’t stitch it down until you’re sure you’ve got it right! It can seem a little confusing, but the idea is your buttons, when done up, will be hidden in between the folds of fabric. See the photos below for how to fold the wrap.

Turn under at the first mark
Turn under again at the second mark
Turn up at the third mark
Turn under so that the top fold lines up with the one below it. Your buttonholes will go on the lower flap and will be covered by the top one. Fun!

The Review:

Designer Stitch patterns are always well drafted – even grading between sizes, seams trued, appropriate armscye and sleeve cap based on fabric type and type of garment – and Sedona is no exception. The instructions are sufficient for completing the garment without excessive commentary (basic techniques are generally not explained in detail and seam finishes are up to the sewist to decide) and additional tutorials are available on the website for certain techniques.

I love that there are so many options in this one pattern. I can make so many different versions and not make it the same twice! Plus, it is super easy to modify it in other ways to keep up with the trends. Omit the collar and just have the collar stand, use a regular button placket to show off some cute buttons, color block or print block… Oh, the possibilities!


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