Shift Shape

This dress is a real workhorse. It couldn’t be more useful or easy.  It is a one and done outfit and it will work for all seasons. 

Let’s talk about the style first- I am a longtime fan of the shift dress.  It is well documented that a shift dress is pretty much timeless, ageless and universally flattering. But don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this style. A good shift takes thought and effort. The best shifts have shape and fit well.

For this shift dress I started with my well-worn Simplicity 2584 Cynthia Rowley pattern-regrettably now discontinued. There are so many shift dress patterns out there- but don’t be sidetracked by the sleeves or necklines. Find the cut that works best for your body and then you can swap out necklines and sleeves easily. This particular pattern is drafted with a narrow and subtly fitted back and slight A-line. The narrowed and curvy back gives the dress a nice shape.

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As much as I love this pattern, the dart placement is not optimal for me- so I have to fiddle with that. My short-cut, simple pattern hacking fix is to use a bodice front pattern piece from another pattern with a better fitting dart placement. I simply line up the waist line and shoulders and draw in a new dart. You will also note that I fiddled with the neckline - omitted the slit and opted for a plain jewel neck- and I modified the sleeves a bit.

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A useful dress for taking care of business!

Now let’s talk about the fabric: I used a nearly perfect cotton that I purchased from Mood Fabrics with a little bit of elastane for stretch.  I absolutely love this type of cotton stretch fabric because it has great body, it isn’t clingy, it doesn’t wrinkle and it moves with you!

This particular fabric is unavailable- but there are so many stretch cotton woven fabrics to choose from here.

Extra bonus- these black and white checks will work in every season- just add (or subtract) tights.