I finally finished my Wiksten Shift Dress and Top. It is a simple, well-designed pattern that is beautifully presented and very well designed. It looks much better on the body than it does off....so keep that in mind when you look at the photos. I did not have anyone to take images of the dress on me, but had hoped the dress form would show it to advantage...but it didn’t really accomplish that! I used a lovely, lightweight, cotton ikat fabric that I bought from my favorite place for clothing fabrics....Stonemountain from Berkeley, California. They always seem to offer beautiful, unique fabrics that make me want to sew. The colors of the fabric are an unusual choice for me. While natural and brown colors tend to look just fine on me I seldom seem to buy or wear them. For some reason this design struck and chord and I just had to have some of it.
The Wiksten Shift Dress and Top pattern features simple lines, patch pockets, a very nice, slightly gathered back yoke, neckline facings and cut-on sleeves. Cut-on sleeves are not generally a style that I like and with my, ahem, mature figure, they seldom do me favors. That being said, the design of these sleeves is actually quite nice and both versions of the sleeves, short and 3/4 length look quite good. I chose to make the 3/4 length.
One of the things that I think is important with Wiksten patterns is to look closely at the finished size chart. It provides invaluable information and I wish that all pattern companies included it with their patterns. Wiksten also states that their sizing is generous because they like clothes to fit loosely. I do too! I made a muslin for this simple pattern based on using the sizing chart that most closely suited my measurements. Making a muslin was an example of me being cautious. I did not want to waste any of the fabric....and as it turned out I was very glad that I had made a muslin. I ended up going down two sizes! As made in my first muslin the dress equates to the look of a potato sack. Once I got the muslin adjusted I liked the dress a lot...and went ahead and cut out my ikat fabric.
I tried to match my pockets and shoulders with the fabrics design. It worked out fairly well.
I used French Seams throughout. I felt that it was especially necessary because of the weave of the fabric, and in general I love the finished look of French Seams anyway. It was a fun make that I am looking forward to wearing often. Wiksten does a lovely job with directions so I think that this pattern is very suitable for first time beginners.
Next up? Not certain, but another Wiksten Haori in black is on my mind....