Saturday, 30 May 2015

Simplicity Star Sewist challenge: NewLook Shift Dress 6145 pattern hack #SimplicityBloggerChallenge

A little bit of retro styling for drama!

This week i've been designing for the Simplicity Star Sewist competition! Simplicity are challenging sewing bloggers to create their own unique version of a classic Simplicity or NewLook pattern and share this with you all. Discover all bloggers projects with #SimplicityBloggerChallenge

Image source: Simplicity

I decided to hack the Simplicity NewLook Shift Dress 6145 to submit for the Best Dressmaking project.

I was inspired by a modern version of the shift dress that i've seen in several shop on the high street this Spring. This design is gives a fresh look to a classic shift dress and more emphasis to the A-line shape. 

The line drawing below shows how i've added a panel down the centre front of the shift dress. I decided to keep the design simple as I used a bold Liberty print with block coloured centre front panel. I didn't add any of the sleeve options or collar and removed the back kick pleat but fully lined the dress instead.

If you would like to make this version at home for yourself you can buy the pattern here from Simplicity and download for free the centre front pattern piece from my website here.

I used Liberty print Queue for the Zoo B Tana Lawn - I love this fabric and have been saving it for a special project!

To make my version follow the instructions below and then continue to make the pattern as per the Simplicity instructions.

1) From the Simplicity pattern cut out the Back pattern piece and trace off the Front pattern piece.  

2) Add 1.5cm to the centre front line of the Front pattern piece before cutting out. The front pattern piece is no longer cut on the fold, instead cut x1 pair. If you have an obvious pattern to your fabric, try to pattern match the centre front before cutting out your front pattern pieces for a neater finish. 

3) Draw a line at 90 degrees from this new centre front line to meet the tip of the bust dart, create a new notch here.

4) Download and print your free centre front panel piece from my website here (can be used for all sizes).

5) Overlock or zigzag stitch the centre front seams of the front pattern pieces and side seams of the centre front panel piece. With right sides together, match the side seams of the centre front panel piece to the centre front seams of the front pieces. You can also use the notch as a guide. Stitch with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Press the seams towards the centre front.

6) Close the seam above to the neckline, again with a 1.5cm seam allowance and press the seams open. 

View from wrong side of dress showing edge stitching along the two folds.

7) Press the two folds in place and edge stitch (starting and finishing 3cm from the top and bottom on both.

8) Secure the top of the centre front panel with a few stitches on the wrong side of the dress.

9) Top stitch the centre front panel on both sides to the seam allowances.

10) Press the centre front panel fully in place.

Continue making the shift dress as per Simplicity instructions. This modified front now forms your complete front pattern piece.

Share your creations #brodrickstudio

Shoes: Kurt Geiger, nail varnish: Dior Waterlilly 504, retro telephone: Wild and Wolf Princess Classic.


  1. I love that fabric! And the dress is wonderful, the extra panel makes it very flattering.

    1. Thanks so much! It is really easy to wear and simple to make, I think i'll be doing another one soon! : )