Named – Reeta Shirtdress ho hum


No head and not happy. I don’t know why I keep sewing shirt dress designs. Wishful thinking. I don’t even like collars. But here I am again, so I’ll try to give a balanced review.

I love the promise…

line art

But it just didn’t work. The silhouette is nice, I even like it without any cinching at the waistline. In the first pic, however, I’ve use an self-fabric belt (from Vogue 8807).


I’m not a fan of drawstrings and so on, and this little belt is a nice option. Easy to do. Without any belt…



But –  I just don’t like the design on me.

Moving on to the pattern. It’s a bit of a beast, because the collar is totally wonky. I’m being generous. This is the worst collar/neckline drafting I’ve ever encountered.

I’m really good at sewing! but the collar and neckline just did not want to meet. I was working with high-thread count poplin, but, frankly – horrible drafting. I really tried, lots of pins, and it just didn’t work. To make me feel better, all 4 of the reviews I read mentioned issues with this CRITICAL area. Attaching the collar to the neckline. The pic below is hardly suggestive of the impossibility of sewing the collar into the neckline AND the facing.


I ended up trimming the neckline at the front and drafting a completely new collar. I have little patience for poor drafting and would just as soon try to save a garment with something else.

My collar:

new collar 1

Being a little discouraged, and looking for some fun, I drew a curved edge to my collar to offset the pointed lapel. Cute, right?

new collar 2

And my own collar and neckline worked just fine.

Sewing notes:

  • I drafted the size 42. It worked up to be somewhere between a size 12 and size 14 in Big Four sizing. It’s a little big on me across the  back, but it’s pretty comfortable. I think a size 40 would have been too small.
  • I started with the recommended 4 yards of 44″ wide fabric. And shortened my front and back by 8 1/2″. I could not have done the full midi-length in the suggested yardage.
  • I drew the sleeves to the pattern, but I did not do the double-up sewed-in-cuff view. And I ended up cutting off several inches and doing a 1.25″ hem at elbow length.
  • I added in-seam pockets. It blows my mind that this pattern doesn’t have pockets.


  • Mine are attached 3″ below the waistline, and to make them really comfortable, they’re topstitched to the front. No waving pockets please…

Nonetheless, I’m ditching this pattern and moving on. Summer is here, replete with rain, mosquitoes, and lots of opportunity for fun lightweight garments.

Lights out on this one!


Parting thought: I’m sick of black and white and grey! Forget about the advice on colors for grey hair. I’m going back to exuberant color and patterns. The alternative is just not me!

Ciao! Coco