Hello! Hope your weeks are all off to a great start! I’m so excited to show you my (literally) shiny, new dress!
For my April Mood Sewing Network project, I picked out this sassy Marc Jacobs cotton/silk blend at Mood Fabrics NYC. It has a lovely satin finish so it feels extra fancy. As soon as I saw it, it looked me in the eye and spoke to me: “I’m a shift dress!” Who am I to disagree?
The fabric sewed up easily, more like a cotton than a silk. I armed myself with a sharp needle and a press cloth, which worked well. I wanted to avoid getting pin holes in the fabric, so I used silk pins inside the seam allowances. The fabric is too special for machine-stitched hems, so I took my time blind-hemming everything by hand. No other special treatment needed!
I used the Colette Laurel dress pattern, which I’ve made once before. I had a great deal of trouble sorting out the fit through the armhole the first go-round, so I grabbed the Gather Mortmain dress pattern, traced off the armhole and sleeve, and just made a frankenpattern. I haven’t had a chance to sew up that dress yet (although I’m looking forward to it!), but I made a quick muslin and it worked!
I can just wriggle into the dress without a zipper, so I cut the back on the fold to avoid disrupting the print any more than was necessary. The Laurel dress calls for a 5/8″ hem allowance, but I like more weight in the hem of a shift dress, so I added extra length to allow for a 2.5″ hem. I lengthened the sleeves by 1.5″. I also drafted neck facings instead of the bias binding that the pattern called for. Call me crazy, but I think I’ve been converted to a facing fan! They lend a nice stability to the neckline that I’ve really come to appreciate. There’s only one problem with this dress- it wrinkles a bit, and the satin finish makes the wrinkles really stand out. It’s not the end of the world, though.
I really like the mod style of this print combined with the shift style. I have to admit, I’m tempted to stitch up a whole fleet of shift dresses this summer! I’ll be keeping an eye out for more bold prints!
Ooh, one quick item of business! Just wanted to make sure you’ve all seen the fun new Nettie bodysuit pattern released by my friend Heather of Closet Case Files and inspired by another friend, Wanett of Sown Brooklyn! This is what’s on my sewing table right now- I didn’t know I needed a bodysuit until I saw this pattern, but I’m really psyched to try it out!
EDITED TO ADD: I just found a free downloadable shift dress pattern, Simple Sew‘s Brigitte dress! So if you like this style, and a new pattern’s not in the budget, this might be a good option! I haven’t tried the pattern, but let me know if you do- I’d love to know how it turns out!
How about you guys? Do you like the shift dress style? Do you like large-scale prints? Anyone else making a bodysuit? Do you agree that I definitely need a pair of blue heels to wear with my new dress? What’s new with you?