Hacking the high street: a Warehouse-inspired Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress

I love scouring high street and high-end fashion for styling and sewing inspiration, and Warehouse has been offering up some absolute beauties over recent months. I came across this gorgeous stripy summery dress and knew it was one I had to recreate.


The muted tones would wash me out (pasty lady problems) so I went with brighter colours with this rainbow cotton poplin from Minerva; it’s one of those fabrics that just make you smile, and because it’s poplin it behaves and sews so nicely:


To recreate the shirt-style dress I used the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress as a base to work from. The main part to change was the collar; the pattern has a lovely detail whereby the shoulder seam sits towards the front of the dress with a subtle gathering to the front bodice. The main thing to make sure of when altering the collar is to not mess with this bit, so cut everything as per the pattern, but trace a line down from the neckline to the front bodice, or to save time, you can just fold it like in the photo below! Then use this as a template for the facing so they match. All you then need to do is follow the instructions, omitting any steps to do with the collar.

The pattern itself has a flared skirt just like the inspiration image, but sadly the fabric I used isn’t quite wide enough (it’s 45” not 60”)! I did debate just having a narrower skirt but decided to go with a tapered skirt instead. To do this I kept the top of the skirt the same as the pattern so that the darts all match up, but drew a curved shape – I went way too wide at the hip at first so if you’re giving this a go make a toile!

I love how the Warehouse dress has the stripes rotated on the pockets and cuffs so they had to be recreated; I made straightforward patch pockets with a ‘v’ shape to echo the neckline, and added an extra strip on to the sleeves:


Last to make was the belt, a highly intricate piece of pattern cutting…. or just a long rectangle, held together with a vintage buckle bought on eBay!

I love how the dress turned out, it’s inspired by the original but has some tweaks to make it more ‘me’, and although it’s a day dress it feels really special to wear. Huzzah for rainbow stripes!


2 thoughts on “Hacking the high street: a Warehouse-inspired Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress

  1. It looks really good, both style and fit. I lift patterns from favourite ready-to-wear garments quite often. It’s fun working out the original [often quite complicated] pattern. I always make a toille too. I’ll check out Warehouse.

    Liked by 1 person

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