The ‘print lover’ shift dress (1ppw week 4)

This was my final week of the sewing challenge I set for myself (making 1 item per week for a month). Technically it was last week, but I did finish the dress last week (I posted the finished dress on sunday on instagram)

So the reason behind me choosing ANOTHER summer shift dress was that I decided that life was too short not to use the best fabrics in my stash!

When I buy a fabric I really love I often fall into the trap of not doing anything with it! Have you experienced this. It can be a bit agonizing trying to decide how best to use a beloved fabric, because you want to make the most of it… but you know what?

I honestly think a dress you are not entirely happy with in a fabric you love is FAR better than a fabric you love gathering dust or tucked away in a stash for an eternity! The fabric was a lovely fabric I bought from Ikea (some years ago now) If anyone knows who designed the print please let me know!

I will say this, when I tried on the finished dress it became a case of “I’m not sure how to feel”…

While I was making it I was very excited about a simple dress that would showcase the print, but at the end of the whole process I put it on and just felt a bit blah. I was OK with it, but…

I hemmed both the dress and the lining before even attaching the lining to the dress. The problem with doing things this way is: now I feel as if it should have been shorter.

All the other dresses I made using the same pattern were too short, so I didn’t want to repeat that mistake with this one. Trouble is by keeping it longer it did seem to up the “frump factor” of the final dress and there are other things I should have changed, but really I can’t stay mad a dress made from such happy fabric!

Looking at the photos I don’t think it’s so bad. Do I look like a crazy lady who is wearing a loose table cloth? Perhaps. But perhaps I’m also a FABULOUS crazy lady as well. 😉

I just noticed (when editing the images) that I am leaning to one side in every single photo. haha- I’m not great at posing! 😛 Anyway. I can assure you the dress is straight when you stand straight!

Sewing nitty gritty:

Cutting the dress out was a bit more time consuming than usual, as I tried to make an effort with the print placement 🙂

This is my third time using this pattern (heres version 1, version 2) and I think the honeymoon is over! somehow on this version it ended up looser than the previous version, but just like previous dress made from the same pattern, this also has the altered neckline and the low back neckline (which was lowered to eliminate the need for a zipper).

I used the same method of lining the dress as I did with previous versions. As always I used a thin cotton (probably voile) as lining because it’s SO. much. better. than. polyester lining. I’m telling you! 😉 🙂

Constructing this dress has become somewhat routine now and it feels stangely comforting to make it. But now that I am no longer hopeless with facings I don’t know if I have the patience for all this lining business (at least not on my next dress)!

I used a blind hem stitch/foot for all the hems because its quick yet fancy. Also I’m going to show you the insides because they are super pretty (yikes! Sewing is the only context where that sentence doesn’t sound creepy)!


So that’s it friends the final ‘one project per week’ project! I am still going to be sewing every week, but now I’m free to make things that require more ‘fitting’. As much as I hate making toile/muslins they are essential to me when trying out a new pattern. I can’t promise that I’m finished with shift dresses or summer clothing, but I guess I will be stylish come December when it’s lovely and warm again!

Oh and thank you to the amazing ladies who participated in the 1ppw challenge! Thanks for sewing up a storm and sending me inspiration via instagram.

  1. The dress is of course perfect! I love the back neck line, really pretty detail. This dress is not frumpy at all. And you are the fabulous dress lady (note there is no crazy in your title).

    • Aw thanks so much Kat! So glad you think it’s ‘good crazy’ xo 🙂

  2. This dress is FANTASTIC!!! I gasped when I first saw it, and then gasped again when you said you weren’t sure about it!!! GIRL! It’s super duper and that print is to die for!!! (sorry about all the exclamations, but I totally love it) You could not be a frump in this dress at all. Even if you put on a weird gray-haired wig and put on little granny glasses and orthopedic shoes. So there! Big seal of approval from Texas.

    • Wow! Thank you so much hun!!! Haha You are such a sweetheart! You made my day and made me laugh 🙂 x

  3. Laurel said:

    You’re right about that print being amazing, but wrong about the dress being frumpy (like at all!). Love it!

