all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Linen shift dress

DSCN2105This is the ‘woven shift dress’ from Fashion with Fabric from the GBSB. I made a t-shirt a few weeks ago to see how the fit worked, particularly round the hips, and it was fine, so then I moved on and made a dress, with two belt options! By choosing a patterned linen, bought at the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham, the result is quite smart and will be suitable for work.

I followed the book’s fabric requirements guide, and added a bit for the binding and in case I made it longer, and now I am contemplating what to do with the rest. The book said 2.7m. By folding into the centre of the 150 cm wide fabric, I have got it out of about 1.5m. That’s twice that has happened with this book… I bought the fabric and cut it out several weeks ago, and spent much time pondering whether to add to the width and length or not. I cut it bigger, but as it hung, pinned together on my dress form, I decided that it did not need the extra, and cut it off.

Not including cutting, finishing the edges, and much pondering, it only took me about 4 hours to make, and is relatively straight forward. I am not sure about the bound hem, and was a bit puzzled how the stitched side seams would flow into the binding, but I think what I have done looks OK.


I’m also pretty pleased with the concealed zip, which really is concealed. This is probably the third real one that I have done, not including the many attempts on the various versions of the Ultimate Trousers. I think I have worked out a sleek way of doing it now. The hardest part is joining the zip stitching to the next stage with the normal zip foot, but even that looks OK. The only way you can see the join is because the pattern doesn’t match, and was not intended to… in case you are wondering.


I have several dresses that are ‘shift’ in style, and although they hide any bulges, they are not flattering. I think I have made belts for all of them. I bought some ribbon for a belt when I bought the fabric. That is option 1, but I also made a fabric variation, including a little butterfly button that I bought at Stratford Craft Market the other week.

I think that the fabric belt makes it look particularly smart.

I have several jackets that will go with this, as I sit in my very cold office this summer, so hopefully it will get plenty of wear.

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This entry was posted on June 13, 2015 by in Dresses, Fashion, GBSB, Sewing and tagged , , , , , .
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