Sew Out of This World: My Starburst Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress

It’s Sew Out of This World day! May the 4th be with you!

In a previous blog post I wrote about this new sewing challenge from Sew Loco and I was so happy to be team captain for Challenge 3, Stargazer, which invited everyone to create a space-inspired garment, and here’s mine!

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There are so many ways to interpret this challenge, from going for an all-out sci-fi inspired costume to a silver sculptural piece, but in my quest for a more sustainable approach to sewing, I wanted to make something I would get a lot of wear out of. I decided to combine a space themed fabric: this beautiful Liberty Starburst cotton lawn which at a glance looks sensible but it actually bonkers (like the best of us, eh?) with a Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress to emulate the incredible costumes in Hidden Figures.

To echo the early 1960s dresses in the film I wanted my dress to be slightly longer than the pattern gives so I added 10cm to the skirt, meaning the hem had an added 5cm width on each piece so it would turn out super swishy!

Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress
(Totally giving the game away that I cut straight in to the pattern rather than tracing)

Sew Over It instructions are always so clear and waffle-free, so making this dress was really straight forward, albeit fiddly at one or two steps. I found pinning the collar to the facing the trickiest part, to the point that I thought I must’ve cut the wrong size for one of them! Turned out it just needed a lot of easing and v-e-r-y s-l-o-w sewing to get it perfect, but it went in first time.

Overall this was a really enjoyable dress to make and I’d recommend it to anyone ready to step up to making a shirt dress but feeling unsure about taking the leap. Some shirts and shirt dresses can be a bit daunting, particularly making a collar for the first time, but this dress gives a lovely introduction without having to worry about a collar stand and all the trickier parts of tailoring.

The fabric is so beautiful and I want this dress to last so I took so much care to make it as perfectly as possible; I finished all the seams with my overlocker and really took my time with sewing so it is as neat on the inside as it is on the outside! I also hand finished the armholes and re-stitched parts that I know in the past I would’ve let slide. I’m really happy with how my dress turned out but for my next one I’ll add 5cm to the bodice length because the waist on this one is sitting way above my actual waistline! It’s also a good inch too loose on the waist (even though I put the buttons 5cm in), which makes it really comfy, but I would prefer a more fitted version so next time I’ll take it in a fair bit.

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It’s been brilliant seeing everyone’s entries for Sew Out of This World. For the UFO challenge we’ve seen sewists finishing projects that have sat idle for months, for the To Infinity and Beyond challenge crafters have pushed themselves to tackle new techniques and projects, and for the Stargazer category we’ve seen everything from a Swedish Eurovision fancy dress costume from @sagner_by_katrin to the cutest toddler outfit from @sewstainability

All that’s left now is to announce the winners so please keep and eye on Sew Loco’s website and Instagram!

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