Alder V-Neck Shirtdress with Sleeves


What’s up, Buttercup?

Yes, I’ve been influenced by all the bright yellow dresses this summer. But mine is mellow yellow Buttercup Brussels Washer Linen from

I’ve been planning this variation of the Grainline Studio Alder Shirtdress for months. I love the pattern, but I’m not fond of collars. And, lately, I like sleeves when I go out (it’s that upper arm business 🙂

Jen is so generous with her techniques for modifying her patterns. For this one I used two tutorials from her archives, the v-neck and sleeve variations:

Both have lots of info and pictures, and my draft worked perfectly on my first attempt!


Sewing notes:

  • My basic Alder pattern, View A, is size 10, with only two changes: adding 2.5″ to the length (I’m 5’7″) and drafting both fronts without an attached button band.
  • Jen uses self-fabric binding to finish her v-neck. I like a little more finish and weight on this neckline, so I drafted facings for the front and back. Cut at 2″ wide, they finish at the same width as the cut-on front facing.


front view

  • I love the shirttail hem on this dress! Making it simple, I serged my hem edges and turned them twice for a nice clean finish. Your best buddies for dealing with a curved hem are your steam iron and patience 🙂

collage 2


  • My dress goes over my head easily, so I made the buttonholes but sewed the buttons on top and through both fronts. I’ve found that a buttonhole with rounded ends works really well with loose weaves, but I always practice first to find the best settings for the presser foot pressure and upper thread tension.


  • About this fabric, which is 55% linen and 45% rayon. It’s wonderful to sew and to wear, and it has the characteristic rumple of linen without the wrinkles. But it will lint and shrink. I serge the cut ends of the yardage and wash/dry it at least two times before I use it. To convince doubters, this mound of lint is from 8 yards of fabric after two cycles!





Simply irresistible. Ciao! Coco

24 thoughts on “Alder V-Neck Shirtdress with Sleeves

  1. I am ADDICTED to Brussels Washer linen. I love the yarn dyes. That yellow is lovely and your Alder looks so chic and cool to wear!


  2. That’s an amazing amount of lint! I have some linen/rayon fromJoAnn I was going to try and use today, but it will go in the washer for another go around first, thanks for the tip! I love the v- neck but as it’s my first time using the pattern (Alder as well), I may stick with the collar, which will be good for layering in the Autumn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, I made the collar version first, a few years back. It’s really cute, I just didn’t like it on me – I have a big head and skinny neck! and collars don’t work for me. Enjoy the pattern, I really enjoy Jen’s drafting.


  3. Sensational dress! I am in the market to upgrade my sewing machine, and a must-have is one that can produce quality buttonholes, like the ones in your photos. Would you mind sharing what model and brand sewing machine you use? Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes! I use a Juki Hzl F600. And I adore it. I recommend Juki machines without any hesitation. My primary serger is also a Juki.

      Juki’s base business is industrial, their machines are loaded with sensible features and have the strength of a Marvel super hero!


  4. Another beautiful dress suitable for our hot West Australian summers. Thanks for the useful tips too. I’m 5’2” and wonder if I can wear this style…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Please see my reply to Adrianne, below, about fitting this dress to a shorter silhouette. Actually you and I fall on 4″ on either side of the model for the pattern. Go for it!


  5. Love, love, love everything about it. I, too, dislike collars on dresses, and the fabric is great for this style. A real win, Coco!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Let’s add yellow to the list of colors that look good on you! I love your Alder dress. I never really considered buying the pattern before because I thought it would look awful on me with gathers at the hip. At 5’2″, I have to be careful about looking wide (no boxy shirts or wide legged pants for me). But, now that I see your version, I think I’m going to have to reconsider! Thanks Coco!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you, but View A is an Aline design, no fuss. Perfect for so many profiles! I had to add to the length, but you might even shorten it. You can always take out length out about 12″ above the hemline, instead of at the hemline, to make it work. Try a muslin in some cotton you are willing to sacrifice (I call these my victims…).


  7. Oh, this looks so cool and summery, I want one! Thanks for the info on the fabric, I have been looking at getting some and now will know to wash it twice and not freak out about the lint. Thanks for all of your great pictures and detailed information, I really enjoy looking at your makes.

    Liked by 1 person

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