Whether you spell it "shirt dress" or "shirtdress," this garment presents some challenges to the Apple. Typically it's a short, somewhat fitted garment. Ready-to-wear options are frequently unflattering, with "fitting" that hits all the wrong places on us, or a lack of fitting that leaves us looking like an egg in a really long dress shirt. Not an attractive look.
Stumbling across Ankara fabric last year changed my life. The large-scale designs, the brilliant colors, the vibrant Ankara sewing community...I was hooked.
Ankara is generally a cotton fabric, dyed using a wax process. The resulting fabric is nearly identical on both sides. It's a versatile, medium-weight woven that resists wrinkling and is pleasant to sew and comfortable to wear. What's not to love?
Vogue 1297 is an excellent pattern for Apples. It looks fabulous in striped fabric, thanks to the giant pockets set at a slimming angle. It's also surprisingly easy to make, even when you're working with an older sewing machine like I do!
My first version of this dress was made with a substantial brick-red striped knit. It's not a scuba knit, but it is almost that substantial. I do think you could get away with a medium-weight knit. Anything too light might not skim over you as flatteringly (no surprise to most of us). The minor wubble in the front-facing pic is my not-very layerable shirt scrunching!
Not As Awesome