A-line shift

An A-line shift has been on my drafting list forever, but I am trying to work through my classes in order, so it has taken me until now to get to it.  Sixties mod is my favourite of the retro fashions. 

I made one muslin of my draft and then thought I would be able to get my second draft wearable, so I cut into real fabric (sewing and chucking muslins still feels wasteful to me).  I still need to tweak the draft a bit for my next version, but I already wore this dress out, so I am happy with that decision.

I am happy with the front, except that it is just a smidge tight in the bust.  I have used French darts.  The class example put the dress on the bias for a closer fit, but I knew that I wanted a pattern on the straight grain. I didn't use as much flare as the class example either.

Stripe matching this fabric was easy.  I am not so happy with the side and back views.  I kept the darts in back, even though they aren't normally included in an A-line shift, because there was a lot of pooling in my muslin.  The dart shaping doesn't seem quite right tough and there is not enough room for my butt.  There are less shaping options with a shift, so I am not sure how to address this.  I'll have to dig out the fitting books.

The fabric is really groovy.  It is a Japanese fine wale corduroy (still available here), but I have the nap running around my body rather than up and down because I preferred the darker stripes to be horizontal.  The description does say corduroy, but I didn't read it closely and was surprised when the fabric turned up.  A happy accident though, because I would not have ordered corduroy if I had known, but it is a lovely weight for this style of dress. 


  1. That's funky fabric. I agree it looks great from the front but the back looks big from the waist down. It looks like a great fit around the front and back shoulders though.

  2. Love the dress - it's a style/line that is one of my favourites as well. Love dresses for work as I have a hope of being put together through the day. For more/better fit at least in the back could you change your darts to shoulder princess seams? It might give you more places for fitting. And as someone who has a shift pattern that I love, do you have suggestions for the best way to insert pockets into the dress? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Jodie, my next one will have pockets. I am going to borrow the circular pockets from Vogue 7899, which you can see here (https://www.etsy.com/listing/261152364/vogue-7899-missesmisses-petite-dress-and). Years ago I made up this pattern using the welt pockets from View C.

      My next drafting class is a princess seamed dress, and I think your idea of a princess seamed shift is a good idea. I did see a shift where they put pockets in the princess seams.

  3. Potentially you could remove the need for the dart using a sway back adjustment. I also love the idea above of using princess seams and in-seam pockets. That magic fabric is sold out BTW!