Alder Shirtdress Sew-Along

Pattern: Alder Shirtdress

View the PDF Download or Paper Pattern

Difficulty: Intermediate

Sew along with us as we walk you through making the Alder Shirtdress! In this sew-along you’ll learn basic pattern alterations for your Alder, how to sew bust darts, apply bias facings, construct and attach a shirt collar, insert buttons & buttonholes, and much more! Bonus pattern variations include a mandarin collar, v-neck, the Alder as a shirt, and to ways to combine the Alder & Archer together for a sleeved shirtdress.

Need inspiration? Browse our Alder Pinterest Gallery before you start!

Alder Sew-Along Posts

1. Pattern Introduction

Get the details on the fit and style of the Alder pattern and learn more about why we designed this versatile summer shirtdress.

2. Fabric & Supplies

Sewing a proper shirtdress requires a few extra tools to get the job done right. We walk you through all the tools, supplies, and fabric you’ll need to make your Alder.

3. Selecting your Size

We walk you through taking proper measurements, using them to select the correct size, and what to do if you’re not a straight size (most of us aren’t).

4. Specific Fit Adjustments

Need help adjusting the length, moving your darts, or doing a small or full bust adjustment? We’ve got you covered in this post.

5. Cutting your Alder

Cutting is one of the longest steps but we show you how to properly cut, mark your darts and pocket placement, and snip your notches with ease.

6. Assembling the Button Bands

Assembling the left and right button bands is the first step on the road to your finished Alder.

7. Darts & Pockets

Sew up your darts and apply your pocket with ease. We include tips for applying a pocket when the fabric you’re sewing it to has been molded with a dart.

8. Yoke: Method 1

This first yoke method is super easy. We recommend it for people who have never applied a yoke to a garment before.

9. Yoke: Method 2

If you’ve sewn a yoke before and want to up your skill set, try this burrito method! It’s a fun trick that cuts down on finishing time.

10. Side Seams and Skirts

In this post we sew up our side seams on View A and demo faux flat felled seams. View B can be intimidating due to the right angled seam, but we walk you through each step in depth.

11. Assembling & Attaching the Collar

This is easily the step that we hear people are most nervous about, but it’s not hard. Just follow our instructions one step after the other and you’ll have a perfect collar in no time.

12. Binding the Armholes

Finishing the neckline and armholes with bias facings can be tedious and stressful. Here we walk you through our foolproof process with tips to ensure a perfect finish every time.

13. Hemming your Alder

Just about to the finish line! Hems for both View A and View B are shown here.

14. Buttons & Buttonholes

The last step, inserting your buttonholes and attaching your buttons! Measuring, marking, and insertion of the buttonholes and the attachment of the buttons are all covered here.

Alder Pattern Variations & Extras

Variation 01: Mandarin Collar

Learn how to easily convert your traditional collar into a more casual mandarin style.

Variation 02: Shirt or Tunic

Shortening the Alder into a shirt or tunic length is easy and works well for both View A and View B.

Variation 03: V-Neck

If collars aren’t for you or you’ve made multiple collared Alders and are looking for a different neckline, try our v-neck tutorial!

French Seams on Right Angles

If you’re attempting French seams on View B this tutorial is for you. We walk you through sewing French seams at the front skirt seam with ease. This tutorial is applicable to any right angled seam as well.

Variation 04: Alder + Archer v.01

We get a lot of questions about whether or not the Archer sleeves can be sewn on the Alder, but unfortunately it’s not that easy. The Alder was drafted to be sleeveless which means it takes a bit of drafting to get the Archer sleeves to fit. We show you how to adjust your pattern here.

Variation 05: Alder + Archer v.02

Another method for combining the Alder + Archer. We start with the Archer body here and combine it with the Alder below the waist. This avoids the more complicated drafting necessary in our first tutorial.