Ultimate Shift Dress, Sew Over It

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This project post has been a loooooooong time coming. I actually finished this dress about three months ago but it has always felt like it’s missing something (even now). I tried adding front pockets…they looked sloppy and left holes in the fabric when I took them off! I though about adding darts to the back but I don’t want to risk inserting them badly. Then the dress (and me) just seemed defeated and tired.

One day I wanted to wear something I made and even though this was sitting on my unfinished pile I wore it out….and people really like it! I love the fabric and the style. There are fitting issues I can’t fix that bother me but I’m working on trying to move past that!!

If you have this pattern and have bigger hips/wider shoulders PLEASE loosely hand sew it together (if you’re not making a toile) to check the fit. I got the Ultimate Shift Dress kit which had everything I needed to sew the dress. I measured myself (size 10) sewed it up, did flat felled seams!!! (I know fancy!) Finished….Then tried it on. It won’t go over my bum/hip and was very tight on the shoulders/chest. Sewing fail.


The Size:

This dress was size 12 with it going out on the hips to size 14 and it’s still feels tight on the bum and shoulders.

The Fabric:

If anyone saw my previous post you’ll remember I showed this fabric as part of the Anna Ka Bazaar fabric I got in their sale. I originally intended the fabric for a summer dress but thinking of the long Autumn/ Winter /Spring I decided to make a pattern I could wear for all seasons. This is a lovely cotton that was so easy to sew with and soft but not too sturdy. It hated the seam ripper and easily got holes from it.

The changes:

I made the closing of the dress a zip instead of eye and hook because I am slightly paranoid about showing my back. This dress was my first time inserting an invisible zip (not just as a sample) and it was rough. My third effort was when I called it a day.

My offending dodgy zip insertion! Yes, it is supposed to be an invisible zip haha


I also added a collar. The shape was taken from the Tallis Collar by Gather .   The collar was supposed to meet in the middle but I messed up :/ however it turned out to be a happy mistake because I really like the look of it not meeting.


I don’t think a shift dress is the best choice for my shape but I love how comfortable they are and this is such a wearable dress. I also think Sew Over It patterns are always going to have fitting issues for my shape. I will hopefully be making their Anderson Blouse in December so wish me no fitting issues!

I want thank my mum for the pictures and sending me images of Victoria Beckham so I could imitate how she stand for pictures 😛

Thank you for having a look at my make and I hope all this yellow is taking your mind off being in the middle of Winter!


BYE! xx

Megan valero

About Megan

eco sustainable natural fabric and exclusive print for the fashion and dressmaking industry wholesale supplier.

27 thoughts on “Ultimate Shift Dress, Sew Over It

  1. janeyo says:

    Hello Meg
    I know this post is a year old but hey ho.I just made the Laurel and if you havent already made one,i reckon the shape would be good for you invisible zip tho-boo. The ultimate shift (10) is just about perfect for me as its petite with a bit of boob allowance. I think the pattern makers have a specific shape in mind (ya dont say) when they draft. Just found a new french pattern co.Pauline Alice all the reviews for the Port trousers say they did zero alterations!!so guess what i just bought. Anyhoo all the best xx

  2. I’m really glad I’ve found this post, the SOI shift dress really puzzles me. I absolutely love it on any one, then made one for myself in a fabric I adored and … Meh. It’s ok. I think it needs some sort of adjustment on the back and that perhaps the twill makes it sticl to my hips and creates strange creases. I’m not sure what is going on with it but when I wear it it feels like a sack.

    Yours is really pretty (love the collar!!) and the print goes so well with your complexion. Also, don’t beat yourself up for the inv zip, they’re nasty little things. I’m sure you’ve got the hang of them by now 😉

  3. ohhyellow says:

    yeah, on paper my sizes are pretty all over the place – but IRL, I think I look pretty normal! 🙂

  4. megsewing says:

    I think I’m a bit addicted to Sew Over It and their patterns, if they release somthing more often than not not I’m buying it!! No matter how much fitting it will take! I must admit I wear this dress a lot and it was worth the time and effort.
    Are you going to change anything when you make yours? You sizes seem a bit extreme! but knowing the pattern I see how the measurements can work like that!
    I’m much better with invisible zips now. Thank goodness! This was my first time putting them in a real dress, not just as a sample, so it was rocky!! 🙂

  5. megsewing says:

    I’ve left out quite a few projects from this blog that have gone horribly wrong!! Totally my fault because I jumped straight into dressmaking and missed the simpler projects haha It’s amazing to think of where I started to now! I’m still learning about my body. I’m going to be so thankful for the day I finally work out how to get a well fitting bodice!!

