If this dress looks familiar, it’s because this is version #3 of this style! First made is summery pink/purple gingham, then in navy with gold linen and now with the softest purple/grey corduroy.
Let’s talk about this fabric first. I bought it a few years ago in New York at B & J Fabric. I love to treat myself to a nostalgic trip to B & J whenever I can. I used to have the luxury of wandering the aisles for hours after work every day, dreaming up new things to make. The wale on this corduroy is so fine, the fabric feels a bit like velvet. The colour mixes my two current favourites, grey and purple.
From my past versions, you know all about this pattern. It is based loosely on the Amy Butler Liverpool Shirtdress with some major adjustments.
I actually made this dress just before the holidays, it was my Christmas dress. It feels really cozy to wear, so it’s the perfect winter dress. AND apparently winter isn’t quite done with the snow we’re having today!
It’s taken me a while to tell you about this project. I made Amy Butler’s Liverpool shirtdress back in June, but needed to make some further adjustments on it and I ended up starting another project instead. You know how it is.
The fabric I chose is from B&J in New York and is a lovely cotton shirting fabric. The buttons I found in my collection from my New York days. They are absolutely perfect with this fabric! Since I worked in the garment district, I would often wander through the fabric and trim shops after work purchasing random bits and bobs. It’s so satisfying when those odd purchases make perfect sense nine year later.
I made a couple adjustments to the pattern right from the start. I adjusted the shape of the collar and made it more square. Amy’s collar was a bit too flared out for me. I also made the dress less a-lined and added side seam pockets. The pattern calls for ties that are sewn into the side seam and can be tied either in the front or the back of the dress. I decided to create the tie as a separate piece. I also made it extra long, so that it wraps around twice and gives me options with the type of knot or bow I might want to do.
Because I make so many Japanese dress book patterns these days, I sometimes forget to read the instructions when I’m doing an English pattern! I didn’t realize until I was almost done the dress that I had cut the back piece of the dress as one panel instead of two pieces. Oops! This meant that I had an extra inch in the body of the dress which actually made a big difference in the fit. I went back, removed the collar, cut the back in half and put in the french seam that was meant to be there. Depending on your print choice for this pattern you may want to omit doing the french seam and opt for cutting out the back as one piece. To do this you simply need to remove half an inch (the seam allowance) from the centre back line of the pattern piece. For plaids or ginghams or stripes, this would allow the print to flow uninterrupted across the back.
I got stuck when I was doing the cuffs. I just couldn’t seem to figure out her instructions no matter how many times I read them. I finally googled this problem and discovered several people posting about having this same issue. If you ever get stuck on a pattern, I recommend doing a search on the internet. You’ll probably discover an answer to your question. Amy has posted an addendum to the Liverpool pattern here that elaborates on how to do the cuff.
Another note on the sleeves. They are long. I did the 3/4 length sleeve and they come very close to my wrists. It would be wise to measure your arms versus the sleeve pieces to figure out the right length for you. I plan on wearing the sleeves rolled up, so I didn’t fix this.
This is also the pattern we did in our Shirtdress Day Camp. We had a really fun week, sewing, chatting and working together. Everyone’s Liverpool turned out fantastic! Here’s our class photo. We have one more day camp coming up this summer and I’m looking forward to being a student this time and spending the entire week sewing and quilting.