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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shift work

Right now I am working on quick and easy projects, the kind of things I can fit into the rest of my life right now. Once I have this out of my system I will be going on to some more detailed projects, and yes, white shirts.

Recently I got it into my mind that I needed a shift dress for everyday wear. These things are appearing in the collections and on the fashion pages and they are wearable. I am not a T shirt and shorts summer person because I simply find dresses, even around the house, more comfortable.

I decided that a basic dress with front darts coming up from the waist at the side seam (what do they call those? it's not French darts) and a darts in the back would give me enough shape without having front, real French, darts at the waist. I also wanted a scoop neckline.

I wasn't able to find a pattern like this so decided it was time to try out something further in my Wild Ginger PMB software. The first pattern I drafted used the flared a.k.a. A line option but when this printed out I could see that the software added to the hem and then drew a line back to the waist and it really created a crazy extreme angle, like a kid would draw an A line dress on a mom. I can't show you this because I cut if off. I also found that the sleeveless dress version gave me essentially a dress with the sleeves just off, which meant a full shoulder and armhole that was a bit too snug IMO for a sleeveless summer dress. I found this out when the dress was sewn.

I have trimmed both the armhole and neckline in about 5/8" and will transfer this back to the software and will make this up in another version, already cut out, from an African print I like.

So essentially what I have here, in some patterned cotton sateen that I had lying around along with 8,000 other pieces is a wearable muslin that I will actually wear and actually is a muslin for future shifts.


Jane M said...

Sewing minds must be thinking alike this spring. I love your dress idea and want to get one ready for myself. Bravo to you for making it happen in the midst of everything else going on in life.

Eugenia said...

Great dress! Shift dresses are so lovely to wear, especially in the spring and summer months. I love the beautiful colours of your fabric.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I love the color and print of this!

sdBev said...

I am a Tshirt and shorts person, but I too am thinking of summer and SPRING summer dresses. Your version is lovely.

Audrey said...

What a lovely shift dress for spring. I love the print and the colors. It is neat that when you get an idea for a garment you can print out a pattern using your PMB software.

Karen in VA said...

I'm with you - dresses are way more comfortable in the summer...great color and print on that very comfy looking dress!