Chloe's Simplicity Shirt Dress

Chloe's Simplicity Shirt Dress

For my second blog project, I chose to tackle a big 4 pattern - Simplicity 8014 view A. I predominately make indie patterns because I’ve had poor luck with the sizing of big 4 patterns in the past (and the instructions aren’t always great), so I was extra careful to check the finished garment measurements, and not rely too much on the suggested sizing. According to the packet, I measure between a size 14 and 16, but I decided to make a size 12 based on the finished garment measurements - and I’m glad I did! Overall, the fit is much better than I expected and the only thing I could improve is a little more width through the shoulders across the upper back and high bust, and perhaps a full bicep adjustment, but it is still comfortable and completely wearable as is.

S8014 is a shirt dress pattern featuring 4 different views (and many mix-and-match options): View A is a full length dress with a full collar and long sleeves, sleeve tabs, chest pockets with flaps, in-seam skirt pockets, and tie belt. View B is a knee-length dress with a band collar, short sleeves, and tie belt. View C is a slim cut dress with no waist seam, a band collar, chest pockets, and sleeve tabs. View D is a mini dress with no waist seam, a full collar, short sleeves, single chest pocket, and a shirttail hem. The recommended fabrics are non-stretch wovens like poplin, sateen, chambray, denim, linen, or even challis for a more drapey look. And don’t forget the buttons! View A has a whopping 17 buttons, and I sewed them all by hand.

The fabric I chose for this project is the Mono Diamonds Pima Cotton Lawn - a cream, grey and black geometric print. Pima cotton is made from long cotton fibres and has a high thread count, making it comparable to Egyptian cotton. The finish is ultra smooth and soft to the touch, with a crisp hand that makes it a pleasure to work with. The result is a comfortable, breathable, smart garment that is also easy to launder. I must admit that the scale of the print is smaller than I expected and there is a subtle directionality to it (the diamonds are not symmetrical) but the fabric was easy to cut, sew and press, and I am pleased with the outcome.


For some visual interest, I cut several pieces in a contrasting fabric: the under collar, inner collar stand, inner yoke, inner cuffs, under sleeve tabs, and under pocket flaps. This fabric is a tiny striped grey and cream lightweight linen/cotton blend that I bought from Jenny Stitches last year to make a shirt for my partner and I had some scraps left over!

I also took the construction instructions as a suggestion only and used different methods where I thought it would be beneficial. I cut a second yoke piece so that I could use the burrito method for clean shoulder and back seams. I constructed the inseam pockets slightly differently as well - by attaching both pocket bag pieces to the front skirt before attaching the back skirt at the side seams. I also added two little clear snaps to the button placket at the waist seam to ensure that it would lie flat and not gape between the buttons. One other thing to note is that the instructions do not give any guidance on when (or how) to finish any of the seams. I am usually a fan of flat felled seams on shirts, but in this case I chose just to overlock because it was quicker, and I relied on past experience to know when to finish the seams and how to press them along the way.

In the end, I am quite pleased with this dress and I look forward to styling it in different ways. I didn’t make the tie belt because the details tend to disappear in this print, but I have enough fabric left if I decide to do so later. I do think that it looks great with a black belt, and I particularly like the sleeve tab detail to keep the sleeves rolled up securely in warmer weather. It would also work with a sweater vest or long sleeve cropped jumper on top as the weather gets cooler, and in winter it would be perfect layered with tights and a long-sleeve t-shirt underneath. I will definitely be making this pattern again!

Jenny Says:

"It's no secret that I love a shirt dress and this particular pattern and fabric combination is perfection! S8014 is such a versatile design and just goes to show how a pattern can become a true workhorse in your wardrobe."

Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you'll need:


Chloe was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.
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