Vintage Shirt Dress

Sew Over It


In stock

The vintage shirt dress sewing pattern from Sew Over It is perfect for an intermediate dressmaker. The dress features a notched collar, bust and waist darts. The pattern has both a sleeved and sleeveless version and can be made in most fabrics.

What we think: This is a classic vintage inspired dress that looks great on most body types.

Suggested Fabrics: A light to medium weight woven fabric such as cotton, cotton lawn, seersucker, broderie anglaise, rayon, viscose, crepe or lightweight wool

This sewing pattern is available to buy in PAPER format, UK sizes 8-20 (see images for full size chart).

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Additional information


Cottons / Chambray / Lawn / Quilting, Silk / Satin / Sateen


UK 8 / US 4 / EU 36, UK 10 / US 6 / EU 38, UK 12 / US 8 / EU 40, UK 14 / US 10 / EU 42, UK 16 / US 12 / EU 44, UK 18 / US 14 / EU 46, UK 20 / US 16 / EU 48

Sewing level


Make time

All weekend or longer

Pattern format


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5 out of 5 stars

14 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Avatar

    5 out of 5 SOI Vintage Shirt Dress


    When you have Atelier Brunette fabric you want to make something special. Having never made a shirt dress before I was a bit worried to be jumping straight in but as always I had a deadline, a day at the races, and knew I needed to just get on with it.

    It’s described as an intermediate pattern but I like to think that if you can sew and read instructions then you shouldn’t let something like “intermediate” put you off. Yes it has pleats and a collar and button holes and facings but it was a really lovely sew and came together really quickly. I’m a slow sewer but I made it over 5 days with an hourish if sewing a day.

    The only alterations I made were my usual FBA, shortened the sleeves as it was way way way too hot for anything longer, plus this way it will be wearable for summer and layering up with a cardigan and tights in the winter. I also needed to split/hinge the sleeve and added in an inch as I couldn’t move my arms. I’ve heard this mentioned quite a lot about Sew Over It patterns but it was a simple adjustment to made so don’t let the horror stories put you off.

    I did have to overlap the button placket more than it suggested in the instructions but I think it looks ok as I’ve still managed to centre the buttons, I just need to add a popper on the waist seam as this now sags.

    I’ve already cut out my second one so this is a definitely a must have pattern for me.

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  2. Avatar

    5 out of 5 Wearable Vintage Style


    I’ve been wanting to make the Vintage Shirt Dress for several years but just haven’t got round to it. Then I spotted this viscose challis and knew it was destined to be. This is a great pattern. It’s classic Sew Over It in my opinion; a wearable, flattering style with some gorgeous vintage features. I sewed this up in about three sittings, it comes together beautifully and the instructions are great. There are some more detailed instructions on the Sew Over It blog for some of the steps if you feel you want a bit more help.

    I checked the finished garment measurements before cutting out and I realised that there was slightly more ease in this pattern than other Sew Over It dresses. I usually grade between a 10 and 12 with SOI but here I made a straight 10. However I did add a small 1″ FBA which is pretty standard for me.
    My measurements:
    High Bust – 35″
    Full Bust – 38″
    Waist – 30″
    Hip – 38″
    Height – 5’4″

    I’m really happy with this dress and I will definitely be making more. I’d like to try it in a cotton or something with a bit more structure next time just to see how it holds the shape differently.
    I see many more of these in my future!

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  3. Avatar

    5 out of 5 Vintage Shirt Dress/Orla dress-hack


    A combination of two of my favourite patterns turned out great! I used the bodice from the Orla dress (with a raised neckline) and the skirt from The Vintage Shirt dress (with added pocket and no front seam) and used a lovely, blue wax print from Etsy. I hemmed the skirt with a 4 cm selfmade bias binding to keep the flared silhoutte. I will definitely make this dress hack again!!

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  4. Avatar


    I’m not normally into vintage style clothes, as I always tend to go for more modern styles for day to day wear. However, I’d seen so many gorgeous styles of this pattern that it won me over. It helped that I found a gorgeous fabric to make it in – and I think it’s a perfect match!

    The Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress is a lovely pattern, available in print or PDF format, it has a flat notched collar and lapels, as well as bodice and waist darts, gathered shoulders and optional addition of a sleeve.

    The fabric is an Art Gallery Fabric from Cotton Reel Studio in the sale last year and I knew as soon as I saw it, it was destined to be made into this shirt dress. The background of this lightweight cotton is a gorgeous vintage-y, rich cream colour and the little pineapples are mostly blue, pink and lime green in muted shades.

    I’d prepared myself for some careful pattern matching and had 2.5 metres to play with. I cut out the sleeveless version in a size 8, roughly placed the paper pieces on my body to judge where the waist seam would come and the overall length of the dress. I’d read that the dress comes up quite short on a lot of people and as I always have to shorten the length of most things, I omitted this step and hoped it should be just about right!

