The 60s Grey Shift


I’ve been ummming and ahhhing for ages now, over how best to use this beautiful grey, swirly fabric which I was gifted as part of the #secretsewingsanta exchange. I was really torn between this 60s shift dress, which I’ve sewn once before, see here, and a Clemence skirt, again attempted just once before. I thought the slightly stiff texture (I think it’s a kind of linen with netting for the swirls), would really suit a full skirt, but I figured if I had enough for a whole dress, then it would be rude not to!

The pattern is Simplicity 1609, which came free with a magazine some time ago. This time I chose view A with a kind of scalloped, Peter Pan-style collar. The darts went in easily. I substituted a regular zip for an invisible one, which behaved itself perfectly πŸ™‚ The collar was a little fiddly. I’m guessing a slightly lighter fabric may have helped here, but I gave it my best… I was contemplating whether to unpick it and attempt it again to neaten it up, when I realised I’d forgotten to switch back to a light grey thread after completing another quick project in between in a darker grey! Frustrating though this was, it made the decision as to whether to unpick or not a whole lot easier πŸ˜‰ And my second attempt, with the right colour greyΒ thread, was a whole lot neater. Funny that!


Because I substituted with an invisible zip, I ended up free-styling the order and did most of it by instinct. The bit I did try to consult was how to insert the facings. The neck edge made sense, and went in pretty easily, but the arms made no sense at all! I just kind of made it up, which seemed to work reasonably well, before hand stitching it down to the main bodice. The rest was plain sailing πŸ™‚ The design suggests placing three, small buttons beneath the centre of the collar, but I resisted as I felt this might have drawn the eye to my least neat part of the project…

I was so pleased when I tried this on: it fitted perfectly. And from the outside, it’s a pretty neat job all-in-all. However the insides left me just a little disappointed. They’re pretty neat around the facings, but I’d really like to get my inner seams finished off just a little more professionally. I guess a lining would have covered them nicely, but I like the idea of using bias binding or a ribbon to neaten them up. I think it’s a result of using my overlocker more recently, which always gives such a great finish. I’ve read about other bloggers overlocking seams before sewing, so maybe this would be an idea too. Any suggestions would, as ever, be greatly appreciated. It’s an area I’d really like to improve on in the future.

Many thanks Vicki once again for the beautiful fabric. It was a perfect choice for me πŸ™‚

And for those power-girls amongst you who may just have thought there was a little something missing from this post…


Ahh, that’s better! I did try to keep them down, honest! πŸ˜‰


25 thoughts on “The 60s Grey Shift

  1. So glad you chose to go with the dress! This fabric is perfect πŸ™‚ also glad you got some photos of “the pose”!! In terms of facings I usually substitute for a lining but then that’s just my preference – if climes were a little warmer I think I would stick with overlocked seams of a coordinating colour πŸ™‚

  2. Its so fab Theresa! Yet another wonderful make that has me adding No. 32 to my sewing queue😁. Love your power pose – you totally own itπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘. How does one become part of the secret santa?

  3. oooh, very nice indeed. This really fits like a glove, well done!
    I also overlock before stitching if I then want to press open the seams. But recently I discovered French seams and I`m all in love with this finish now, so I French seam as much as I can.

  4. This has got to by one of my favourite patterns. It’s so flattering! The fabric is perfect, I’m glad you finally cut into it πŸ™‚
    The neckline/armhole process is like the GBSB shell top, isn’t it?
    And you suit the hands on hips pose!!

  5. Pingback: #MMMay 2015, Week 2 | navybluethreads

  6. Lovely dress! I’ve been looking at seam finishes too, and liked the look of rayon seam binding like Lladybird has sometimes used, and I’ve just bought some from a UK online shop – the range of colours is just a dream! The link is Haven’t tried using it yet, but Ladybird has a tutorial on how to. Think it’s an American thing, but I love the look πŸ™‚ If you try it, do let us see how you go on!

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