Perfecting the self-drafted shift dress

 

shift dress front view

Happy Easter everyone!

With my smalls all grown up and my grandsmalls out of reach (care of covid), Easter Sunday provided some respite from work so I could find time to pick up on a WIP that’s been waiting in the wings for so long I’d almost lost interest!

But it’s THIS fabric that’s keeping me going. The delightful D&G piece of art I scored at The Stitch Festival 2020 in February. Gosh… those were the days. When you could go out willy nilly, meet up with your mates and hang out in fabric stall paradise…

Dolce and Gabbana fabric at M Rosenberg's stall
Dolce and Gabbana fabric at M Rosenberg’s stall

I bought it without a plan – rookie mistake number one – but to be fair, I can only see one road to realisation with this digital masterpiece. A simple shift dress.

The design of the fabric sings so loud I want as little disturbance to the design as possible so I set about drafting a perfectly fitting shift to do it justice. There’s not a chance in hell that I will rehearse it in the fabric itself and the closest I had in stash was some very graphic stretch upholstery fabric, gifted by my lovely milliner friend Jayne. It was quite a big bolt and even after I tested (rather badly) a self-drafted pattern and documented the whole film-noir experience , I still have masses left!

shift dress pattern pieces pinned to fabric

Very interesting, looking back, to see that I’ve got pretty much the same issues… with the back bodice. Different set of circumstances though. In that last attempt I had a zip up the back and I’ve since learned how to do a sway back adjustment to get rid of the ripples.

But… because I like making life difficult for myself. Oh and because I don’t want to separate the back piece with a centre seam, the back in this instance is cut on the fold, and the zipper is (in true vintage styleee) at side left.

So I had to sacrifice the back contouring and add it to the back diamond darts instead. I considered nicking some from the side seam too but thought I’d await the results first. Proof is in the pudding, right?

Well it’s no surprise. I have pooling. Bloody bain of my life! So predictable that it’s boring now. There must be a way of doing the same adjustment to a back piece cut on the fold. Do you think? Please let me know if you have any experience with this. I will love you forever!

shift dress back pooling

In the meantime. The easy adjustments to be made are to get rid of that horrid funnel neck thing I created. That’ll teach me for avoiding a full-on facing piece – lazy bones loser that I am! A classic boatneck it will be. And to shave some more off that front armhole with a little off the edge of the shoulder. Also perhaps to increase the length a bit. I do like short skirts but if I lengthen it I think I’ll get more of the design in too!

One more test and I think I might be there. We’ll worry about placement in the next post, lol!

Source: ooobop.com

Perfecting the self-drafted shift dress