I’ve got something a little different today — a 1960’s inspired shift dress! This dress was made as part of Sew Your Hart Out September with Harts Fabric, along with Colette Patterns and Robert Kaufman fabrics. I wrote a tutorial on Harts’ site on how I made the retro button-on-belt featured on this dress.
I was paired with Colette and Robert Kaufman and asked to write a tutorial for a pattern hack. I chose the Phoebe shift dress, which was one that I honestly wasn’t smitten with, but I figured it would be a good base for some retro details. The fabric is RK linen from the Caroline Friedlander collection. It’s a light denim color with a metallic gold design, which kind of fades out in photos. I decided that some gold buttons would help to bring out the gold in this fabric and turn an otherwise plain dress into something more unique. These vintage gold buttons in my stash were perfect for the look I was going for.
I made this dress out of the size 20/22 in version 2. I added 3″ to the skirt length with a 1 1/2″ hem. It has a slight swayback adjustment (I could probably take out a little more) and the bodice is lined with a yellowish gold cotton voile. I added a v-slit to the neckline as I found it to be a bit constricting.
Before I added the belt detail, I was trying this dress on and my husband walked in and thought I was wearing a muslin mock-up of it. That tells you how plain it initially looked! The button band adds what this dress needs without changing the integrity of the design. I don’t like to “hack” patterns up too much as it seems like you’re changing the designer’s vision, but adding embellishments and little details help to make the design your own.
This is a very different silhouette for me and not one I gravitate towards as I don’t like to anything slim-fitting on my lower half. However, this dress isn’t tailored and skims my curves rather than clinging to them. The design is meant to transition into colder weather as a jumper, so you definitely wouldn’t want a tight bodice if you’re planning to wear a blouse underneath. I’m not a fan of jumpers, so I’ll never be wearing this with an undershirt. I do like a bit of ease, especially in a style like this. My idea of a fall transition piece would be to wear this with a cardi and my gold loafers and I’m looking forward to doing just that.
This dress was a really quick sew and I might sew up this pattern again in the future in a corduroy or something along those lines. I felt very chic sporting this frock and like I was going out to attend some type of swinging soiree.
Note: I received both the fabric and the pattern in return for writing a tutorial. As always, these are my honest thoughts and opinions.
- Dress: Colette Phoebe in linen, made by me
- Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
- Earrings: Vintage from my grandma’s jewelry box