Geometric Shift Dress!

Hello! Hope your weeks are all off to a great start! I’m so excited to show you my (literally) shiny, new dress!

This is a Marc Jacobs cotton/silk blend that I picked up 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? (Check out Mood’s selection of geometric prints here!)

Ginger Makes | Laurel shift dress

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!

Ginger Makes | Laurel shift dress

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 traced off the armhole and sleeve from the Gather Mortmain dress and just used that. I haven’t had a chance to sew up that pattern yet, but I made a quick muslin and it worked!

Ginger Makes | Laurel shift dress

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.

Ginger Makes | Laurel shift dress

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!

How about you guys? Do you like the shift dress style? Do you like large-scale prints? What’s on your sewing table?

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Comments


  • Jenny
    April 29, 2014

    Funky + Fancy! Love it.

    • Ginger
      April 29, 2014

      Thanks, Jenny! 🙂

  • Mary Danielson
    April 29, 2014

    Wow, this print is absolutely fantastic and it works really well with the simplicity of the Laurel dress. So, so chic. You look amazing!

    • Ginger
      April 29, 2014

      Thanks, Mary! I definitely feel put-together with this dress on!

  • Rachel
    April 29, 2014

    Awesome! I love a good shift dress and really should invest in a Laurel Pattern. This silk one is fabulous!

    • Ginger
      April 29, 2014

      Thanks, Rachel! I have to confess that the pattern took a lot of work to fit it properly- be warned!

  • sallie
    April 29, 2014

    I LOVE THIS DRESS!!! Gah!! So good! Isn’t it awesome when a fabric just speaks to you? It takes all the hemming and hawing out of deciding what to make. You just. know. Seriously good fabric choice, and that fabric was right, it was meant to be a shift dress!

    • Ginger
      April 29, 2014

      I can’t even handle how much I love this fabric! It’s so great, isn’t it?

  • Cennetta
    April 29, 2014

    Hi Ginger,
    This is a super cute dress.
    C

    • Ginger
      April 29, 2014

      Thanks, Cennetta! 🙂

  • Lori
    April 29, 2014

    This is super cute, great fabric and the pattern combination. You look so cute!

    • Ginger
      April 29, 2014

      Thank you, Lori!

  • True Bias
    April 29, 2014

    this is so perfect on you!

    • Ginger
      April 29, 2014

      Thanks, Kelli!

  • Kate McIvor
    April 29, 2014

    I’m getting ready to sew 2 shift dresses. Beth from Sunny Gal Studio helped me with the fitting. I wanted her to help me with a Colette pattern, but we couldn’t sort out the armhole….Mine will be a Butterick.

    • Ginger
      April 30, 2014

      Oh wow, Beth’s so awesome- I bet your shift dresses will look great! 🙂

  • Liz
    April 29, 2014

    This is so perfect on you!! Really, really suits you.
    Me, no shift dresses are not for this physique 🙂

    • Ginger
      April 30, 2014

      Thanks, Liz! I love all your fit & flare dresses! 🙂

  • liza jane
    April 29, 2014

    Cute! You look great in a shift dress. Your legs look fabulous 🙂 I love the silhouette but I don’t think I can pull it off. Pretty fabric!

    • Ginger
      April 30, 2014

      Awww, thanks, Liza Jane! I think you could totally rock a shift, but really, you look so great in the maxis you’ve been making lately that I wouldn’t blame you if you never made anything else! 🙂

  • Peter
    April 29, 2014

    That’s a great dress for spring — I love the geometric design and the pattern you chose displays it beautifully. Nice job!

    • Ginger
      April 30, 2014

      Thanks, Peter! I’m a sucker for prints! 🙂

  • Fiona
    April 30, 2014

    Love it Sonja! The print is perfect for a shift dress and you look so chic! I think I would have been a bit scared to tackle working with such a beautiful silk!

    • Ginger
      April 30, 2014

      I was really nervous and didn’t have any extra if I screwed up! Luckily it all worked out. 🙂

  • Amy
    May 1, 2014

    Arrrgh I love this fabric. You are on a real streak picking prints Sonja!
    A lovely little dress 😀

    • Ginger
      May 2, 2014

      Thanks girl! I have so many great prints to choose from at Mood!

  • Sarah Gunn
    May 13, 2014

    Cutest thing ever!

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    May 18, 2014

    I LOVE this – you are like a modern 1960s gal – I’m just waiting for the go-go boots and some dancing – fabulous make!