Alder Shirtdress

HelenHelen's Makes14 Comments

Linen Alder Shirtdress

Are you participating in the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge? We are all making shirtdresses to wear during the warm summer months. You can use any shirtdress pattern and any fabric – check out the contest details here.

Alder Shirtdress

I love shirtdresses and my favorite TNT shirtdress pattern is the Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studio. I have made the ruffle bottomed version twice before with different results from two different fabrics. The red version below is made from a super soft and floaty rayon print, while the octopus version on the right is made from a crisp cotton lawn.  

Alder Shirtdress

This time, I wanted to try the non-ruffled view and I opted for a linen cotton blend for summer. This fabric is perfect for a collared shirt or dress because it holds a nice, crisp shape. I love the subtle vertical stripes woven in and the deep blue color.

Alder ShirtdressAlder Shirtdress
Alder Shirtdress

The Alder shirtdress pattern has small pockets included in the design and I opted to leave them off this version.  I actually did sew them on and then removed them last minute and I am glad I did. They were disrupting the vertical stripes and they looked a little small on my figure, even though I had sewn them on previous versions and they looked fine, I think this more solid print emphasized them.

Alder ShirtdressAlder ShirtdressAlder ShirtdressAlder ShirtdressAlder Shirtdress

I also opted not to sew on any buttons. I know this seems like cheating, but it is one thing I love about this pattern. I can sew the placket closed, pull it on overhead, and still get the look of the shirtdress without having to do all the fussy buttonholes and worry about gapeing in the front. In this case, I also opted to leave off the buttons, too! I really love how simple it looks without them, it gives the illusion of a covered button placket. So, maybe this isn’t really a shirtdress anymore now, but I’m fine with that.

Alder Shirtdress
Alder ShirtdressAlder Shirtdress

I really love this make and I look forward to wearing it loads this summer. Linen and cotton blends make the perfect summer wear, breathable and chic. Are you working on a #sewtogetherforsummer shirtdress?


About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

14 Comments on “Linen Alder Shirtdress”

  1. I should be working on a shirt dress, Alder or that McCall’s pattern everyone loves! In my case, though, it would be sleeveless and ready for cardigans to face the SF summer chill. Your Alder is fantastic! I love the darker denim, it has that perfect casual but not sloppy look.

    1. I love a good sleeveless shirtdress. I also have the McCalls 6696 muslined and in the works, too! A shirtdress and a cardigan is a great workday outfit here in Vancouver, too.

  2. I’m all over your dress and it totally counts as a Shirtdress still! In fact, the way you’ve simplified it makes me love it even more, especially paired with that fabric. It gets more interesting the more you look at it doesn’t it. Out and out perfection!
    (and thank you! ;-) x

  3. It looks great! I love the sleek look of this view with no buttons. I have two ruffled Alders too which I love and think I may also try the straight version this summer.

    1. Thanks Katie! I love the ruffle versions, too, but I was surprised how much I liked the plain one. It seemed kinda boring in the picture, but the shape is just perfect :)

  4. This is such a great idea! Thought I’m always going to associate this dress with your IG story where you were wearing it and lying in a hammock! :P Hammock life is the summer dream!

    1. Hammock life is AMAZING. I think of that hammock now as a summer time necessity, it makes me so happy! I think there is room for one on that porch of yours ;)

  5. I have this pattern Helen but I haven’t made it up yet – I’ve been dallying around it not absolutely sure it’s what I want to make right now. I love yours and I think that drapey rayon print is perfect for it…you’ve spurred me I admit.

  6. Oh, how lovely this dress is! I too dislike the gapping, and also I have a fear of the buttonhole making thingy on my sewing machine. What a perfect way to skip both those things!

  7. Love the covered placket idea so the buttons won’t “interrupt ” the front! I have this pattern and am inspired to git-r-done☺

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