Loading... Please wait...

Blog - The Fabric Fox Creatives

Summer Shift Dress by Claire Eggleton

Posted by

The Fabric Fox Creatives is our way of collaborating and sharing the work of talented, crafty writers. Every few weeks we will share a guest blog from someone who has made something using our range of fabrics. Claire wanted to make a new shift dress for the summer and she has chosen the perfect tropical print to make it in!


One of the most satisfying parts of sewing your own clothes is when a fabric and a pattern find each other and work in unison. I was searching for the perfect fabric to make a replacement for my beloved ready to wear shift dress which has seen better days.

I knew that I wanted to replicate the dress as much as possible and found myself drawn to cottons with larger floral prints and was favouring purple and blue hues. Browsing The Fabric Fox offerings, I came across the lovely Sunset print which is part of the Rio collection from Alexander Henry fabrics and I knew I had found a match.

Sunset is a very difficult colour to capture on camera. I had originally thought it was a deep blue but it is actually a wonderfully deep purple. The tropical palm leaves are black and they repeat every 24 inches. The large areas of thin leaves means you don't have to worry about pattern matching - the seams just merge together - which makes using the print super easy. This shift features long French darts at the front and back. Additional shaping at the back provided by a couple of extra diagonal darts which feed into the French ones. I love that these are almost invisible amongst the leaves.

I traced the original dress to get the sizing. The French darts were easy to include but I couldn't work out how to include the diagonal back ones so added them once the dress was made. On closer inspection of the original, it is possible that the longer darts are actually seams with the diagonal darts included as part of the pattern but I'm still not sure. I made a change at the front and left out the bust darts.

The dress is very simple to construct. After stitching the darts, it is essentially the side and shoulder seams, a zip and hemming. The sleeves and neckline are finished with a fun daisy print bias tape - I do love a surprise party on the inside of an item! I inserted a lapped zip instead of the more expected invisible zip because, amazingly, in a drawer full of zips I couldn't find a single invisible one. I think I like the effect of the lapped zip over the original design.

I would make a couple of tweaks if I made another version. I think a small sway back or an adjustment to the back darts are needed to smooth out the crinkles at the back. I would also probably line the dress so it crosses seasons. The few extra centimetres I added to the length makes it more comfortable to wear in more formal settings. Having said that, I'm very pleased with how this dress came out. The fit is close but not restrictive and the purple is perfect for the warm summer days we've been enjoying.


Visit Claire's blog I Want To Be A Turtle where she explores the world of sewing. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for all the latest on her sewing adventures.

View Comments


Geometric Cambie Dress by Victoria Maus

The Fabric Fox Creatives is our way of collaborating and sharing the work of talented, crafty writers. Every few weeks we will share a guest blog from someone who has made something using our range of fabrics. Victoria Maus is back with a geometric Cambie dress. She used this striking fabric from the Lagoon collection by [...]

Read More »


Meet The Creative: Q&A With Joanna Clark from Today We Craft

Joanna Clark has written a tutorial on how to make a bowl cosy using some fabric from the Flock collection by Dashwood Studio. You can also find a video version of her bowl cosy tutorial on her YouTube channel.Here's your chance to get to know Joanna a little better - Here's a brief Q&A we did [...]

Read More »


Bowl Cosy Tutorial by Today We Craft

The Fabric Fox Creatives is our way of collaborating and sharing the work of talented, crafty writers. Every few weeks we will share a guest blog from someone who has made something using our range of fabrics. Joanna Clark from Today We Craft has made a bowl cosy using fabric from the Flock collection by Dashwood [...]

Read More »


Freya Dress Review by Harriet Johnson

The Fabric Fox Creatives is our way of collaborating and sharing the work of talented, crafty writers. Every few weeks we will share a guest blog from someone who has made something using our range of fabrics. Harriet wanted to review the Freya dress from Tilly and The Buttons' new book Stretch! Make Yourself Comfortable [...]

Read More »


Meet The Creative: Q&A With Atia

Atia made her daughter a wonderful summer dress using fabric from the Flutter collection by Cotton + Steel. You can read all about it on the guest blog she wrote for us.Here's your chance to get to know Atia a little better - Here's a brief Q&A we did with her.My name is Atia, I’m from [...]

Read More »


Girl's Summer Dress by Atia

The Fabric Fox Creatives is our way of collaborating and sharing the work of talented, crafty writers. Every few weeks we will share a guest blog from someone who has made something using our range of fabrics. Atia from The Bright Blooms has used fabric from Cotton + Steel's new Flutter collection to make her daughter the [...]

Read More »


Meet The Creative: Q&A With Louise Orth

We sent Lou some fabric from the Pigment range by Cotton and Steel and she made this beautiful Wiksten tank dress out of it!Here's your chance to get to know Lou a little better - Here's a brief Q&A we did with her. Hi, my name is Lou. I live in Oxfordshire in the UK. My days are [...]

Read More »


Wiksten Tank Dress by Louise Orth

The Fabric Fox Creatives is our way of collaborating and sharing the work of talented, crafty writers. Every few weeks we will share a guest blog from someone who has made something using our range of fabrics. The Pigment range by Cotton + Steel have a beautiful watercolour-inspired gradient and Louise Orth shows it off in [...]

Read More »


Meet The Creative: Q&A With Anna from Lets Get Sewing

We sent Anna some fabric from the Dreamer collection by Windham Fabrics so she could make a pair of Marigold trousers. You can read all about it in this week's Fabric Fox Creatives feature.Here's your chance to get to know Anna a little better - Here's a brief Q&A we did with her.Hello! I’m Anna, a 15 [...]

Read More »



Sign up to our newsletter

Recent Updates