The beautiful colours in this fabric really attracted me and I knew the cotton poplin from http://www.minerva.com would be perfect for a summer Wiksten Shift Dress.
I received the fabric in exchange for a blog post on their website.
I love this pattern because it is a simple, neat dress but the gathers at the back mean that when you sit down it doesn’t suddenly feel tight. And the slits at the hem give it a little something extra. This is a really easy pattern with no fastenings and it slips on easily over the head.
I like the narrow facing for the neckline because you top stitch it down and there is nothing flapping about.
I’ve made summer dresses from this pattern before and find it a really easy style to throw on and feel put together without too much effort. I pre-washed this fabric. This style is easy to launder and there are no fiddly bits to iron.
The poplin is great here because it is opaque and I wouldn’t worry about exposing anything extra if the sun was behind me! The cotton is very stable when cutting out and it is really easy to sew because it doesn’t shift around.
I made a few minor alterations to the pattern. I shortened the length a couple of inches; made the belt long enough to go around my waist twice; and added cuffs to the sleeves.
Sometimes, when making this pattern I interface the belt, but this fabric didn’t need it. However, I did add extra rows of topstitching to the belt to make it feel a little more belt-like!
For the cuffs, I cut three wide strips of fabric; sewed the short ends together; ironed them wrong sides together; overlocked them on to the sleeve; ironed the seam allowance towards the sleeve and top-stitched it down.
I cut the pockets on the bias – mainly to avoid pattern matching. I mitred the lower corners of the pockets before attaching. I find this the easiest way to avoid any pointy-out bits at the corners after the pockets are attached.
To position the pockets accurately, I folded the front of the dress in half and ironed a crease down the centre front. (See little graphic I’ve created to show what I mean!) Then I put the front dress piece down on my cutting mat and made sure the start of the side seam was lined up on the same mark on both sides. Otherwise it’s difficult to be sure the pattern piece is straight.
I knew I wanted the pockets to start about 22” down from the middle of the shoulder. I measured down from there and then drew a horizontal line using the cutting mat measurements and the crease I had ironed in as guides. I measured in 2.5” from the crease on both sides and drew vertical lines that crossed over the horizontal. I then placed my pockets using these lines as guides.
I think this is my favourite woven dress pattern and I’ll be making it again. Watch this space!