Pattern: Sew Over It – Ultimate Shift Dress
Fabric: Lightweight Rayon Challis – Bold Flowers & Stripes from 1st for Fabric
I ordered 2.5 metres of this beautiful lightweight rayon challis from 1st for Fabrics because I absolutely love both stripes and florals at the moment and this fabric combined the two perfectly. The fabric arrived beautifully wrapped with a note from Julie which added a lovely personal touch.
At the time of ordering I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to make from the fabric but I knew I wanted to make a dress from it and that 2.5 metres should easily cover that.
I deliberated for a while over whether to go for the Ultimate Shift Dress or something a bit fuller like the Eden Dress pattern, recently free with Love Sewing magazine, eventually I went with the shift because I thought the simple nature of the pattern would show off the fabric the best.
I have made the Ultimate Shift Dress pattern quite a few times now in long sleeve, short sleeve top and dress form and I absolutely love it, it’s such a simple and quick pattern to make up and looks completely different depending on the type of fabric you use.
As always, I pre-washed my fabric and pressed before sewing. Cutting out, the rayon was pretty slippery so I used both pattern weights and pins to keep it still and took my time to make sure that the fabric didn’t move around too much while cutting. When I say pattern weights I mean my phone, stapler and anything else I had to hand!! The fabric did crease a little while working with it but pressed out beautifully.
The dress has two bust darts, a centre back seam and a keyhole opening at the back of the neck which you can either close with a hook and eye or a button and loop. I went for a button and loop closure simply because I hate sewing on hook and eyes!! I also like the finish of the button and loop and the fact that you can add a pretty button as a finishing touch.
When making the sleeveless dress and top the pattern is finished with a neck and armhole facing. The frill sleeves are lined, overlocked at the top, gathered and simply top stitched into the armhole. I love the frill sleeves, they are so pretty and add a little extra to an otherwise plain dress.
I had to hack quite a lot off of the length of the dress and also went with a larger hem because I’m quite petite and the dress was very long on me without any alteration. The perils of being short…!!
I’m so pleased with how this dress turned out, I wore it on a recent trip to Hampton Court on one of the hottest days of the year and it was super comfy and cool. I’m already planning a second version in a simple denim chambray – I just need to find the time and the perfect fabric to make it with!
As with all Sew Over It patterns I’ve made so far the instructions are very clear and easy to follow, I would totally recommend this pattern to someone starting out in dressmaking and for a more experienced sewer you can make this dress up in a couple of hours – perfect!
I hope I’ve inspired you to give this pattern a go if you haven’t already!