Red Hi-Lo Shirt Dress: SewSewDef Katie

Dress: SewSewDef Katie | Shoes: Merona from Target **I have no idea why I have on one earring*

As soon as Mimi teased this shirt dress I knew I had to have it. The Katie shirt dress is one of two free patterns included in the third issue of SewSewDefMag.


I knew I was excited about this pattern because it is 45 page pdf pattern and I still wanted to make it. Typically I stick to commercial or printed indie patterns to avoid all of the cutting and taping. I know several sewists feel the same way, but if you think about it printing, cutting and taping a pdf pattern is often quicker than tracking down a pattern from Joann or waiting for one to ship from the manufacture. In the future I will stick to printing the pattern to the copy shop, I just need to check into pricing.

Look at all these pages! (I left off the last 6 pages because I wasn’t going to do the bell sleeve)

This dress was released on June 1st and I wanted to make this dress to wear in the fashion show at Mimi’s 6th Annual Conference (read all about my trip here) and the deadline was June 12th, so I didn’t have much time. I visited my local Joann Fabrics because there wasn’t enough time to shop online. Sadly I didn’t find a print that really caught my eye which means I had to shop my stash (something I should have been doing anyway). Ultimately I decided to go with this red linen blend (I believe – this was a remnant bought long ago)  I had in my stash.


I have never made a shirt dress, mainly because I hate sewing buttonholes! After noticing that Mimi used snaps on one of her versions I realized I could avoid them all together. I also like that this dress had a loose fit so as long I fit the bust the rest of the dress would fit fine. This was important due to the fashion show entry deadline.


Although I took the “easy” route with the snaps the dress did present a potential problem as this was my first time sewing a collar. Thankfully the instructions were clear and I had no problems attaching it (other than the need to go over it more than once to catch a few stitches that veered off)


I initially hadn’t planned to add the gathered bell sleeve because I thought I would be short on fabric. However I got creative with my pattern piece placement and managed to make room for them. As you can see I didn’t end up using them partially because 1) I hate gathering and though this fabric is light it would not gather easily and 2) after gathering and attaching one I didn’t care for the look on me. Maybe my fabric was to heavy, but there wasn’t enough gathering to look gathered. Also the gathered part reached my wrist which just seemed long.  For the sake of the fashion show I just ditched the bell sleeve and finished with a 1″ hem. I’m still considering decreasing the length of the bell portion by half and reattaching them. Or I might fold the sleeve the long way for more gathers. Either way I will try the bell sleeve when I make this dress again and use a lighter fabric like polyester or rayon challis.

There are two things I would change about this dress. First my fabric choice. The weight and drape works well, but I think it takes a some sort of print (floral, aztec, tie dye) to make it really pop. And the second, I would take some of the fullness out of the back. All in all I really love this dress! It’s comfy and cute. I also love that there are sleeve and collar variations.


Pattern:  SewSewDef Katie Shirtdress

Pattern Description: THE KATIE shirtdress has a high low hem, side seam pockets, collar and bell sleeves.

Sizing: XXS – 2XL

Difficulty: 2/easy

Fabric Used: Red linen blend (I’m guessing) remnant

Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

Likes: Hi-lo hem, collar and bell sleeves

Dislikes: None

Pattern alterations or any design changes made: None, but next time I think I’ll take some of the fullness out of the back.

Would I sew it again? Yes, I want to make it in a print fabric.

Would I recommend it to others? Definitely

Conclusion: Great first shirt dress




18 responses to “Red Hi-Lo Shirt Dress: SewSewDef Katie”

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