Here is a third version of my favourite shift dress. I have made two before here and wear them all the time but they are a bit too warm at this time of year. This pattern is a real favourite of mine. It is so easy to make and fits me well without any adjustments. I make a size 12.
My previous versions have sleeves but for the summer I decided to try a different one. This is view E which, I believe was the version featured in the 2015 issue of Sew magazine when the pattern was given away. I found a lovely dress made by A Certain Style back in 2015 and I hope she won't mind me using this pattern photo, which shows the magazine page.
The jersey I chose to make this dress is the perfect mid season fabric. It has body and is quite thick. It has proved to be a good choice with a cardigan on cool days and on its own when the sun comes out. It was ideal for our very changeable May weather.
I used an off white, crepe jersey for the collar that matches the white flowers but was fine enough to sit well when it was folded. I am pleased with the sixties look, especially the back view.
This dress pulls on and off over my head but I have still used an invisible zip to give it a good finish. The fabric was very forgiving and I have to say that this zip lives up to it's name. It really is invisible!
The facings on the pattern are interesting. The neck facing is conventional. I used interfacing and the extra crispness that this gave to the facing helps it to sit flat and not roll out. I have edged the neck facing with a short length of lilac bias binding that was left over from another project. This isn't necessary, because my jersey fabric doesn't fray at all, but it feels good to know that I have this contrasting feature inside the dress, even though no-one else can see it. The binding also anchors the iron on interfacing which always comes unstuck with washing eventually.
The pattern instructions tell you to make a bias facing strip for the arm holes. The binding is turned completely inside and top stitched. I had never done this before and my fabric was very thick, but I followed the instructions and I like the finished result. The armholes are firm and neat and the garment has structure. I will add this technique to my other sewing skills and may well use it again on other sleeveless tops instead of the usual armhole facing. I have included the instructions below in case you would like to try this technique.
And here you can see how neat the armhole finish is.
I wore this dress in May before posting it here. It is comfortable and makes me feel stylish. The 60s vibe, especially the reverse collar, takes me back to my childhood when my Mum and her friends were wearing dresses like this. I will happily make this dress again if the right fabric comes along and I think this one is going to get a lot of wear.