Candy Striper (Sewaholic Oakridge Dress)

After two successful shirtdress hacks of the Sewaholic Granville, I'm back with a dress version of the Granville's sister pattern, the Oakridge. While the Granville has all the styling details of a traditional men's shirt, the Oakridge turns the femininity up some with a lowered neckline, an optional bow, a plain rather than yoked back, and bound placket cuffs rather than tower plackets. I've been wearing my Granville shirtdresses all the time, and recently, a patron stopped me in the library and said "that's a beautiful everyday dress!" which was lovely since I designed that hack to be just that--my ultimate everyday dress, super wearable and functional as well as pretty.

I used the shape of the Oakridge pattern once before to extend the Carolyn pajama top to a shirtdress, so I knew it was possible, would fit over my hips, etc. However, I had never made the Oakridge before! I was really winging it by making a bunch of changes to an untested pattern right off the bat--but this is the kind of thing that a trusted pattern brand allows you to do. I felt confident that the Oakridge would fit well since I love the Sewaholic block on me. To extend the length, I used my hip curve ruler and followed the curve of the shirt, extending the shirt by about 16 inches. The bottom hem is straight across, although you could also retrace the original hem to maintain the shaped shirt hem.

I wanted this to be a wash-and-wear dress so I made a few changes with that in mind. First, I cut the sleeves shorter and gave them a little sewn-down cuff (a cute cuff detail but no ironing/fiddling). I also topstitched the whole bow neck. For ease of cutting/construction, I attached the button band to the front of the dress. The pockets are topstitched to the front of the dress so they don't flap around, which is my new favorite casual dress detail. Finally, the waistband is elasticated so there's no belt or tie to keep track of. It's nice to make these changes and know that I can make a pretty dress as functional as possible!

Once I had it all sewn up I did have to make one modification. When I extended the side seams down, I kept following the hip curve of the shirt, and the hips ended up being way too wide. Tragically, I had already added the pockets and everything, so there was a decent amount of unpicking to be done.  It took me only a few hours to make the dress from altering the pattern to nearly complete, besides buttons--and another hour or so to unpick and resew the side seams and pockets!

Overall, I'm happy with the way the dress turned out, I like the fit, and thanks to my functional modifications I do think I will wear it frequently, however, I'm not sure if I love the Oakridge neckline. I like the low neck + bow combo in theory but I think I would prefer a more traditional pussy bow right up at the neck. I have one more length of fabric with which I may make a hybrid Granville/Oakridge dress with a bow neck on the Granville body. I think between Vogue 8772 and the Granville I can mash up a cuter pussy bow for my next foray into that style.


ps: i missed the season for this dress this year but expect to see it again next year!

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