A Shelby Maxi Dress

I’ve been teasing this one for a while and you might have seen it in action over on my YouTube channel… it is the Shelby dress by True Bias Patterns.

I made it in a beautiful red viscose crepe which I bought from Sew Me Sunshine back in April and I had no real idea what I wanted to make with it. It’s a lovely orangey red with flecks of royal blue and yellow amongst the white flowers.

I think it was after watching episode one of the sewing bee 2020 that I thought it work well as a maxi dress, I loved the style of dress that Liz had made. Which I think was the Huges dress.. but I’m not entirely sure.

After some investigation I decided that the Shelby dress would be ideal for me. I liked the princess seams, v-neckline and built in ties at the back. I also liked that the pattern has the option to be made into a romper.

I made a full length dress with capped sleeves. The dress has a good amount of ease and is quite loose fitting. My measurements when making the dress are B36 W31 H41.5 so I graded across sizes B8 W10 H12 which was quite simple to do.

I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough fabric as the requirements for the pattern stated 4.1m of 54″ wide fabric. I only had 3m, and at the time Harriet had sold out.

Thankfully with a lot of pattern tetris, cutting the sleeves on the lengthwise and cutting the back panels upside down I just managed it. Be mindful if you have a pattern which is one was you will need a bit more fabric.

The construction of the dress was very straightforward and the instructions were clear. The thing that took me the longest amount of time was making the self covered buttons, sewing buttons and levelling off the hem…. I think I let this hang for a week before hemming it.

Keep an eye out for a video demonstrating how to cover buttons soon.

I’ve taken a while to share it because I’ve been too busy living in it. It’s been washed and worn lots of times already and I really like it. I’ve reached for it on a number of occasions already and it is great at keeping me feeling cool when it’s hot but providing a good coverage when it’s cool. I can see this dress beckoning a wardrobe hero on the transition to autumn.

The fabric has held up well, which is surprising to me as I have other garments made from a viscose crepe which have terrible pulls. I think the micro tex needles are worth their weight in gold.

Some of the photos here were taken at the Eden Project in Cornwall and it was just glorious.

You can see the dress in action on my latest YouTube video here.

2 thoughts on “A Shelby Maxi Dress

  1. Oh I love it. I’m brand new to sewing and just bought too much cotton lawn planning on making a dress like this but not understanding drape. Your version of this dress is pretty much my ideal. I’ll have to work up to using a viscose crepe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think cotton lawn could work for this dress. Viscose can be tricky to learn how to handle, but you can start small and simple, something like an Ogden cami would be a good place to start with viscose.


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