Ultimate Shift Dress

I do like a quick project and I do like a shift dress.


Did you make that recently made a couple of fabulous dresses using the Ultimate Shift Dress pattern from Sew Over It.  I had a free Saturday so one very wet day I sloshed my way over there.  The shop is in North Clapham and for those of us who live in SE London it is also only ten minutes walk from Brixton station.  Whilst I was there I could hear a class going on in the basement but I was in for fabric and a pattern!  For a small shop they have a good range, beautifully displayed.  I chose some teal triple crepe which is a very intense colour with a nice swing to the drape.  I’m not usually a polyester sort of person but I suspect that’s a prejudice born out of my age, artificial fabrics have improved a lot over the years and it’s about time I started to use them.

imageI measured the pattern against my block and added in about 1.5cm for my broad back and shoulders and about 1cm for my fat arms.  I am a very slow sewer and often it’s because I spend too much time faffing around with tracing pattern pieces and making toiles, however this time I decided to be brave and just dive into making the dress.  Sometimes it’s important to take your time but this is a simple dress and shifts don’t take much fitting.  I found my adjustments meant I needed a bit more fabric than the back of the packet called for – but fortunately I had bought a few extra centimetres so this didn’t matter.

So what did I think of the pattern? Well it’s very simple and quickly comes together. Sew Over It don’t recommend it for beginners but I think most people could handle it.

The dress has a nice shape, more feminine than most shift dresses.  If you go to the Sew Over It vlog there is a post Lisa has done showing her shift dress collection which proves how versatile the pattern is.  I like the idea of using a lighter material and adding a belt. I might also use it to make some blouses.
The dress is closed with a hook and eye which I have found comes open.  I had to add a safety pin the first time I wore the dress but I think I will make a little tab for a button hole when I have a chance.  It would be very easy to substitute a zip but I quite like not having one.
This will be a dress I wear a lot and you should expect to see others on this blog!


12 thoughts on “Ultimate Shift Dress

  1. This teal colour is so vibrant on you. The shape speaks for itself. Really nice. I have one shift dress that really looks quite nice on me (although I am curvy and it is better on a straight figure). It depends on the cut, length and darting I think.

  2. What a gorgeous shot of colour! Where will you wear it? I’m sure you’ll get lots of compliments.

    I like a button and ‘thread loop’ closure if you want ideas for a replacement. Professor Pincushion does a nice Youtube tute.

  3. Your dress is lovely. I have a tried and tested McCalls pattern that I use for a shift dress. The Sewoverit feature that Lisa did on You tube where she showed all her own versions of her shift was very inspiring too. It’s great when you find a shift pattern that you really like and that can take on so many different looks. I hope you make many more of them.

      • I use McCalls 6102. It is a very simple shift dress. It works well in linens with a bit of weight in them. I have just cut out a sleeveless round neck version of NewLook 6145 in a medium weight black jersey. I think the dart placement in this design will work better with heavier Jersey type fabrics ( or at least in the case of my full busted figure anyway)

  4. Nice to have you back, Jane. I also bought the ultimate dress pattern and have almost finished it. It’s a really useful pattern. Something, that depending on the fabric choice can look very different each time. Though I am never going to look as good as Lisa!
    Two things about the pattern that surprised me. First you have to draw in your own darts and secondly it doesn’t instruct you to put interfacing on the facings. I found both these unusual.

  5. Pingback: The Ultimate Shift Dress Goes Casual | Jane's Sew & Tell

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