This is the Ultimate Shift Dress by independent sewing pattern company Sew Over It. The fabric was something I picked up at the Knitting and Stitching Show.
This is a very easy dress to complete. In fact I think it is the fastest thing I have ever sewn. I traced the pattern pieces one evening and then cut and sewed most of the dress the next evening.
This is a good pattern for a relative beginner like me and the instructions are quite clear. I think it's not suitable for a total beginner as it assumes a bit of knowledge such as how to sew bust darts and the sleeves are eased in which is quite tricky.However, the pattern booklet includes a glossary which is helpful as it explains some of the terms that other patterns assume you know and understand.
The pattern comes in size 8-20. Looking at my measurements, I was between the 12 and the 14 sizes. This pattern is designed for a very close fit and includes less ease than more commercial patterns. I traced a size 12 and graded to 14 on the hips. Thank goodness for machine tacking as when I tried it on to see what the fit was like, the dress was far too tight on the hips for my liking. I had to sew from the waist downwards with a very tiny seam allowance. I will have to grade to a 16 on the hips next time I think!
I made the long sleeved version due to the season. I started with wrist length sleeves but altered them to three quarter length after trying the dress on. The dress is finished with a simple hook and eye but you could easily make a button loop instead.
I like the simplicity of this pattern and also love the fact that not only can you make three versions of the dress (long sleeved, with sleeve frills and with a neck frill), cutting lines are also marked on the pattern for making a tunic or a top version instead. I think that to get a better fit though at the back, I would need to look at making a shift dress with some darts to give it more shaping.
It's a great basic pattern though and I will definitely be checking out some of their other patterns.