    • So glad you are behind the print and also the dress!! X

  4. Laura said:

    Gorgeous! I love it! I don’t think it looks frumpy at all.

    • Well if you like it I’m going to wear it with pride. Thank you! 🙂 😀

      • Laura said:

        If we didn’t live so far away we could meet up wearing our awesome printed shift dresses 😦

      • aw 😦 that would be so cool! it really is a shame!
        If you ever plan on visiting Australia, let me know! I can take you around Sydney 🙂 x

      • Laura said:

        That would be amazing! The Bens could also hang out and be chilled together!

      • Haha yes exactly 🙂

  5. The length is perfect, and the dress looks great, can see why you love that fabric

  6. Erika said:

    I hang on to my nicest fabric for way too long as well. You are right though, a less than perfect dress in a perfect fabric is way better than not having one at all. I think you did a fine job! I love the print and you lined everything up so well. Good job, and way to go on completing your #1ppw. I’ve enjoyed your Instagram progress as well. 🙂

    • Thanks a lot Erika!
      I knew I was not be the only person that hides away the good fabric! 🙂
      Hope you use one of your favourites too!!

  7. It’s lovely and very marimekko-esque (I’m sure that’s a word!).

  8. I agree! Having to make the muslin version can be frustrating, but it is well worth the effort. You increase your chances of making an awesome garment which you can wear many times. I love print and colour, so I feel that this dress looks wonderful! Great placement on the back too. Great work:)

    • Yes 🙂 very true. Also if you make the same alterations on the pattern then you also have a good TNT pattern to use on many projects.
      Thanks so much! 😀

  9. I haven’t commented before but I’ve been following for a while and I love your fabrics and your dresses. This one is lovely, and the print placement is great, it creates a nice effect. I don’t like the muslin process either but it does help, I usually use wearable fabric, so if in the off chance it ends up surviving it, I can wear it, hehe!

    • Thank you, and thanks for reading and so glad you like the print placement.
      It really does help (muslins)! I have done that in the past too 🙂 sometimes I revert to the less cute/non-weable fabric when I know ill need to write on it and for more complex adjustments but I also really like doing wearable muslins (sometimes they are a massive hit) and then all the effort of sewing it goes towards something you can use 😀

  10. You have nothing to worry about m’dear! That is just a fab dress. And I remember seeing many photos of Twiggy in slightly too big dresses but still looking her adorable self. But TBH the size is fine and I can’t imagine a frumpy person in orange and red! But if the hem annoys you, that’s not to hard to pull up a little. Lovely work!

    • Thanks a lot Catherine ! Now that you mention it that’s true I remember seeing that too. 🙂
      haha yes orange and red is a totally non-dowdy colour combo.

  11. learntokeepyourmouthshut said:

    Just stumbled across your blog and I absolutely adore your shift dresses!! You’ve actually inspired me to get out my long neglected sewing machine and stash of fabric!

    • Thank you!! wow, that’s great. 🙂 Happy sewing!

  12. Alex said:

    A lot of cool without even a hint of frump! I am going to unashamedly copy you and use this pattern for my next shift dress – I just downloaded it from Burdastyle. Pattern placement is tricky but you nailed it. Get out there and rock this dress!

    • Thanks a lot Alex!
      Cool! So glad to hear that. The sleeves are really cute for this pattern too if you have a lot of fabric to work with…
      I can’t wait to see your shift dress!! x 🙂

  13. Lynne said:

    I love this, the fabric is amazing!

    • Thank you 🙂 I’m so glad the fabrics not hiding in my fabric pile any longer!

  14. OK. I CAN’T BELIEVE you don’t LOVE this dress! It’s a total showstopper! It doesn’t look plain at all- it’s absolutely fantastic! In fact, if I ever see it in person, I can’t guarantee I won’t grab it and run!

    • Haha best comment ever 🙂 You are so sweet! Thanks girl!!

  15. I love the fabric! And it looks great on you. It is a nice pattern! Well done. The insides look pretty 😉

    • Yay! Thanks so much! 🙂 this isan’t always the case (good insides) so had to show them hehe

  16. Amy said:

    Frump factor!? You are crazy cos there is nothing wrong with this little beauty!

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