Wiksten Shift Dress

Bonus: Jamie arrived home while I was outside taking pictures, so he joined me for a bit! We are still trying to work on poses where it doesn’t accidentally look like he is choking me with a hug.

A few weeks ago i showed you my colour–blocked Wiksten Shift top, which I promptly gave away to my mom… well, I’m fighting hard not to give this one to my sister just yet! It’s not that I don’t like it (I do!) but it would suit her even better. The thing is, my teacher union is gearing up for contract negotiations this year, and it could go badly… and in the meantime, we are asked to wear red every Friday! I don’t own a lot of red, so I can’t give this dress away just yet!

The pattern is a simple but elegant shift dress or top, with no darts or significant shaping. One thing worth noting though – the model on the cover is 5’11”, which skews the proportions. On her this length is well above the knee, and the longer length is mid calf… on me, at 5’2″, the longer length hits the floor and this length is below the knee as drafted! I shortened mine an inch or two to avoid being visually swamped.

Without the belt, it’s… well, it’s a boxy dress. You either love it or hate it! I prefer my boxy silhouettes to be a bit shorter, or balanced with a slim sleeve, myself. That’s totally personal preference though, and I’ve seen this pattern look so fantastic on many people!

This was actually my first version of the pattern, and I had to skip the gathering below the back yoke because I didn’t have enough fabric. I think it was for the best though – I sewed this in a poly double knit, and the gathers probably would have bubbled awkwardly in this fabric. In a fluid fabric they are a great detail! I had fun combining scraps of the black windowpane plaid with the floral, and I like how it breaks up the look!

Ready for a side note?

Look at these awesome earrings my friend bought me on a teacher-partnership in Uganda this summer! They are made some a disk of recycled material (a pop can, I think she said?) on the inside, with a circle of fabric gathered around it. What a simple project, and perfect for the Sewcialists Giving Challenge theme month this November! I got lots of compliments on them they day I wore this outfit, and several people noted how well they matched the dress!

Look a bit closer… can you see blue lines on my fingers? That’s because I was showing some students the trick for remembering b/d and p/q illustrated in the picture above. So handy and so simple! But I forgot I was covered in blue marker when I took pictures, so I thought I might as well explain it!

So there, voila! A fun exploration of a new-to-me pattern that probably won’t be a new favourite, but was worth trying anyway. I have enough clothes at this point that exploring different shapes and silhouettes is part of the fun, and if they aren’t my perfect item, I’m happy to pass them on!

Are you on Team Boxy Shift Dress? Let me know down below!


11 thoughts on “Wiksten Shift Dress

  1. I made one of these because I was so excited about the pattern. And it looks like a sack on me. I don’t like belts because I just don’t, so I guess it could be a fancy nightgown! Or maybe I could put a tie in the back. Hmm. But it looks great on you!

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    1. I hate belts unless they stretch! This is a knit belt, so i’m ok with it. But ugh, the idea of wearing anything non stretch around my waist is just not happening! 😉

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  2. Lovely dress – worn both ways, but I prefer it with the belt. It kind of reminds me of kimonos – might be the boxy sleeves even though kimonos have fuller ones. Anyways, lovely and it suits you. Every time I see your posts I think I should sew something for myself again – just not brave being the shape I don’t want to be and hoping I’ll look different next year then thinking that maybe any hard work put into sewing something this year means it might not fit next …. At the moment just sticking to craft projects and collating patterns for clothes!

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    1. Oh Tina, you SHOULD sew for yourself! You deserve to look and feel good, even if your body isn’t you personal ideal right now. Sewing definitely helps me have a healthier relationship with my body, which then in turn makes me happier exercising and more likely to cook well! 🙂 You deserve it!

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    1. The print mixing was my attempt to make the pattern more Gamine-ish for myself! And I do like the dress better as a result. 🙂

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  3. I love the print mixing! These colours are great on you. I think the dress looks good with or without the belt, so wear whatever you feel most comfortable in. I’ve recently bought this pattern and I’m appreciating your warnings, as I am only 5’3”, but you’re inspiring me to go ahead with it. Good luck with your negotiations.

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  4. I do love a boxy shift dress, and have this pattern, but have been waiting for me of them on people my height – just like you! Thanks for the tips on the length and proportions. I might try sewing the top before I go for the dress and just see how it works on me.

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  5. First of all the pic with Jamie is Adorable! The fabrics look fabulous and it works on you! I haven’t go this pattern yet. I do love it though! Go RED!

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  6. Yes, a beautiful dress! I like without belt but maybe slimmer sleeves would help look less boxy? Love it! Cutie husbands always make it look better 🙂

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  7. Ohh I love the windowpane/floral combo! It’s modern meets classic. Good luck with the contract negotiations! Red…the blood of angry men…or, um, the dresses of teachers. :}

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