alder dress grainline studios

I took a sloper class from US a while back and made a bodice sloper. I have been researching how to use it with commercial patterns we some degrees of success. I was getting super frustrated because most of the patterns I was attempting to modify had so many design details I was not sure where to get started. When I saw the Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studios I knew this was an excellent pattern to use with my sloper! All my fitting trouble is in the bodice. My hips are those of a small shapeless child’s so it does not matter what the design is below the waistline. However, the fates are cruel and most patterns are designed for a B cup and a standard bust-to-waist ratio that is unfairly biased against my waist measurement.

I was not feeling in the holiday spirit. The season came up so fast I felt like I was just waiting to get them over with! Thankfully, I was at Urban Spools for the holiday party there and the allure of discounted holiday fabric got me back into the mood. I picked up one million yards of the delightful flannel-like brushed cotton Snow Globes by Alexia Abegg from Cotton + Steel along with the Alder pattern.

alder dress grainline studios


This is a good pattern but I think it would be hard for beginners. I am an experienced garment maker and I was left wishing for more pictures specifically for the gathered skirt insert and collar attachment. I muddled through but I’m still not convinced they are installed in the best way. The construction details are solid though in the final product.

I am still tweaking the pattern but overall the fit was a little looser than I wanted but I can still button the buttons with no dreaded gap in the bust!!!!



I made View B. I used my bodice sloper and spun the waist dart to the side seam. I added in the bottom of the dress design elements by tracing in the front extension for the button placket that also extends down to the bottom hem. I shortened the skirt parts to the size 4 line. I’m 5’4″ and it hits perfectly right above the knee now.

When making the back, I put in gathers at the yoke line since I was working with my sloper.

alder dress grainline studios

I FOUND 8 matching buttons from another project I aborted like 6 years ago! So I used those and skipped putting in the button at the very top. For the next dress, I will make sure to have all 9!

alder dress grainline studios
I clipped that white thread after seeing this pic lol

I also used this amazing tutorial to draft a new collar stand and collar because my sloper neckline was way different from the pattern. The tutorial worked like a charm!

alder dress grainline studios

Final verdict: This is an immensely popular pattern so you can see lots of variety online. I thought the styling was great. I ended up nipping in the waist as much as I could. I am making a second one right away!!!!!! This dress is wrinkled because I am wearing it constantly to holiday parties to get my full use out of it. There is a little pimento cheese on it but no one can tell (I hope).