Reeta Shirtdress

HelenHelen's Makes, Love to Sew Podcast34 Comments

Two Peas in a Pod: Rayon Reeta Shirtdress

I am so pumped to share this post with you all today! As some of you may know from our Instagram stories, Caroline from Blackbird Fabrics and I are friends IRL and we’ve been getting together to sew regularly for the past year! We both really love the Named Reeta Shirtdress pattern and we decided to make it from the same fabric in different colourways (now restocked and available in the Blackbird Fabrics shop!). Naturally, we had to document our makes once completed because we looked hilariously adorable together. I hope you like our Reetas!

Psssst – We’ve been hinting at a special project that we’ve been working on together and this is NOT IT, lol! That is still coming soon, we promise 🙂

Named Reeta Shirtdress

The Reeta Shirtdress is a midi-length dress with side slits and drawstring waist. It is very easy to fit and it has nice details in the pockets and sleeve cuffs. The collar does not have a collar stand and the buttons are sewn right onto the dress and facing (no placket). Despite the simple construction, this project took us both a while to finish! It is challenging to work with such large pieces of Rayon. A quick note to any petite folks wanting to make this dress, neither of us shortened it at all and we are both 5’9-5’10. It is quite long!

Named Reeta Shirtdress Named Reeta Shirtdress

The drawstring waist on the Reeta is very flattering. We both put our drawstring a bit low in order to get a blousing effect when it is cinched tight. I struggled to find a drawstring in the right shade of white, so in the end, I decided to go for a pop of colour with pink! I also used pink buttons from Button Button here in Vancouver.

Named Reeta ShirtdressNamed Reeta Shirtdress

When shooting our Reetas, we tried really hard to show off the slits! Some shots worked out better than others, lol!

Named Reeta ShirtdressNamed Reeta Shirtdress Named Reeta Shirtdress Named Reeta Shirtdress

If it weren’t for sewing, Caroline and I may have never met! I’m so happy to have a sewing bestie in my city who can listen to me ramble about patterns and fabrics for hours. We met on Instagram, so if you have a girl-crush on a fellow sewist in your area on insta, shoot them a message! They may be your sewing soulmate.

Named Reeta ShirtdressNamed Reeta ShirtdressNamed Reeta ShirtdressNamed Reeta Shirtdress Named Reeta Shirtdress

We are currently working on a really exciting project together, too, so stay tuned for news about that in the coming months! We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to!

Named Reeta ShirtdressNamed Reeta Shirtdress Named Reeta Shirtdress

Special thanks to Tasia (featured above) for taking all of these amazing pictures of us in our Reetas! Tasia was also wearing a Deer and Doe Raglisse Dress in the same fabric that day, so we were quite a site to behold! I can’t wait for my next sewing date with these fabulous ladies. If you are interested in this fabric, you can grab it now at Blackbird Fabrics! It sells out quick!

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.

34 Comments on “Two Peas in a Pod: Rayon Reeta Shirtdress”

  1. You ladies are so cute! I also found sewing besties through IG in Montreal 🙂 Loving the floral shirtdress! Thanks for reminding me that I do not own a floral shirtdress in my shirtdress collection! You are definitively feeding my obsession! I am need to go ahead a try ordering fabrics from Blackbird fabrics! I’m still a roockie when it comes to online fabric shopping!

    1. No floral shirtdress?!? Well, no time like the present! I’m sure you can whip one up in no time! There are so many great shirtdress patterns, too. Thanks, Judith 🙂

  2. Adorable. First I liked the black colorway best, then the white, then back and forth with pretty much every photo. They are both fantastic!

  3. Oh my gosh, you two are soooo cute! I love this post so much. The photos are the greatest. It definitely makes me wish I had a sewing bestie near me. And that I had some of that fabric! It’s perfect for both dresses.

  4. This is gorgeous what fantastic photos ! I love both of your dresses they are stunning. Its amazing to meet up with Instagram people in real life I’ve met some amazing people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

  5. Oh my, freaking amazing!!!!! As I read i was thinking, “I would pay to see Tasia in this love fest!” and voila! (I’m assuming I saw something on IG that made me connect this project to her? I dunno.) You ladies look amazing, and I just adore how similar you and Caroline look in your dresses! I had a really similar shirtdress in the late 90’s that was watercolour floral chiffon overlayed on cream, and I felt SO ELEGANT in it. Love that you brought the look to a modern place!

    1. Thanks Gillian! I have to admit, the style of this dress gives me nurse vibes…if that makes any sense. I think it is something in the sleeves. Nonetheless, I love wearing it – it is insanely comfortable and it gets lots of compliments. I’m feeling the elegance for sure!

      I’m pretty sure we storied a bit of our photoshoot day, so that must have been why, haha. I had to include the pic of the three of us cause it is soooo cute!

  6. Okay just when I thought the photos couldn’t get any better on the Blackbird Blog, I popped over here. Oh my goodness you two look amazing and like you’ve been besties forever!! I LOVE it!!

    1. Thanks Heather!! We had so much fun shooting the pics, but the sewing together is really the best part! We are going to keep tempting you to come down to Van an sew with us!!

  7. OH GEEZ, YOU GUYS. Stop being so cute.

    Aside from being adorable, it’s really cool to see the same pattern on two different bodies standing next to each other. I’d love for you guys to do this again and get into construction details for each figure.

    Tasia FTW!!

    1. Thank you!! I agree that it is nice to see on both bodies…trouble is, we make the same size and similar adjustments! Maybe Tasia vs. us would be a better comparison 😛

  8. Love all your dresses but those pics were the very best Helen! It looked like so much more fun to share the experience with someone than trying to figure out ways to look half way natural in a bunch of pics of your self only 🙂 How nice to see Tasia join you too! Haven’t seen her in quite some time 🙂

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