Painterly Denim Alder Shirtdress

Hi friends! I’ve been dreaming about sewing this dress for a long time and I am so excited that I finally did it! This is my third version of the Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studio.

Painterly Alder 1

My first version has not fit me correctly since I had Caroline 2 years ago. It’s just been hanging in my closet taunting me. (It could be that I never made the right size in the first place, but I’m going to blame this on weird pregnancy body changes.) I have been wanting to make a new dress ever since I worked out better sizing and made my second version, this top, at the tail end of last Summer. I knew I wanted to make a denim or chambray Alder after seeing so many pretty ones on Instagram and other sewing blogs.

Painterly Alder 6

I didn’t change much as far as sizing from my last time making this pattern. This dress is a size 10 in the bodice graded to a 14 in the skirt. I lengthened the dress by 1″. I also did a 5/8″ forward shoulder adjustment. I’m really happy with the fit on this and I’m glad to have a replacement for the one I never wear.

Painterly Alder 2

Grace, from Maker Mountain Fabrics, offered me some fabric from her shop for this project. I spotted this floral denim and fell in love. It’s a lightweight (4.5 oz) denim from Art Gallery Fabrics and it was perfect for making the Alder dress. It’s really soft and easy to work with and the colors in the floral are so pretty. Grace stocks such pretty fabrics both for quilting and apparel sewing. It’s hard not to fall in love with everything. (This same floral denim sold out after I ordered my fabric but there is a solid denim in the same weight that would also make a great Alder. So would any of these voiles and rayons.)

Painterly Alder 7

Painterly Alder 3

I think this denim is the perfect match for this pattern and I am so excited to get to wear it this Spring and Summer. (Dear Spring, please come to Chicagoland soon! I am tired of going out to take pictures in sleeveless tops/dresses when it is 38 degrees. Love, Teri)

Painterly Alder 4

Also, there is a shirt dress challenge happening on Instagram right now (read about it here!) and I am excited to enter my new dress. If you sew up a shirt dress between now and June 21 be sure to tag it with #sewtogetherforsummer to be entered. There are lots of great sponsors and there is sure to be a huge amount of shirt dress sewing inspiration!

Painterly Alder 5

Thanks to Maker Mountain Fabrics for this gorgeous fabric and for helping make my dream Alder dress a reality! I am going to wear this dress for Easter, even if I have to layer it up with a cardigan. (It would be a shame to have to cover up the perfectly matched front pockets with a cardigan, though. Especially after I had to cut 5 pockets to get it right. Ugh!) Do any of you have plans to sew a shirt dress for Summer?











20 thoughts on “Painterly Denim Alder Shirtdress

  1. So cute! I love your floral denim fabric. I keep meaning to make another Alder–maybe this Spring. If we ever get Spring… it’s snowing as I type this! ugh!


    1. Thanks, Lisa! I’ll be excited to see yours if you do make another one! I am curious to try the other view of the Alder since I’ve made this one a couple of times now. I remember you made it with a few modifications. I’ll have to go back to read your post before I start.


    1. Thanks, Lynsey! Which dress did you make with this fabric? It’s such a nice light weight and the colors are so pretty. I wish I had more of it to make a dress for my daughter, too.


      1. I made simplicity 1610 and love wearing it, so lovely to sew so thinking on looking what other designs there are.


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