I wasn’t going to blog this for a while… but back to work tomorrow… so it’s a final holiday hurrah. Sorry for spamming you in the last week! I’ve mentioned before I’m an obsessive stitcher… and my last Alder is proof!
So that pattern I wasn’t particularly entranced by when it was released? Yeah well… I’ve made three of them since November.
Here we go with the view I liked the least… and now find it has grown on me… View B – the one with the gathered sides and back.
Then it came up as a joke on Instagram that this version was #teambumruffle (recently blogged by Funkbunny and also made by The Stitcher and Gatherer – not blogged yet) which made me laugh… and then I wondered if I needed to re-think this one as there seemed to be quite a fan club out there.
I wasn’t sold when I first put it on… and I confess it has grown on me. It’s been very, very hot lately and this is the perfect summer holiday dress. I don’t like wearing shapeless sacks as they swamp me, but the details of a collar and buttons provide some definition to this make and I do like that. I think the ‘girliness’ of this suits the pretty vintage fabric that I have been hoarding for a year or so now.
Attaching the skirt: It’s worth the three lines of gathering stitches recommended by Jen – the skirt gathers up nicely and it easier to attach to the bodice/shirt fronts.
I would also recommend referring to the online Alder sewalong when attaching the gathered skirt, it’s a little trickier than your standard gathered skirt shirtdress.
I did shorten this by 1 inch as I had read the back is rather long and I’m 5 foot 4… However the front is somewhat shorter than I anticipated so I would probably adjust the dip in the back and leave the front length next time. Then again… how many Alders do I need?
If you want more construction details, check out my Polka Dot or Blue Alders.
Since I have nothing else startling to add (other than my first impressions of this as a pattern release – and even when I first put it on – were wrong), I wanted to share The Thong Tree with you. Yes, yes. I know. In other countries ‘thong’ refers to a rather brief item of underwear. Here in Australia, it’s footwear – or as you might call it – a flip-flop…
This is a 700m walk up the beach, perched on the sand dunes with a stunning view – which Banjo rather enjoyed.
This local festive oddity only appears at Christmas time and is a ‘gift’ from a local artist. You can read about it here. We took Banjo for a walk on the beach as we had a spare hour or two the other day. Unfortunately the wind was howling and the #bumruffle was in full flight – or the dress plastered against my body… the perils of beachside living! Hence the photos in the ‘bush’ behind my house – the only place safe from the wind.
It’s odd, these days I don’t like going to the beach and not taking Banjo with me. That limits the beaches we can visit… but I don’t really mind.
Pattern: Grainline Alder, View B
Fabric: Vintage rayon from the charity/op shop. Cost = $3
OK I’m done with Alders for now… I promise! Are you on the fence about this pattern or a fan of Alder? It’s taken me three versions to get off the fence and acknowledge that I am a fully-fledged member of the fan club.
I haven’t been 100% sure about making up this view either as it just seemed like way too much fabric without any definition but it really does not look shapeless on you! I might be tempted to give it a try now. It’s also absolutely beautiful in that rayon, I think a super lightweight fabric like this is the way to go. Happy New Year!
I agree Fiona, I think it needs a soft fabric otherwise I think the gathers would be too ‘hippy’ from the front flat face of the dress. Love this pattern!
I have hemmed and hawed about this pattern. I have other shirtdress patterns, including some vintage ones, so I am resisting at the moment. Yours are all wonderful though and you have that elegant casual chic look going on!
I did that too. I think with the lack of a waistband this is lovely for rayons or fabrics with some drape. Fabrics with more structure are suited to more formal shapes I think.
Thank you, the Alder suits my weekend lifestyle.
Your dress does not look shapeless at all! The gathers are very pretty especially with this vintage fabric!
The fabric just seemed perfect for it – and I had been hoarding it as I thought it too pretty to cut!
Oh my oh my, this is gorgeous Lizzy! I am still on the fence about it – it’s just not quite fitted enough for me I don’t think. I will stick to admiring it on other people who it looks gorgeous on!
I love fitted things – that’s my work wardrobe, I like to be casual and relaxed outside work hours so this style suits me.
I can completely understand why you are so smitten with this dress. A loose dress for hot summer weather is perfect and it looks great on you so how can you lose?! Its very cool that you have a thong tree on your beach!! Artists enhance our lives in so many ways with their work!!! What a gift…
Artists can be wonderful people, I love things that make me think or smile and they have a great gift for that.
I’ve always really liked this view. I also wasn’t enthralled with Alder when it was released but I might have to rethink it for summer. Looks like a good lightweight dress and I would totally rock the bum ruffle!
#teambumruffle makes the perfect summer dress in a nice rayon. I say – GO FOR IT!
So sorry if you get duplicates of this comment- my phone is being silly!!
I absolutely LOVE this dress- that fabric is the perfect perfect match for it! It is also possibly the prettiest fabric in the world ever!! 🙂
I am so surprised to read that you are the same height as me- I thought you were tall!
everyone seems to think I’m taller – so I often mention my height on posts as I think it is part of considering how this pattern might look on someone else. I find it frustrating when people blog the size they made especially with ‘no changes’ but don’t mention anything about their dimensions or height. I totally understand why they don’t but the size only makes sense to me in relation to the body it’s on.
