Ultimate Shift in Silk

Hello friends! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written but I haven’t been wasting my time. I finished my first dress in silk. It’s the Ultimate Shift by Sew Over It.


And even more importantly I’ve had an amazing girlfriends’ week and weekend! For the first time in the three months since my move of 740 miles, I had three of my best friends come to stay. I am truly blessed. I laughed so much my cheeks hurt. Now I need a rest, so no smiling for a while. Sorry Roger.

And what a treat for me — some of my friends wore my dresses for a couple of silly-fun photo shoots on the beach!

Am I lucky or what?! We ate and shopped and swam and lounged and drank champagne, and ate and shopped again… I feel tired in body but recharged in spirit. Thank you my friends!

But since this is a sewing blog, it’s back to the dress! I love the classic design of the ultimate shift. To complement its simple lines, I chose a print of swirls and dots reminiscent of the 60s.


I’m more pear shaped than the pattern assumes. Sigh. Proportion-wise, it would be form fitting in the hips and loose around the torso. Which I guess is what a shift is. But I wanted a bit of swing for this delicious fabric, so rather than just curving the hips to fit I graded the side seams toward an a-line shape.

The pattern is well designed and goes together in a snap – just front and back pieces (since I chose to line it in China silk, I didn’t use any facings).

China silk lining; fabric loop closure with a glass button.

All of which is great because silk is pretty fussy to work with. Ravelly, slippery and with very little give… if it weren’t so pretty I’d just say forget it!

Shoes and necklace from Kate Spade, bracelets from my sister Jean, my Mom and Henry Bendel.

I did a bit of asking around and learned to use a No. 11 needle and very thin, very sharp pins. Other than that I just took my time. It’s not bad! The only trouble I ran into was a little bulge at the bottom of the zipper. You know that spot just at the tail end of an invisible zip where you have to push all the zipper tape and seam allowances to one side and get in there with a standard zipper foot to close up the center back seam? Ugh. I sometimes get a little pucker there. What’s the trick?


Since I think a little bump at that particular place isn’t altogether attractive, I picked it out and restitched it and completely removed the stitching tacking the zipper tape down. The bump is gone and it hangs smoothly, but I still don’t know what I did wrong. Oh well. I didn’t learn anything much but I have a new silk dress! And enough confidence to tackle more. Have you had a challenge lately? A reunion party?


9 thoughts on “Ultimate Shift in Silk

    1. Haha! I’m glad you think so! On the monthly stitch I had mostly comments saying it looked psychedelic, or like the yellow submarine! Hmm. I’ll go with classy. Thank you.

  1. Now that is a beauty! and you look to be having so much fun with your friends….it is pouring with rain here in the uk but your pictures have cheered me up!
    thanks for sharing
    bestest daisy j x

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