    To continue reading this review visit my blog here:

    Happy sewing,
    Holly x

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  5. Avatar


    I’ve long wanted to sew the Vintage Shirt Dress and finally worked up the courage to make it and sew buttonholes! I used a lightweight cotton from Ditto Fabrics (I believe Italian in origin). I made a toile to check size and graded down at the waist as I had read that it was quite generous at the waist with a lot of ease. I also lengthened the bodice and also the skirt (although I’d still like the skirt to be a bit longer). I didn’t do the same sleeves as the pattern – shortened them and added faux cuffs on them. They are a little tight so I think I’d rather make the sleeveless version next time (also because I’m not a huge fan of the sleeve style).
    When I have worn it, I’ve chosen to wear with a belt to define the waist some more, and with a long cardi.
    I found the instructions easy enough to follow (no huge head-scratching moments that I remember). I added some more buttons to the skirt than I think the pattern suggests.

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  6. Avatar


    Well, this will be a favourite – pattern and dress! Easy to make, perfect fit without alterations. I’m 5″ 3 and it fitted me really good and I will make it again. Next time I will make it a few millimeters narrower over the shoulders and maybe add pockets if I can do it in some clever way. I am also thinking about finnishing the seams in a neater way. It didn’t take me that many hours to complete, you could easilly cut it and finnish it in a weekend.

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  7. Avatar


    This is not the vintage shirt dress but the Ultimate Shirt which was from a course at the Islington shop. I have done a hack by just using the collar stand alone which I think makes a rather nice Nehru collar. I also added 8 inches to the length to make a shirt dress/ long shirt. I love Sew Over It patterns they seem to suit my pear shaped figure which I blend between size 14 top and size 16 hips. The course was brilliant , Leila was very encouraging and gave us lots of useful tips.

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  8. Avatar

    Vintage Shirt Dress


    This is a lovely pattern! I spent a lot of time working on the fit of the bodice and made quite a few adjustments to the bodice pattern and I’m so pleased with the results. The pattern instructions are clear and the drafting is excellent. The fitting of the notched collar came together easily, although I hadn’t quite snipped the curves in exactly the same way so do take care in that regard if you are thinking of making this pattern! I managed to fix it so it isn’t noticeable but I’ll be sure to take more care next time.

    I really took my time with this so it spanned over a week of odd evening and some of the weekend. I usually sew in a rush but I enjoyed taking this project slow and I think it shows in the results.

    The pattern is listed as a intermediate pattern which I’d say is accurate given the techniques involved, but as the instructions are so good I would definitely recommend this to a beginner who is wanting to up their skills.

    I have written a more detailed review on my blog if anybody wants to check it out

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  9. Avatar

    Vintage Shirt Dress


    This is the first time I make this dress and I absolutely love it. I used a cotton lawn from Sew over it and it goes perfect for Spring / Summer, but also works with tights for winter. The construction of the dress is not difficult, but it is time consuming. The dress has lots of details and you can’t skip any of them. It has gathers on the shoulders, a collar, facings, buttons and buttonholes, bias tape on the sleeves, and pleats on the bodice as well as the skirt. The dress will give you a nice silhouette, and it will give you a nice waist and hourglass figure. I am already working on my second one!

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  10. Avatar

    Vintage Shirt Dress


    This is my first ever shirt dress! I will admit it, I was a little bit afraid of making it, but I wanted to enter the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge and I decided it was the best pattern I could try!
    My biggest fear was aligning the buttons. I think I did a pretty good job! I opted for self covered buttons, although the fabric is quite busy so you might not even notice them! The construction of the collar was pretty staight forward and overall I’m very satisfied with my dress.
    I shortened the sleeves a little bit but I think next time I will go for the 3/4 lentgh to wear my dress in the autumn!

    You can read my review on my blog:

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  11. Avatar

    Vintage Shirt Dress


    This is a vintage style shirt dress with optional sleeves with sizes ranging from UK 8 to 20. I made the size 10 but in retrospect I should have made a size smaller. So at least if you are not big busted, size down if you are in between two sizes. I used viscose fabric which suited the pattern well.

    I must admit I did not read the instructions carefully but only looked at them for specific things. The only thing I was a bit confused about was that in the line drawing and in the envelope pictures the sleeves are normal set-in sleeves but in the instructions the sleeves are slightly puffed. From the shape of the sleeve I figured out that the sleeves were meant to be gathered.

    I shortened the sleeves and gathered the sleeves into narrow cuffs. I originally made a size too big and as I took in the side seams I formed extra pleats at the side seams of the skirt. I also added 2 to 5 cm to the length of the skirt and added a waist stay.

    This is a great shirtdress pattern. I love the vintage look and the collar in particular. I also think that this is a good pattern to combine with different skirts from other patterns.
    It is more than likely I will use it several times.

    More photos and lots of details about this project can be found on my blog:

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  12. Avatar

    Vintage Shirt Dress


    It seems my Instagram feed has been full of Sew Over It Shirt Dresses so when I felt a little more confident about my sewing skills I decided to give this pattern a go.

    I love Sew Over It patterns because they fit me easily and I can follow the instructions. The shirt dress was no exception.

    I made my dress from a lightweight blue cotton from Fabworks in Dewsbury. I opted to go with the sleeveless version (as I could always wear a cardigan on top) as I didn’t want to jump before I could walk!

    I found the instructions very easy to follow with the exception of the facing on the button bands, which, after an explanation from a friend, really turned out to be very simple!

    The fit was also almost perfect. I cut out the size suitable for my measurements and just had to take the waist in by a centimetre to get my preferred fit.

    I now love my dress and can understand why people have several in their wardrobe. Next time I just might be a little neater!

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