The Maui Shirt and Hot Patterns Tuxedo Dress

Alright, here is the Maui Shirt!  Same awesome Colette Patterns Negroni pattern with some beautiful cotton voile and vintage buttons!

Colette Patterns Negroni shirt in a cotton voile
Colette Patterns Negroni shirt in a cotton voile

Wish I could remember the fabric designer.  I bought it a couple years ago and my memory isn’t so good after that last concussion!  At the time it was a total impulse buy.  It wasn’t cheap….I do remember that.  Had no idea it would become a men’s shirt, but just goes to show an impulse buy sometimes becomes a valuable purchase.  The preliminary reviews from around the house are giving it high marks!  What are your thoughts?

So the next fun project this week also involved an impulse fabric purchase a year or so ago.

My old local fabric shop had this amazing Japanese lightweight denim.  It was flying off the bolt, so I panicked and quickly purchased a few yards.  Then it sat in my stash.  And sat in a little longer.

The pattern I used had a similar history.  Last week I finally pulled it out.  I’ve used Hot Patterns before with varying success.  Earlier this spring I tried to make a pair of Hot Patterns jeans and  reluctantly gave up when I realized my chances of a successful fit was nonexistent.  BUT this is not enough to give up on a pattern maker…..jeans are just really tough to design for “everyone.”  And Im picky.  Previous to that I did have success putting together a lantern skirt and plan to use it again.

Front detail. Bib front with hidden button fly.
Front detail. Bib front with hidden button fly.

But onto the pattern at hand!  I wanted to make a shirt dress.  I liked this pattern because it had a unique bib front and I liked the collarless finish.  My intention was to make a summer dress, but it turns out that summer is nearly over where I live and so I thought it would be prudent to make a fall dress.  That way I get some good “wear-time” out of it.  I decided the Japanese denim would be perfect for a transitional piece and it went well with my fall color palate choices.

As I began to make the dress, I quickly realized how complacent I had become with patterns. Many of the independent pattern designers cater to beginner sewists and although I don’t consider myself a beginner, I noticed how reliant I had become on sewing instructions and not my own skill sets.  I appreciate how Hot Patterns assume a certain amount of sewing knowledge and skill.  Their instructions are short and sweet.  Sweet!

Japanese denim & linen blend shirt dress
Japanese denim & linen blend shirt dress

Admittedly I was initially reluctant about the pattern because the instructions didn’t make sense on the first read.  Then I remembered the biggest benefit of Hot Patterns is their exhaustive collection of tutorials and pattern design descriptions.  Trudy, the primary designer has a way of clearly explaining designs, fabric choices and most importantly helps you get through difficult construction steps with ease.  After watching the video on the pattern, I felt better about starting.  This was my first button fly and the finished neckline was the best result I’ve achieved to date.  I had to take in the arms and sides about 1″ to get a better fit and I hemmed it to hit above the knees.  Additionally, I opted to omit the sleeve cuffs because I wanted a more casual looking dress.

In the end, I think it turned out lovely.  I like the linen look and it will fit nicely under a cardigan when the temps begin to drop.

What do you think?


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