Great British Sewing Bee woven shift dress


One of my sewing goals for 2015 was to make a shift dress. They’re so easy to wear and I love my RTW versions. My first choice was Colette’s Laurel pattern but when I saw this woven shift in the latest GBSB Fashion with Fabric book, I knew it was The One.

You might recognise the fabric. I used it to make a top for my sister and loved it so much, I went back for more. It’s a mid weight poly crepe with lots of drape. Perfect for a shift dress.


I made a size 12 and shortened the dress by a few cms so it came up above the knee. I also took off 4cms from the sleeves. Sewing was quick and I made this during the pre-Christmas madness. The only tricky bit was figuring out how the curved hem feeds into the side seams. The instructions in the book are hazy. It was not helped by me loosing my markings when I shortened the dress.


I was able to forgo adding a side zip which was a bonus as I’m all for sewing short cuts. The dress isn’t too roomy either and fits really well. I didn’t toile it so there are a few changes I’ll add for my next iteration. I’ll widen the neckline (I can just about get my head through it and no, I don’t have an abnormally large head)! I went with the round neckline of the woven tee which uses the same pattern, rather than the V, as I prefer this shape. I’ll also lower the bust darts and consider using binding as the facing doesn’t sit that flat.

I’m so happy with this dress. I love the curved side seams, the fabric and fit. I’m going to try more patterns from the Fashion with fabric book and want to make the casual trousers for summer. Anyone made any other patterns from this book?


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6 Responses to Great British Sewing Bee woven shift dress

  1. That hemline makes it. I have this book. Off to check out the pattern!

  2. Emma says:

    I’ve made three pairs of the casual trousers now: they are very easy and very comfortable! I have the shift dress on my list of maybes but am not sure if it will suit my shape.

  3. Kathryn says:

    Your dress looks great! I love that curved hem too. An added bonus that you don’t need the zip either!

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