Alder Shirtdress Hack

Since the last time I made the Alder Shirtdress (a whole year ago), I’ve been itching to make it again, with just a few changes!  That’s the beauty of a great pattern, it can be used as a perfect block to start with, and with a few small changes it can look completely different!

I knew that the bodice of the Alder Shirtdress was pretty fitted, but I was curious if it could work with a gathered skirt (without needing the buttons in the skirt to get the dress on and off).  I tried on my last alder without unbuttoning the waist and it worked!

Ready for my small list of changes?  I used the bodice from view B and lengthened it 1.5 inches and cut off the skirt portion.  I then grabbed the back skirt piece from view B and used that pattern piece for the front and the back.  I did use the shirt tail hem, but it’s not as deep as the pattern piece suggested.  I cut off 1.5 inches from the bottom of the skirt piece.  And that’s it!

For now, the waist does not have any elastic in it.  I knew I could belt the dress and I like the option to wear it loosely without the cinched in waist!  I may go back and change that, but for now, I like the way it is!

The fabric for the dress is from Indiesew.  Every few months, Allie releases a collection of patterns and fabrics that are so good!  It’s a lot of fun to watch what she is pulling together.  And you have to act fast on those fabrics because they sell out quickly and they aren’t restocked!  This is the crepe rayon that was from the fall/winter collection last month.  This crepe rayon has such a great drape to it!  I love how loose and flowy this fabric is!

Here’s a quick recap of this project:

Pattern: Alder Shirtdress

Fabric: Crepe Rayon from Indiesew (sold out)

Size: 4

Modifications: cut off pattern at bodice, lengthened bodice 1.5 inches, used back skirt piece from view B for front and back skirt, shortened skirt by 1.5 inches (removed length from bottom of skirt)

The pattern & fabric for the Cleo Skirt were provided to me as part of the Indiesew blogger team.  All opinions, as always, are my own…I love both the pattern and the fabric used in this project!


  • Pingback: Wednesday Weekly #111 – Helen's Closet()

  • hungryhippie

    Looks great– Thanks for sharing your mods, super appreciate knowing what others do to make things fit and work. Gives me a bit of confidence. 😉

  • Linda Vass

    Gorgeous color and drape! Perfect pattern/fabric match 🙂