How to make a loose shift dress

Sew a shift dress in just over an hour

It’s been hot in Cape Town. And . . . I can’t stop eating. I have wanted a shift dress just like this one for a while. You know how life gets in the way. Finally I got around to making one. And you know how it is? Once you make one, you wonder why you never did it sooner?

Shift Dress Pattern

This dress is basically a cylinder shape made up of four rectangles. Unfortunately you have to cut the four pieces and sew them back together because you need space for your arms and head to pop through.

Cut four equal size rectangles of fabric

I am a UK dress size 10. Most fabrics are 115 centimetres wide. If you are around my size you only need purchase your length in fabric.

Choice of fabric? I would say heavy woolens would be tricky. And anything overly textured like organza probably wouldn’t work either. Nice drapey light to medium weight fabrics are perfect. I used plain black cotton.

I normally say cut a pattern, but this is so easy you don’t need to. To make your pattern, measure the widest part of your hips and add 20 centimetres to get the width of you pattern. Then measure from the top of your shoulder to your knee to get the length. Cut four equal size rectangles along the width of your fabric.

Sew centre back and centre front

You need: –
matching colour thread
sewing machine

You do: –
Sew up the centre back from bottom to top. Sew up the centre front stopping about 30 centimetres

Fold V neck open. Pin in place. Pin shoulders.

from the top to fold back for a V neckline.

Pin back and front together and sew up the side seams also stopping about 30 centimetres from the top on either side for your arm holes.

Fold the V neck open and pin in place. Pin the shoulders in place. Fit to make sure you are happy with fit. Take care not to poke yourself with pins.

You can have a plunging neckline or higher neckline by adjusting the V fold.

Sew shoulders in place.

Fold back around neckline and armholes and sew a hem. I made a double seam hem.

Fold back around neck and armholes. Sew in place.

Fit shift dress once again and check for lower hem line. Pin in place and sew.

Press your shift dress and that’s it! Voila.

Visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page for loads more DIY fashion ideas.

See you next week with another make-your-own fashion tutorial.


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