Grainline Studios: Alder Dress Love

This was my first exploration into Grainline Studio patterns and I am completely won over! The Archer shirt has been wildly popular for awhile and is definitely on my project list now. The Alder dress is a bit newer and it is fantastic. There are two variations and I have now sewn both. I started with Version A:


I originally did not think this version would be very flattering on me. It is a very loose fitting dress and I worried that the lack of any kind of waist would make me look like a house. I still decided to give this version a shot because I thought it would work better with my fabric of choice. Fortunately, I ended up really liking the cut! I did take ~2 inches off of the hem to further avoid looking like a house.


I did make a few dumb and minor construction errors on this guy. I did not trim down the right side for the button band and I had to work around that to make sure the right side of the dress wasn’t overlapping too much, but it was an easy enough fix. I also didn’t pay attention to the fact that the instructions suggest a 1/2 seam allowance and I sewed my standard 5/8. I was in the clear though – shocking as it sounds, 1/8 didn’t make a significant difference. 🙂 I used flat fell finishing for the side seams and the arms are finished with bias binding. I love that all of the guts of this dress are enclosed.



This glorious fabric is another design by April Rhodes from her Arizona line. I am obsessed with her designs. You may recall that I sewed a top in another print from this line a few months back. I’ve had this particular print – Arid Horizon – in mind for the Alder dress ever since I finished that top and I think it worked out very well as a finished project. I love all of the colors and shapes pulled together. April now has a new line called Wanderer that just came out and it is just as awesome. All of it is available at Hawthorne Threads.

I am also pretty stoked about my buttons. I just grabbed them at Joann’s, but I think the wooden look of them pairs nicely with all of the colors going on.


This version of the dress is cut with a slight flare at the bottom. I think that makes it more flattering for such a loose fitting dress.

And cool news: I can pull this on over my head without actually bothering to unbutton more than the top button. That’s a bonus for me because I am never trust my machine’s ability to make a durable buttonhole.


I immediately dove into Version B of this dress after wrapping up this one. I love them both and highly recommend the pattern. The techniques used are straight forward and there is a really helpful sew-along to check out as well. Now I just need to go put on tights and a sweater because November is actually starting to feel like November.



3 thoughts on “Grainline Studios: Alder Dress Love

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