Wouldn’t it be great if we could have one dress, or two that never goes out of style? What if the fabric could not be dated, nor the color? What about a classic style that would look great on multiple body shapes, is this asking for too much? Is this just for a mens world?

I took some time to think of an article of clothing that has remained unchanged for a century. Researching I found that men keep their clothes longer than we do, spend less money and still look great. The mens button up shirt is a great example of slow fashion and a garment that has been in style for almost a century.

I decided to sew a women’s shirt dress for this project. I took a simply comfortable design and replicated it. The original was from the late 1970s or early 1980s. Since I’m short I made my dress shorter.

Once the dress was finished I put my concept out into the universe for feedback. I got a ton of comments on the cut, style, color and fit. These are the things I will change when I make this dress again, better draped fabric, deeper side seam pockets, matching colored buttons and I will omit the chest pockets as there is no need for them. I learned a lot from this project, getting positive feedback from friends really helped.

I definitely need to make this dress again and again. I wish I could buy some extra time as I have none right now.


I’m so silly, after making my dress I remembered I made a similar dress from the 1940s. I began to wonder if every decade has a shirt dress popular style. I know there was one in the 40s, 50s, 80s and 90s because I own the patterns.


Here is another dress I could wear every day, it was a 1950s replica.  I’m quite comfortable in this dress and my cat, Karma loves it too.


If you were designing a styled for a century everyday dress what would yours look like?

Behind the scenes~

Last week I visited my friends in Fla and went to Flip Flop Quilt Shop.

Thank you for reading!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh