Thursday, 23 April 2015

A successful shift

I have been trying out lots of shift dress patterns this year and not all of them have been successful. This one however was an easy make and very wearable.

I have tried vintage patterns with alterations, a modern body con dress pattern that was a bit on the snug side in the wrong fabric, my pleat fronted tropical dress that was a fabulous fit and now this. A straight forward short sleeve shift.


The pattern was free in Prima magazine March 2015. I like free magazine patterns, you don't get too precious about them, you can just hack away and make what you want using them as a basis. All I did to this one was shorten the body and move the darts up to my waist.

This retro pattern is really pleasing to the eye and a stylish change to flowers. The background is navy with a bubble tree motif in a perfect size pattern repeat to not worry too much about pattern matching. The quality of the cotton was beautiful which made it easy to press and did not require lining. It is from Minerva.

I have worn it with leggings and flats as well as tights and heels to dinner at our family Easter night away in Aberdovey. It is a pretty, must have, wardrobe staple and I will be enjoying this pattern again I'm sure.

This photo will always remind me to take a hairdryer on holiday.
If you are new to sewing try out magazine patterns as a way in. They are often simple with clear instructions which don't assume you know how to do certain techniques like the language used on commercial packet ones.

A little family picture with all of us wearing homemade outfits: three dresses and a waistcoat.

If you make one thing this summer make a shift dress, I say.
Thanks Minerva, it is totally beautiful retro fabric. 
Jo xx


  1. That turned out really well. I've made Prima patterns in the past and was always happy with them. Commercial patterns are so expensive. I was at an antiques fair at the weekend and people were selling old, uncut patterns for £1. Many of them looked like they would work even today.

  2. It looks fabulous Jo, you are getting really good at modelling too :0)
    I love the sweet family photo.
    Jacquie x

  3. This is a lovely shift dress Jo. I usually go with commercial patterns because of the plus size I need for bottom parts. I made a tunic once from a magazine (Making?), measured myself out carefully, chose the right size and can't fit the product over my bottom.... Love your family picture!

  4. Lovely dress Jo. I love it when you find a pattern for something that you can use again and again. The family photo is the best though and when you are a little old lady and your girls have children of their own they will delight in showing it off at just how clever their mum is.

  5. Beautiful dress. I'm not sure if I suit a shift dress. Maybe it just depends on the way it's shaped.

  6. That dress is so pretty, I love that it can be worn with leggings or dress up it!xx

  7. Beautiful family picture, you all look wonderful which is a credit to your wonderful dressmaking skills.

  8. What a beautiful family you have! And i must say you all look stunning in your lovely makes JO!!! And your it both ways! How fantastic to be able to dress it up and dress it wanna come over to my house and help me with my wardrobe!!??! You need your own show! Nicole xoxo

  9. First of all you dazzle us with your modeling that gorgeous dress and then you show us your beautiful family. I had a big smile on looking at all of you together. You are all gorgeous.

  10. That photo at the end...oh, look at you all! A beautiful family, and very well turned out too. Love the tree pattern on that dress, it really suits you. x