No wardrobe is complete without a classic shift dress! The shift dress became popular in the 1960's after Audrey Hepburn's little black dress (designed by Hubert de Givenchy) featured in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The shift dress is a loose fitting, sleeveless dress that hangs from the shoulders, with only bust darts to give it shape. It often features a boat neckline and sits above the knee.
They are easy to make and even easier to wear. We also love how they are a blank canvas, with lots of options to make it suit your personal style. There are lots of patterns that give you options to personalise, and we've gathered some of our favourites so you can add this classic to your me-made wardrobe.
Pattern: Simplicity 1609.
This fabulous vintage pattern can be sewn in a jiffy with only two pattern pieces! It has all the classic shift dress features; it's sleeveless, has an a-line shape, bust darts and a boat neck line.
Pattern: New Look 6340.
This pattern is slightly more trapeze shaped and you can add short sleeves or make it sleeveless. The pattern also offers different necklines and waist ties to cinch it in at your waist. The big patch pockets are a lovely feature!
Pattern: Burda Style 6609.
This shift dress is slightly more fitted around the waist and hips. Next to the bust darts, the dress also has shaped double-ended back darts. Sew it sleeveless, with short sleeves or long sleeves.
Pattern: New Look 6263.
The neckline of this pattern is different from most other shift dress patterns, which gives the classic style a nice little twist. Sew it in a different colour or fabric to make it stand out even more!
Pattern: New Look 6145.
Add a lovely collar to your classic shift dress with this versatile pattern. It's an easy to sew pattern, and it gives you the option to sew it sleeveless, or add 3/4, short or pleated sleeves.
Pattern: Burda Young 7056.
Stitch it with a twist! Add fringes to the hem so you can dance the night away or make the maxi length version for a dinner date or a city trip! Next to different length options this pattern also comes with welt pockets.
Pattern: New Look 6125.
Sew your shift dress in a sequin fabric to make it extra fabulous! This pattern features the classic boat neck line, but it also includes a notched neckline and patch pockets.
Pattern: New Look 6500.
Make this classic cut shift dress in sleeveless or add 3/4 sleeves. The pattern works for thicker fabrics too, such as tweed or denim. Add a raw fringe edge to the patch pockets or neckline to make it fit your personal style!
Don't forget to share your latest makes with us on social media using the hashtags #simplicitybyme or #mccallsbyme. We can't wait to see what you've been making. There are prizes to be won each month too!