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