This one is the most convincing of your three splendid Alders. I’ve just added this pattern + rayon on top of my faraway summer sewing list. It is snowy and cold on this side of the planet and your awsome pictures of Australian beaches keep me dreaming of balmy summer days. A real treat!
I never see snow at home – so that’s quite exotic for me! This is a lovely make in rayon – it’s the perfect summer sewing project. Enjoy!
We use to call them thongs here too. I love it when I forget and say thong and watch my nieces and nephews blush.
I find it hilarious when people get offended or angry about cultural differences like that. I understand people think we are ‘wrong’ but really – it’s just about where you live on the globe.
I love this look on you. Great job!
Oh, I want to sew this right now. It’s winter here and I have other plans, but I want this NOW! This view looks fantastic too! I loved the plain view straight away but figured I’d just be admiring the gathered view on those thinner and hipper than I. But I want this now and I have some lovely, drapy fabric that would be perfect!
I think in drapey fabric it could be flattering on a range of body types. I think that if the fabric is drapey it is more forgiving. I think in a cotton with more body the gathers might stick out a little which could be odd in contrast to the flat skirt front… just a thought.
Your Alders are all gorgeous! I think you made a great choice to pair the bum ruffle (LOL) with the delicate vintage rayon. It’s a really pretty and feminine combination. I’m sure I’ll be sewing up this dress once summer arrives here – it’s only a matter of time!
After all your Archers I’m not surprised!
Me thinks that any beach in Australia is a good beach! 🙂 I’ve seen a number of Alders, and this one is a favourite!
Many of our beaches in my town are smaller and quite rocky in places – I love them but this one is the ‘classic’ Aussie beach to me, white sand stretching for kilometres. Thank you!
Love this on you. If the Alder had sleeves I would buy it 🙂
well… not that I am enabling you… but there is this http://grainlinestudio.com/2014/10/03/archer-alder-variation/ on the sewalong posts!
How pretty! I made my #teambumruffle version in rayon, too, and it’s really the perfect fabric for it! I wasn’t so sure about this version, either, but loved it once it was on. I think you’re lying when you say you aren’t going to make another. 😉
ah dude. You know me too well… although I have this obsession with making a #teambumruffle Archer before another Alder… but you never know!
I just love the Alder dress! I’m dying to make the bum ruffle version, but frigid winter and all… will definitely make a few in the spring. Love the fabric you used, so perfect for summer!
I’m terrible I sew out of season all.the.time I’m trying to talk myself out of making a jacket at the moment… it’s not working very well.
You make a very convincing argument for trying this pattern! Once it warms up again here…
It’s certainly the perfect dress for warm weather – maybe you need to ‘sew some sunshine’
Ok – you’ve done it – I’m convinced, I’m printing it now!!
*crash* (that was Lizzie falling off the fence!)
I agree that this is beautiful in a very drapey fabric but I’ve been underwhelmed by the #bumruffle in other, stiffer fabrics. Yours looks lovely though!
I think that’s what put me off that variation for a while – glad I gave into my curiousity though!
A very pretty dress. I am not really a dress kind of person but I might give this a try for an upcoming holiday.( It’s too cold for general wear in the UK at present!)
Yes, I don’t think current UK weather is Alder friendly!
This is really lovely on you! I dismissed this pattern as nice-but-not-for-me when it was released – I feel swamped by shapeless volume too – but this gives me pause for thought. The notion of breezy, unconstricting dresses for the Australian summer is becoming more and more appealing! The drapier fabric is a much nicer and more wearable interpretation of this pattern….Plus I already own a similar hat 😉
Well then if you have the hat it’s oerfect!
I don’t love the pattern, but I think for a smallish (meaning on the thinner side rather than height) it works. It reminds me of what I wore in the ’70’s and ’80’s. Rayon was big then and I wasn’t! (I love the vintage rayon.. very like what I used to wear). I so love that there is rayon about again and I am stocking up. Great backyard might I say and great art!
Love the runched version. I think it’s an excellent summer staple.
#teambumruffle all the way. It s gorgeous. Much nicer than mine. I don’t love my fabric, though i love my buttons, and yes, a better drape would have been better. next time….! xxx
Thanks Jen xo. You know me, drapes rule my world!
I love alder on you! It’s perfect for your shape. I quite like the ruffle version too. I think it’s my favourite.
I do love this one. The straight version feels more casual and this more feminine. It still makes me laugh that if I hadn’t been so open minded and willing to try something new these three dresses might never have happened.
You really have a knack for choosing fabrics. What a total score, too, on the vintage rayon, one of my favorite fabrics. I like all three versions, fabric wise, but love this view, style wise, the best.
Gosh I miss sewing. I used to sew all the time. I did a bit of hand mending over the holiday and was reminded how enjoyable it was. Other than the Halloween costumes I made last October, it has been far too long.
I find hand sewing particularly enjoyable. I received the Alabama Chanin book for Christmas and am hoping to try that soon.
I had to go look that up. What an interesting site.
Great dress and I love you hashtag!
Oh ring a ding ding! The lightweight Alder is the way to go. It just feels so dreamy to wear.
Doesn’t it?! Sunmerwear heaven.
I’ve had this pattern traced for a couple of months and I’m looking forward to making it soon! Yours looks great!
Thanks Beth, I’ve really enjoyed making and wearing all my Alders this summer. It’s so easy to wear as a casual dress.
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