The Avid Seamstress – Shift Dress

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If you follow me over on Instagram you would have seen that I was lucky enough to be chosen to test the new Shift Dress sewing pattern by The Avid Seamstress.

This was the first pattern I had made by The Avid Seamstress so I was excited to try out and support another indie pattern designer.  As part of the testing process I was also lucky enough to be gifted a fabric of my choice from Fabric Godmother.


With it’s pencil skirt the Shift Dress pattern is not my usual style. There’s something very grown up and chic about it’s fitted silhouette which if you have seen any of my previous makes isn’t what I would normally go for but I was excited to try something a little bit different. Because I knew that this pattern had a slightly more grown up feel I knew I wanted to keep the fabric fun so went for this polka dot stretch cotton.

I love the playful edge that this fabric adds to this dress. One thing to note about this cotton is that it is slightly on the thinner side so as this dress is slightly more fitted, if you are conscious about your stomach area when using this fabric it is something to bare in mind. A slightly thicker cotton, perhaps in a darker fabric would perhaps be the best option for anyone not wanting to draw attention to that area. That being said I do really enjoy the way this fabric looks in the dress.

Sadly the fabric I used has sold out. Hopefully if you managed to snap it up you are planning on making a Shift Dress in it. If you don’t have some of the fun polka dots, the other option I had in mind was this gorgeous Ikat.

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The pattern does suggest lightweight to medium weight fabrics – wovens, chambray, crepe, silk, viscose and cottons.


Having not used a pattern from The Avid Seamstress I was interested to see how the pattern would compare to other indie patterns. My first thoughts were that you could tell from the packaging that you were receiving a high quality product. The instructions were clear and precise to ensure a high quality final product. Each step is clearly illustrated and explained making everything from inserting the invisible zip to sewing the kick pleat accessible for everyone.


Overall the dress was is incredibly comfortable and fits like a dream. When making this dress I didn’t make toile but the fit was perfect and I made no alterations. Something to keep in mind though is that I am about 5ft 7 and this dress was at the knee so if you are slightly shorter you might need make adjustments to the length. I would also recommend wearing this dress with a heel. Mine are Lotta from Stockholm and I would recommend these to everyone.


The only thing I went back to change were the optional pockets. When I first made it I added in the pockets because a dress with pockets… duh! But because the fabric i used was on the lighter side it made my hips and stomach look bulky so I took them out. (If you use a slightly heavier fabric this wouldn’t be a problem.)

Now I don’t think this is an everyday dress but I will be taking this dress out for any parties I have and can see it working perfectly for a wedding.

It was such a pleasure to try out this wonderful pattern and I would highly recommend it.

I was also in lovely company when testing this pattern. You can check out what Kathy and Samantha made over on their blogs.

Have you tried the shift dress pattern or any other Avid Seamstress patterns? Let me know in the comments below what you have made and which fabrics you have used.

(All fabrics and patterns mentioned were kindly given to me for free. All opinions my own.)

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