Photo by cousin Katie & artwork by Jessica Wachter

I made this shift dress this past spring as an experiment. I usually prefer more form fitting dresses…not fitted everywhere but dresses with some balance. Fit and flare probably being my ideal, I guess. A “shapeless” dress? Would it look ok on me? Would I like it? I wasn’t too sure, but I was inspired by this Inari dress from Closet Case Files and gave it a try. I actually bought the same fabric she used. I don’t typically buy indie patterns as I can buy a lot of similar patterns for a lot less. With indie patterns, you definitely get a lot more for the money (better instructions, sewalongs, often better styling so it’s easier to see the end product, etc.) but since I’ve gotten more experience with sewing, I can rely on myself (and the Internet!) to figure some things out myself. Sewing already a pretty expensive hobby, so I try to cut a few dollars out here and there.


With that said, this particular pattern turned out so well (McCalls 6465)! It’s one of the easiest garments I’ve ever made and probably my most complimented. Of course I had to tweak it to practice my fitting skills. I think I had recently learned about the tissue fitting method from Palmer/Pletsch and wanted to try a couple things out on a simple dress shape.


It’s more tent-like than I’m used to, but I think it works since it’s fitted in the top portion. It’s a pretty comfortable shape to wear. I wore this to work in the spring quite a bit, but with leggings & tall boots. Spring in North Dakota does not translate to this much skin exposure.


As for changes, I lengthened the sleeves, created a center back seam to do a swayback adjustment and try to make it slightly more shaped. I did a forward shoulder adjustment and created 2 small darts at the back neckline because of my prominent shoulder blades/high round back. I’m wondering if something is off or I shouldn’t do a forward shoulder adjustment since I’ve had some gaping at the center of necklines. I will give this some more thought and experimenting. For this dress, I did french seams and bias bound the arm holes. I didn’t end up lenthening the skirt because I was concerned it would all come out looking like I was wearing a long bag. I think it works best with leggings and boots but would probably like a longer dress for everyday life when I’m not wearing tights or leggings.

On a personal note, I am moving soooo far away from my home state of North Dakota in a few days. We are excited for our adventure but busy. My sewing room is all packed up and won’t be set up again for awhile 😦 All of that said, I’m not sure when I will post again. I’ll see you when I see you, I guess!