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French Dart Shift Dress

Added Dec 28, 2012

by Sabrina Whar...

York, United Kin...






This is based on the BurdaStyle September 2011 Shift-dress (108 and onwards), but I made the pattern myself because I wanted the practice and didn’t want to make all those adjustments, such as a SBA.

I had to omit the front waist darts and just have a bust dart rotated to the French dart line. To get the shaping I flipped the side along the dart line and traced the curve of the style line (if that’s clear). You have to keep the dart the same shape below the waist otherwise you get a dreadful point at the hips.

I found out afterwards by pulling the back of my dress while wearing it, that because I am slim I can move the front waist dart allowance to the rest of the seams and darts (divided evenly of course) and get a sheath dress.

I also found out that when the neckline caves in at the front, and sticks out at the back, it’s because you need a square-shoulder adjustment.

I have included in-seam pockets, sewn in one piece so that inside it looks like a kangaroo pocket. I did this because I have a skirt with in-seam pockets that hang down and ruin the hang of the skirt, and I didn’t want that to happen to this dress. So the one-ness of the pocket, and the fact that it is stitched to the curtain lining in the CF, keep it hung properly.

The darts were stitched by hand with a backstitch, which is a lot easier when you have the tracing wheel marks to guide you as to stitch placement and length. My hand-stitching is much better with that help.

The sleeves have seams like the BurdaStyle ones, and are finished at the bottom with the scallop-stitch on my sewing machine.

This dress is a real change from what I usually wear in that there is so much ease at the waist. It took a bit of getting used to!

Material Notes

I made the dress from one of a pair of curtains.




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Evening Wear, Mod
Cotton, Linen, Polyester, Velvet, Wool

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  • Image223_large

    Dec 28, 2012, 07.27 PMby tilshmil

    Lovely dress, and great info on your process. Thanks for posting!

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