Years ago when I first started this blog, I was searching for a perfect-fit shift dress. I made a few versions (not even going to link to them) from several different big 4 patterns which I wore for a while. Then I found Colette's Laurel and made five versions (two tops, three dresses) because I liked it so much and I thought it fit so well. While it did fit better than my first attempts at shift dresses, looking back, I've realized the fit isn't great.
Most importantly, though, I've realized that this type of shift dress with minimal shaping achieved through bust darts and back fisheye darts only just isn't a style that I love to wear. I almost always throw on a cardigan because I feel self-conscious in this type of shift--the column shape doesn't do anything to flatter my assets (small waist, long legs) and can emphasize my slouching, besides being tricky to fit around my small bust and larger hips (a 14"-ish difference).
Then when I pulled out a (very) old dress for my bridal shower (a symptom of having "nothing to wear") I realized that I had had a great shift dress all along. One of the very first things I made was a blue wool version of Simplicity 7737, a 1968 A-line dress with both bust and french darts and back shoulder and fisheye darts. I made this dress in maybe 2009(?) before I knew anything about fit (and barely anything about sewing) and although there were a lot of problems with it (a very visible invisible zipper, a tragic sleeve setting), it fit really well. I unpicked and resewed the zipper and fixed the most egregious puckers on the sleeves and, although it is far from perfect, I wore it to my bridal shower feeling great.
Anyway, this is that dress, in advance of a new version, which I will share soon. (You'll notice this one looks nearly identical to version 3. My proclivity towards copying the envelope goes way back.)
Obviously, this dress is imperfect, but for something I made five or more years ago, it looks pretty good, don't you think? Anyway, I was always taught to Strive for Excellence, not perfection.
ps: shop this look! (fairy woods background not included.)
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