I recently made this dress as a shop sample for Fabric HQ. It's made using the Woven Essentials pattern by Alison Glass, and it's lovely!
I'm really annoyed with myself that I didn't take some photographs of the pattern packaging, because it's really great. The pattern actually comes in the form of a booklet and as well as instructions for a short sleeved shift dress, a long sleeved, gathered skirt dress, an A-line skirt and a tunic top, you also get fitting instructions and a section at the back with ideas for embellishments for your finished item, if that's your kind of thing. The pattern sheets are all in an envelope at the back of the booklet, and the booklet itself is printed on lovely thick paper. It's gorgeous!
These are the garments you can make from this pattern, as well as a knee length (or any length!) A-line skirt.
I made the basic short sleeved shift dress shown on the left in the above collage.
As I was making this for a shop sample (albeit in my size, so that I can wear it when they've finished with it), Fabric HQ kindly provided me with the pattern and fabric. They requested that I used Frou Frou fabric, which is a beautiful cotton lawn in various colourways and floral patterns. The colour choice was mine and although there are some lovely lighter summery colours, I chose this pretty navy design as I thought it would work year round.
As you can see, I used one of my favourite sewing techniques and piped the neckline, sleeve hems and also the waist seam. For this I used a package of Frou Frou bias tape in a pink colourway that coordinated really well with my main fabric. I just managed to squeeze all my piping out of one package of tape, but did have to cut the last bit in half lengthways to get enough for the sleeve hems.
The pattern is very good, the instructions are detailed enough for a beginner to use and the added fitting instructions and information is very useful.
At £23.00 the pattern isn't cheap, but then you do get what amounts to four or five different patterns in one once you've taken into account all the variations included. I'm sure you could probably come up with more variations as well, you could add short sleeves to the full skirted dress or long sleeves to the shift dress.
I'll definitely be making this pattern again, I can see the shift dress working well in a tweedy fabric for work or in lace for a Christmas party dress.
Watch this space on that last thought...