Friday, 24 March 2017

Staple Shift Sewing

My all time favourite style of dress is the shift dress in its varies forms. By far the biggest selection of shift dress patterns I own, and use, are the 1960's shift styles - so many variations with collars, inseam pockets, different seam lines and sleeve lengths.

So it was definitely a shift dress style I needed for my Minerva make this month. I thought the fish would be smaller. I was going to make a seamed wrap skirt but I needed a pattern that would not break up the fish image too much. Who wants to wear a skirt covered in headless fish? 

The fabric is a linen viscose blend perfect for a shift dress. I have not lined it but the facings and the bias binding hem all help it to hang well.

This pattern is a free shift dress pull out from a Prima magazine from years ago. I know when I cut this that all the darts are in the right place from the last time I made it.

My latest alteration to the pattern is to adjust for a swayback. I can do this regularly on patterns now at the cutting stage by folding a triangle wedge out of the waist on the back paper pieces. This fitting technique eliminates pooling around the waist and shoulders. You can find a tutorial for it here.

This one joins my other shift dress from the same pattern. That is me with my imaginary fishing rod - can you tell? - larking about in the bathroom trying to get a picture needing a haircut!

Do you like wearing dresses?
Jo xxxxx


  1. Very nice. I love the fabric.. That style really suits you

  2. You have been busy Jo! I was going to comment on your last post but haven't got around it yet. Love your shift dress, nothing beats a fancy fabric combined with a tried and tested pattern. I am working on a top just now, have made 1001 adjustments and am still not happy. I only own one dress that I actually wear, I am a bit of a lost cause when it comes to dressing well... but I do take inspiration from you! I guess dresses are not so practical for a bike commuter, it would be a real put-off for the drivers around me to see my thighs exposed :-) Must try the swayback adjustment, I bet it works with stick-out bums also. Have a fabulous weekend. x

  3. You did a fantastic Jo as always Jo. I am impressed with the fabric, I love a nice fish, but you are right headless fish would not make it look near as nice.

  4. Fab, just fab. My winter work uniform is usually dress, tights and boots so I'd wear something like this to death. I bet they're really comfy? x

  5. That is a clever fitting technique and the dress shows you perfectly in the swim of things. I have ditched all my dresses and found four basic long skirts that are comfy and hard wearing...wrinkle free! xx