Shift dress: Then and Now

I must be watching too many Mad Men reruns, because this week, I found myself crafting my very own shift dress!

And I’m not the first person to want this look. Audrey did.AHepburn21_V_18Nov11_rex_b_426x639

Twiggy did.Twiggy-201x300

Jean Shrimpton did too.JShrimpton3_V_23jan12_pa_b_426x639

Pretty good company, if I had to say. It’s a timeless shape and the look is easily modified with a belt, or a bit of bling. The look became popular in the sixties when Audrey Hepburn wore a black one designed by Givenchy in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

This week, I made my own shift dress out of a woven fabric, a chambray that looks like light-weight denim, purchased at Fabric Depot.

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I used Vogue 8840 as the base of my design, a pattern for a drop-shoulder tunic with sleeves. I lengthened the pattern, then embellished it with pockets with buttons, and cuffs on the sleeves.

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I self drafted the pockets by cutting seven-inch squares. I added flaps that by free cutting four triangles from the fabric, then faced them by sewing them together. I added the buttons after the fact because I thought the pockets looked boring without them.

The double top stitching came to me after shopping ready to wear. I tried on a similar dress and noticed how the stitching seemed to make the details stand out. Top stitching is mindless, but satisfying, don’t you think? And it’s a easy to do while you watch old movies, a huge plus as far as I’m concerned!

Shift dresses are so easy to wear. I also could belt this and wear it over leggings in the fall. DSC02457

After all, Audrey Hepburn belted hers! And who doesn’t want to be like her?

What about you? Do you like the shift dress look? Who do you think did it better? The girls in the sixties, or us?  Do you have a favorite shift dress pattern?

 

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I love sewing, writing, baking and fashion design. Welcome to my blog!

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