Trans-seasonal Wiksten Shift Dress

For woven dresses, the Wiksten Shift Dress is my favourite at the moment and this cotton poplin is perfect for it. This is a light-medium weight 100% cotton fabric. I like this weight because it works in the cool Irish summers and you can layer it up for the other seasons too. It is also extremely easy to sew and stays where it should when lining up seams. It is fairly opaque so you can stand in front of the sun without showing off anything you don’t want to! I received the fabric from Minerva in exchange for a blog post.

Back yoke has a few gathers, which give nice ease

I used a little strip of clear swimwear elastic to do the gathers in the back yoke.

The Wiksten has a back yoke and the main back piece has a few gathers. This means that when you sit down the dress does not suddenly feel too tight. And the side slits give more ease and add a little edge to the very simple design of the dress.

I made belt long enough to go twice around my waist

Top stitching on belt using my coverstitch machine

I make the belt plenty long enough to go around my waist twice. I find it stays in place better that way and I like the look of it. For the belt, you cut the fabric 4.25 inches wide. There is a pattern piece, but of course you cut it to whatever length you want. Because mine is so long, I needed to piece it together and it is made of four strips, but especially in this pattered fabric, the joins are not noticeable.
I gathered up a bunch of interfacing scraps and cut strips 1.75” wide and then used them to interface one half of the belt. I sewed the belt right sides together leaving a gap at the centre and then turned it inside out. I topstitched it on my coverstitich machine. This gives you two rows at once and the extra thread adds to the structure of the belt. Because of all the coverstitch thread tails at either end of the belt. I folded the ends under about half an inch and topstitched it down, securing all the threads underneath. This was easy, because there were no raw ends of fabric as the ends had already been finished at the earlier stage.

Pattern matching makes for invisible pockets, and I mitred corners

For once, instead of putting the pockets on the bias to avoid pattern matching, I pattern matched! I didn’t think the bias pockets would work here. I cut the pockets to match each other. Then because the repeat on this fabric is not too far apart, I could place the patterns without having too much them too much up or down from the pattern placement markings. So I adjusted the placement of the pockets to suit the pattern on the dress.
I mitred the lower corners of the pockets before applying – to avoid any poky-out corners. I do this using a ruler that has the 45 degrees marked on it. The image shows how I do this. It is also useful for corners on split hems, napkins and other things. Doing it on the overlocker makes it quick and easy.
Looking forward to the summer when I can float around the garden in this dress wearing a pair of sandals and with a glass of Cava in hand!


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