Saturday, 1 April 2017

Stash-Busting 60's SOI Shift Dress


A couple of years ago I picked up this amazing 1960's / early 1970's maxi length skirt from a charity shop. It was a bargain at a mere £2.99! I was drawn to the gorgeous print with a combination of my favourite colours in it.



It has sat in my stash for quite some time patiently waiting for inspiration to strike. I knew I didn't want to wear it as a maxi skirt so took some time unpicking the seams. It had been lovingly hand-made by a skilled person many years ago. Check out the careful construction details; hand-basted waistband, hand-stitched hooks and eyes, finished seams:



After unpicking the skirt I had three pretty decent sized pieces of fabric. It was then I knew I wanted to make the Sew Over It shift dress that I bought from the Fashion and Textiles Museum shop sale for £7.

Here are some shots of the final dress. I lengthened the dress by about 6cm and did a slight grading between sizes from the bust to the hips.




There isn't a zip at the back which makes this a great beginners pattern. I sewed a hook and eye fastening, which after wearing for a day opened up a few times so I will most likely change to a button and loop when I get a chance.

I decided to line the dress with some stash fabric (leftover from my Sew Over It 1960's coat lining) so I could wear the dress more easily with tights. To do this I cut out the front and back pattern pieces, sewed the darts and left the opening at the back as per the outer shell. The dress pattern includes a front and back neck facing and as I had already sewed these to the dress before I decided to line the dress I just improvised the attachment of the lining by placing the neckline facing over the top of the lining and hand-stitching it to the facing. I am pretty happy with this method.



I hand-finished the back opening so the lining and facing were carefully stitched into position. I am really happy with the final dress. The 3/4 length sleeves are lovely and the overall fit is pretty good for me. I can see a few more of these in my wardrobe this year.

One thing I am currently working on with the small piece of remaining fabric is two lined patch pockets for the front of the dress. I will post about it when I have finished them.

Pattern: Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress on 50% off sale = £7
Fabric: 2 metres of 1960's cotton recycled from vintage skirt = £2.99
Lining: 1.5 metres of lining from Goldhawk Road from stash = free
Gutterman Thread: Red from stash = free
Hook and eye: from inherited grandma's stash = free

Total: £10

Have a lovely weekend everybody!

Check out lots of other cool blogs at #handmademonday organised by Julia of Sum of their Stories.

17 comments:

  1. A great pattern for this fabric, the simplicity really lets it shine. I can see the colours working well all year round. Keep meaning to make myself a dress or two like this!

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    1. Thanks Alex. Yes I think this SOI shift would be perfect for you too. A pretty quick make (if you don't include a lining and hand-sew all hems). It really showcases a good printed fabric.

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  2. perfect refashion for this fabric, such a fun dress ;o)

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  3. Very striking- looks lovely on. The simple shape shows off the print nicely

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    1. Cheers Tamsin - yes its a great silhouette for showcasing a bold print!

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  4. Very striking- looks lovely on. The simple shape shows off the print nicely

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  5. Such a lovely dress and I like the patterns and the colours :).

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  6. This is a fantastic use of that lovely fabric. Looks great and I'm pleased to hear you'll be adding pockets, pockets are important!

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    1. Oh yes! Pockets are really important, that's why my arms don't know what to do in the second shot of me in the dress!!

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  7. Brilliant idea and love how your dress turned out, with black tights perfect

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  8. Yay! hasn't it turned out well, it looks really comfortable. I line a lot of my dresses now so that thick tights can be worn with them. I have some cotton bark cloth that would make a great dress now that I have seen yours. Have a good week. Jo x

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    1. Hi Jo. it's really comfy I'm part-way through my second one already!

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  9. That is such a pretty fabric! So great that you brought it back to life! The dress fits very well and makes the fabric the star of the outfit. Well done :)

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    1. Thanks Kat I love the pattern on the fabric and the dress works really well for this print.

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