Friday, 30 September 2016

Autumn/Winter Wardrobe Shift Dress

Another week gone by so fast and I really can't believe how dark it is at seven in the evening, just a few weeks ago we were all still sat out in the sun!  I called in at the library earlier and in the room next door there was some sort of fayre and they were selling Christmas stuff, I'm really not ready for all that just yet.

When I got back I started my dress that I have had the fabric for, for absolutely ages and I just kept going until it was finished. If I have a little break from sewing I forget how the time passes so quickly when you are in the midst of making a garment.  Here is the finished dress, no one available to help me with  pictures so some awkward in the mirror ones.
Here is one on the hanger but it looks a bit bigger here as I didn't have a purple zip.  I still gave it structure with darts but I can just pull it over my head and it is all fully lined.

I thought I would include a few pictures of the process as I rarely use a pattern.  I lay out a dress that fits me well ( here it is another shift dress I made for myself, as a result of lots of pinning and trying on).
I then replicate this with the lining, I just realised the other dress is over the back of a chair here and you can't see it!
I lay another piece of fabric under the necklines to make my own facing pieces that fit perfectly.
Then I decide it all needs an iron. Ha!
Move the front piece out of the way and repeat with the back neck.
I sew the shoulders and pin the sides then check on the mannequin.  When I am happy with that I sew the side seams, try on myself and make any adjustments with pins. I found I needed a little dart back and front in the arms to stop it  gaping.  It also needed two little ones at the neck line just to make it lie a little flatter.
I sew on the neck facings, notch, trim then fold back and hand stitch on the inside to make it invisible.
I pin it first

I cut straight strips to face the arm holes
Then sew these on and hand stitch these inside also.  I make up the lining and attach it at the shoulder it also gets caught with the neckline, wrong sides facing so it is all neat inside.  I machine the lining hem and hand stitch the main dress hem.

I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else the way I do things but I hope it helps.  I think patterns can be more confusing.


  1. You make it sound so easy! I wish I could just 'knock up' a dress. Very pretty fabric.

  2. I love everything about it! It's a shift. The fabric is beautiful and I think the way you made it is awesome, what great skills. Jo xx

  3. Nice make. I like the colour of the fabric!


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