Fern Frond Dress | Ottobre 05/2015 no. 10 Shift Dress

Wanting a super quick and easy make, I chose this should've been, could've been, would've been oh-so-easy unlined shift dress pattern I've made before......
.....and only after all the seams were sewn and serged.... including the pockets and the zipper.....
..... in the glorious bliss of trying it on for the first time just 'knowing' it would be perfect....
...it became quite clear that the fabric clung to my underthings in the most unflattering way. *sigh*  It is now a fully lined easy/breezy shift dress and actually a much nicer dress.  Guess things happen for a reason?!
 You might remember the floral version made last year.   Unlined.  No problem.  Quick 'n easy.  *sigh*
Ottobre 05/2015 no. 10 Shift Dress pattern.  I wanted this one to be smaller everywhere, but only by a smidgen, so using the same pattern pieces I'd added a 3/8" seam allowance to, I simply sewed using a 5/8" seam allowance.  And then lined..... fully lined because of the clinginess.  Truth-be-known it was so clingy in such an unsatisfactory way, it was completely unwearable unlined.
Using @1 1/3 yard +/- of fabric, this was made from a linen/cotton blend recently picked up at the local wholesale textile outlet that is only open to the public once a month.  Completely fell in love with this fabric!  The first time wearing this dress, both my husband and daughter, independent of each other, told me how great these colors looked on.  That was really nice.  By the way, very happy with the invisible zipper insertion and sewed a 2" bottom hem, machine stitched with the blind-hem stitch, as I wanted this dress a little shorter than the previous version.
Added in seam pockets and this time moved them up a little.  Could probably still move them up a little more if I make this dress again.  Because of bulk, I used the silky satin polyester lining fabric for the front of the pocket bag.   I like to understitch my pocket bags.  At the time I was still thinking this dress would be unlined. *sigh*
Ottobre usually includes some sort of dart around the neck/shoulder area.  This one is in the shoulder seam.
A lining shot of the silky satin polyester purchased recently at Hobby Lobby.  Because the dress was already completed, and because I so did not want to unpick every.single sewn and serged seam, I was very grateful to find a tutorial by Colette online of how to sew a lining to a sleeveless dress at this point of construction.  It was one great big pain, but was able to complete the seams satisfactorily enough.  No understitching there because of the order of construction, but was able to understitch the neckline seam.  It seems to roll a little on the dressform, but not so much when wearing.
Inside out looks kind of blah, but oh my goodness how luxurious this feels on!!  Heavenly!!  It may be that all my dresses from now on should be lined as there is a HUGE difference on how it feels to wear and how the dress lays on the body.  My lining fabric was super slippery and by this time I was so over paying a lot of attention to all the little details, that I got it a little crooked down the back center seam.  That's okay.  No one knows but me..... and you.  ;)  Slowly but surely the perfectionist syndrome is being overcome.  :)
So this may not technically be a 'flower', but fern fronds fall in the flora category right?!  This dress was completed 5.29.2018 and is my Make a Garment a Month May 2018 Challenge project.
I've already been wearing this dress and you would've seen it in my Me-Made-May 2018 post paired with the Ottobre Silk Jacket, but today it was worn to church this way..... with the Yoshiko Tsukiori Jacket.
These shift dresses are easy to dress up or dress down and though the silhouette might not always be the more form-fitting flattering, it is nice to wear an easy/breezy dress during the summertime.  Lined or unlined.
And years ago, my husband planted a 'Secret Garden' of ferns and bracken under the front stairs, so I could not help but share a quickly snapped photo of how they are growing through the latticework he built.  These were simply transplanted from other places on our property and are quite varied.  My dress reminds me of his lovely plantings. 
Got a few more things to catch up with on ye olde blog, but for now...
Happy Sewing All!  :)


  1. I love ferns, and the fabric you have used is really lovely. It's a shame you had to line it but it is worth it.

    1. It's interesting how the lining changed the whole idea for a 'casual' shift dress to a more 'nice' shift dress. Trying to get over that and simply enjoy wearing it. Thank you so much! :)

  2. They are right, those colours do look lovely on you :) the print is gorgeous and the dress very flattering! :) I'm glad you could save it by lining it :)

  3. I think those colours look amazing on you too! am I right in remembering that you wrote post once saying that you had auburn hair, and are an autumn? I love the dress and agree that it's very very you :)

    1. You've got a great memory Carolyn! Once upon a time I used to be an auburn brunette and an autumn. Now that I'm grey sometimes I'm not sure what I am anymore on the color wheel! Thank you so very much!! :)

  4. I love this dress! And it still looks casual and comfortable, like you’re ready for a nice outdoor barbecue, even though the lining feels fancy. :) A beautiful job!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa