I love a shift dress. And when I saw this one in the June issue of Burda Style I knew I would be making it. It took a few weeks to find the right fabric and the time to put it together, but here it is.
Here is the magazine photo and the tech drawing. It's funny, but I still get mildly irritated that these things don't look quite the same on me as they do on the tall, slim Burda models.
It's a simple enough design- just an A-line shift dress. But it does have a few interesting features, such as the wrap over shoulders, the back shoulder darts, and the angled seams at the sides, set off by fabric "frames" caught into the seams.
You can see my "frame" in the photo above. The strips are sewn together at the corner and then pressed to form the angled shape. They are then basted to the CF of the dress and the side front pieces are sewn in. Yes, there is an inset corner, so precision sewing is the key.
My favorite feature of the dress is the shoulders, or lack of a shoulder seam, rather. The back prices wrap around and tuck under the front and everything is caught together in the neckband. It's quite nifty, and perfectly placed to cover bra straps, which is a huge plus for me.
Here is a shot of the inside showing the back pieces attached to the neckband and showing off the pink gingham binding I used to finish the edges. I chose to use a contrast binding for 2 reasons. One- it's a nice little touch to have a contrast binding inside that no one knows is there but me. And two- by using the gingham instead of my main fabric, I have enough of this linen left to make a little sleeveless top to wear with jeans.
My fabric, but the way, is a light weight linen hibiscus print from Joann's. I love the print and the linen is cool and comfortable, even on hot, muggy days. And we have had a lot of those lately.
The back of the dress is pretty plain. It does have those shoulder darts which shape it nicely, and a center back seam which is drafted completely straight for a zipper. I omitted the zip since this goes over my head easily and I did a small sway back adjustment which put a slight curve in my CB seam.
It also has pockets! Nice, big generous ones!
I cut a 42 through the shoulders and a 44 from bust to hip. The fit is loose and easy. I added 1.25" of length at the waist. Although the dress is pretty straight, I wanted to balance the proportion of the side inserts. I also added 2 extra inches to the hem to bring the finished length to the knee.
This may not be the most flattering thing I've ever made, but it was a fun sew and the finished dress is comfortable and unique. I probably won't make it again, even though now that I see the photos, I wonder if I should have used a contrast fabric for the "frames." There are just too many other shift dress patterns out there calling my name.