Class One: The Shift Dress

This is a short fabric and materials supply list. As each person's project will be totally individual, this is as a rough guide only.

The class is not designed around a specific pattern as we do not want to restrict your choices, dictate to you or cause a rush on a particular commercial pattern - which then becomes unavailable! With every class Philippa will make suggestions and show you a small range of current, classic and vintage patterns that will work for the project. You will want to choose something that works for you and may already have just the pattern you need on your shelf.

Suitable for all levels from beginner to advanced sewists.

The focus of this class is on: 

  • using a commercial garment pattern,
  • making a toile (mock-up garment),
  • simple pattern alterations,
  • cutting and sewing the dress with particular emphasis on:
    • darts,
    • an invisible zipper,
    • neat neck facing,
    • sewing in short sleeves,
    • seam finishes and hems.

You will need:

  • A shift (or other style) dress pattern.

[Please be aware that commercial garment pattern sizes do not correspond to clothing sizes for shop bought ready-to-wear garments. For example a UK size 10 bought dress equates to a size 14 pattern. Refer to the bust sizes on the pattern to select the correct size to purchase. The pattern chosen had a darted one piece front (no waist seam), darted two piece back (no waist seam), centre back invisible zipper, neck facing and short sleeves. There are many dress pattern options available. I used New Look pattern 6095.]

  • Dress fabric
  • Invisible zipper purchased 2" longer than the pattern suggested. The class explains why this is required
  • Polyester garment sewing thread
  • Cotton tacking thread
  • Soft interfacing. I used woven cotton lawn fabric instead of non-woven fusible interfacing
  • Cheap cotton fabric for the toile is optional

Please check your pattern for any additional requirements not mentioned here.

This list is a general guide and may differ from, and not include, everything you need for your individual project. The class will cover all steps in detail and give design options, so you may wish to wait until you have seen the class before you purchase your fabric and notions.

Happy stitching!

Philippa :D