Grainline Alder in vintage rayon


aka #teambumruffle

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!

Grainline Alder view B - back view

Grainline Alder view B – back view

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.

Grainline Alder View B - side view

Grainline Alder View B – side view. The armholes are slightly large but I prefer that in a summer dress, especially on our hot and humid days.

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.

Grainline Alder View B, front view - a bit too short, ok for summer casual though I guess.

Grainline Alder View B, front view – a bit too short, ok for summer casual though I guess.

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.

The Alder, the whippet and the Thong Tree

The Alder, the whippet and the Thong Tree

Lighthouse Beach Thong Tree

Lighthouse Beach Thong Tree

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.

A windy day on a classic sandy Australian beach

A windy day on a classic sandy Australian beach

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.

Grainline Alders x 3

Grainline Alders x 3

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61 thoughts on “Grainline Alder in vintage rayon

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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…

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

    • 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!

  10. 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. 😉

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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 😉

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Pingback: Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress aka my leap of faith dress | saturday night stitch

  18. Pingback: The Happy Days maxi(mum) summer shirtdress, McCalls 7242 | Sew Busy Lizzy

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