Simplicity 8014: my new favourite shirt dress

Sunday, 31 May 2020
a lady posing in a black shirt dress with leopard belt in front of a lounge room

Earlier this year while it was still summer here in Australia I finally got around to making a pattern that had been in my stash for a while - Simplicity 8014 shirt dress. If you google this pattern number it throws up many great dresses made by lots of other ladies, so I really don't know why I waited so long to make it.

This is quite a simple pattern with a few great variations:

The front cover of Simplicity 8014 sewing pattern showing 4 variations of a shirt dress

I particularly like view A and B because that waist seam is a god send for those with sway backs, and the flared skirt is also great for a pear shape.

side view of a lady posing in a black shirt dress in a lounge room

I did a slight narrow shoulder and forward shoulder adjustment which I do to all patterns, and graded out from the bust to two sizes larger at the hips - all of which are pretty standard changes for me.

close up view of a lady wearing a black shirt dress

I've made this out of black heavy weight linen from The Fabric Store - it's really great quality and didn't lose any colour when I did a hot pre-wash to shrink it before sewing. Being linen it did wrinkle after a full day of wear in the office (back in the good old days when we went into our offices on the regular), but nothing too outrageous:

photo of a lady wearing a wrinkled linen shirt dress in the front yard of a house

side view of a lady wearing a wrinkled shirt dress in the front yard of a house

Before I made this version though I firstly made view B which is essentially exactly the same but it just has a mandarin collar made by leaving the collar off and just sewing on the collar stand. It makes it look quite different without a collar, probably because it seems natural to wear it buttoned up completely instead of open like the collared version:

woman in a blue and red floral dress posing next to a pool

This fabric is also linen, bought online from Super Cheap Fabrics that I bought during one of their sales. It's also great quality - the colours didn't run when I washed it and it has a great weight and opaqueness for a dress.

I didn't try to pattern match at all, but it's not obvious in this busy print. And even without wearing a belt this one sits nicely around my waist and the two small waist pleats (not darts) don't fluff out too much.

woman posing in a blue and red floral dress next to a swimming pool

photo of a woman in a blue and red floral dress posing next to a swimming pool

Please excuse the dirty pool in the above photos - these were taken in February while we were still having those awful bushfires and the slight amount of rain we got washed all the ash and dust into the pool and everywhere else. We're now having a wet May and with all else that has happened last summer feels like a lifetime ago.

So overall this is a really great pattern that I can highly recommend. I'm thinking about trying the other view as well because I think it would be a more casual style which would definitely suit these current times, but I'm not so sure it will look as good on my pear shape.


  1. thanks for posting, I was just thinking about using this pattern. Looks very chic in the black linen and a great fit too.

  2. I think both versions of this pattern are wonderful! I think I have this pattern in my stash. I will keep it in mind in the future.

  3. You look fabulous in this style. The fit is wonderful and the fabric choice excellent. I’ve read your blog for years and this is one of my favourites of your makes.

  4. It suits you and it really goes well with the dark fabric.

  5. Very elegant, love it! I have had this pattern in mind for years, you are definitely not the last one making it :D

  6. Both dresses are great and look fab on.

  7. Love both of these dresses ❤️

  8. This pattern is so flattering on you, especially the dress made in the black linen! Nice job.

  9. These dresses that you made are very pretty and look very chic indeed on you.

  10. You made it fit beautifully, it is such a flattering pattern.I love the fabric too, classic. Another 6 months till summer, for me to wear a frock.
    Sam the Aussie

  11. thanks for starting up again. i'm not much into instagram, so i'd missed you.

  12. Love the shirt dress. I only have one and I don't know why because they are very flattering.

  13. Thank you for the review! I really, really want to make this style dress. I don't know how to move/alter bust darts. If you have any resources or suggestions I'd appreciate hearing any advice! Thank you!

  14. I read you too for a long time. The dress and the pattern are very beautiful. Many regards from Germany. Christine