  6. ohhyellow says:

    lovely fabric – shame about the fitting woes. I know that I am also going to struggle to get a good fit with this, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying it! The measurements take me from a 10 at b/w to a 16 at the hips! I’ll definitely be making a couple of test runs before committing to the good fabric.

    Invisible zips are tough – did you use an invisible zip foot? that can sometimes make a huge difference. sometimes.

  7. Your dress is great! You look great in it it is so much better than my earlier sewing projects!
    When I was starting to sew – I sweated and toiled over many dress patterns none of which I ever wore after making them – they just never turned out right! I am an hourglass – have to add and subtract nearly every pattern! But as time has gone on – I learned a lot about my body and now can make dresses that fit me well.

  8. megsewing says:

    Thank you. I’m still so awkward in front of the camera :/ we took 103 pictures to get 5 good ones!!! haha
    I’m gutted couldn’t make the Sew Over It night (I had such a terrible period, I could barely move.) How was it? did you get anything nice? I love the new dress they released today!! xx

  9. thumblenina says:

    Such a fab dress 🙂 And I love that your mum sent you posing suggestions! I find posing for photos the hardest thing… Sorry to miss you at Sew Over It last night – did you go in the end? x

  10. megsewing says:

    I’m terrible I always end up taking my mums clothes haha I think she’s really happy we aren’t the same shoe size ! 🙂

  11. megsewing says:

    Thank you! I knew I had to finally blog that dress when the yellow background appeared! I’m getting better but I found it really hard to understand the process of inserting an invisible zip haha 🙂

  12. What a gorgeous print, it looks magic in the yellow background. Invisible zippers take time to master, I still fail sometimes haha! I’m sure with trial and error you will get the fit right. 🙂

  13. megsewing says:

    Thanks for the mention! The SOIshowoff tag has some really gorgeous makes, I’m gonna be stalking it next month looking for all the Black Friday sale makes 🙂

  14. Haha that’s great – being able to share clothes with each other!

  15. megsewing says:

    Thank you! I stole my mums coat for the pictures haha I think when i wear this dress I’m going to to borrow it 🙂

  16. I love the contrast of the blue patterned dress with the solid yellow coat. Beautiful job!

  17. megsewing says:

    Merci beaucoup! 🙂

  18. megsewing says:

    I really want to start the Anderson blouse next week! From what I’ve read the Anderson blouse is really loose so I won’t need to go up a size like I was intending to do. I’ll let you know if it works out!! Do you think you’ll start yours soon?
    Thank you the comments on this dress really boosted my confidence about it! 🙂

  19. megsewing says:

    You’re right, I’m didn’t think I was so fussy but dressmaking has definitely brought out the critic in me! Hopefully I’ll get out of that habit.
    Thanks so much, I bought this fabric on a whim and it was perfect for this dress 🙂

  20. almostahippy says:

    I have the same fit issues with this dress and other Sew Over It patterns. I’ve just made a top version of the dress and have a dress version in progress but have had to adjust them in so many places. I love your fabric and I think it’s only obvious to you if there are flaws. I’ve just bought the Anderson blouse in the black friday sale, can’t wait to see your version.

  21. megsewing says:

    Thanks, I’m so in pattern love with the Anderson blouse. I’ve seen it on other people and just need to stop delays sticking the pdf together!!
    I have the same problem with wordpress for other people! I have no idea how to fix it so I follow people on bloglovin too because the posts always show up.
    You will love SewBrum! Sewing meet ups are so friendly and brilliant 🙂

  22. Hannah says:

    The colour really suits you! I definitely think when you make your own clothes it’s so easy to be a bit of a perfectionist and just see all the things that didn’t work quite the way you wanted them to (at least that’s what I do all the time) when in fact, no one else will notice them at all – they just see a lovely dress! It looks really pretty on you 🙂

  23. Hi, Good Luck with your Anderson blouse. I can’t work out why your posts do not come up in my feed – have you had a blip with WordPress or is it me? Have only just read the SewBrum post – I’m def. going to go next time too.

  24. Cette robe est très jolie ! Bravo ! 🙂

  25. megsewing says:

    Thank you so much!! It’ so nice to hear it’s not as bad as I think it is. I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself! Thanks for this comment it really boosted my confidence! 🙂

  26. Linda Wilson says:

    It does look good! You’ve done what I do and take and learn from the positives. Lovely print, great added collar and the dress looks like a nice shape and length. Invisible zips are hard to do anyway, they’re just practice!

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