News & Reviews

Review: Sew Over It – “Ultimate Shift Dress” Sewing Pattern

Ladies & Gentlemen, may I introduce to you the matriarch of the Fabricate Fam; The woman who inspired (inspired/forced, same thing in the eyes of Mrs B) to take up sewing as a nipper and thus began the Fabricate dream.  The one and only Mrs B!!

That’s right, The Mother has been suitably restrained from adorning the pattern test piece with umpteen sequins, beads and quite possibly hand-embroidery and has finished the shift dress!  (She’s a sucker for a sequin is Mrs B!)

I asked Mrs B to have a go with a Sew Over It pattern.  Sew Over It are an independent sewing pattern designer whose patterns all have a vintage edge.  Not so vintage that you look like you’re going to a fancy dress party, but vintage enough so you can strut your stuff like a character from Mad Men.

The version The Mother chose to make was on the original version of the sewing pattern and had a frilled yoke.  (Obviously – she can’t resist a frill.) However this has since been replaced with a simple long sleeved top, which I think is a bit of a shame but I suppose you get better value for money as you can make two different dresses and a top from the same pattern, rather than three versions of the same frock.

Given her vast sewing experience, Mrs B found the pattern quite straightforward.  However in her words, she doesn’t particularly class herself as a dressmaker. Why would she? She’s only made 25,000 dresses for bridesmaids, the theatre and even my sister’s wedding dress and regularly knocked up a frock on a Saturday afternoon to go out dancing in at night when she was a young whipper-snapper in the ’60s, but no, she wouldn’t particularly class herself as a dressmaker!  Even so, she does understand pattern construction and how it works.  The only thing which stopped her in her tracks slightly was how the darts were printed on the pattern.  Being a dart purist, Mrs B is used to having to fathom out her own darts by joining the usual series of dots, however on the Sew Over It patterns, the shape of the darts are actually drawn on.  I think this way might suit beginners better because they won’t have to worry so much about accuracy as they would if joining dots up.

I gave The Mother some rather fetching Dashwood Studio fabric to have a go with for this, which was a bit of a punt really because when you see the bolt, the fabric looks quite bright and might not necessarily be your first choice when choosing dress fabric, however when made up I think you’ll agree that it’s worked really well!  Mrs B said the fabric was easy to work with and suited the shape of the dress.  The end product (modelled below by the lovely Delilah) reminded her of the shift dresses she used to wear in the ’60s, so you can’t get much higher praise than that!

A range of Sew Over It patterns and Dashwood Studio fabrics (including the one used here) will be available in the shop.  Yay! 🙂


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