Sewing Review - The Wiksten Shift Dress and Tee

Written by Caroline

We often get asked for the ideal pattern for a beginner sewist, and the Wiksten Shift Dress and Tee is an obvious choice for us to suggest. a white woman wearing an ivory coloured top with rust coloured linen pants against a corrugated iron back groundEmma made this store sample as it is a great top for a beginner sewer - quick and easy to make with clear instructions.  The loose fitting style of the top suits and fits many, so as a beginner sewer you can concentrate on the construction, and not so much the fit.  This also makes is a great project to gift! This sewing pattern suits a range of fabrics making it a great option for a casual t-shirt alternative in a fabric like double gauze or washed linen. Perfect for summer days.  Here we've used our Reveal Linen Viscose, in Ivory, which elevates the top making it suitable for the office or evening functions (depending on how you wish to style it).  

Pattern  -  Wiksten tee, sleeves, no pockets

Size - 10 (US sizing), 

For reference, Arna who is wearing the garment in the photos has a 92cm bust measurement. 

FabricReveal Linen Viscose, Ivory

Skill Level - Beginner

Maker - Emma

Skills Used - 

  • straight sewing 
  • french seams on all seams 
  • bias binding on neck edge 
  • sewing with slippery fabric (the Reveal Viscose Linen)

Review 

Emma was able to make this garment with 1.5m of the Reveal Linen Viscose. The fabric is 140cm wide and 1.5m of fabric allows for any pre-wash shrinkage, you will be able to include sleeves, pockets and a facing in that length. If you are making this pattern out of different fabric, please check the width of fabric before deciding on the length. 

The pattern uses a facing to finish the neck, however for this version Emma chose to do a bias bound neck as she prefers the finish with this fabric. We would recommend doing this finish if you have a little bit of experience of sewing or have sewn this top before and are looking to have an alternative finish. If this is the first time sewing this pattern we recommend following the pattern instructions. 

The pattern states that interfacing is optional on the neck facing - however we recommend using interfacing on a neck facing to help stabilise the fabric bias on the curve of the neck (you do not need interfacing if you choose to use bias binding on the neck line).

Emma added 0.5cm to the shoulder, side and underarm seams so that she was able to sew a French Seam.  The seam allowances in the pattern instructions are in inches, but they do provide a Metric Conversion on the 'Notes' section in the pattern to help you out. 

To make the pattern even more versatile it has the option to sew it up as a dress, this includes using gathers, which is a great 'next step' if you are using the pattern as a ‘learn to sew’ base.  Sewing with Reveal Linen Viscose - This is a slippery fabric, so Emma did the following extra steps for a neat finish: 

  • Use lots of weights to help keep the pattern still when cutting out.  
  • Emma used shears to cut out - but if you have a rotary cutter, it will give more accuracy.
  • Use a pressing cloth, Emma sadly didn’t and managed to mark the fabric with a rust stain!!  Pale fabric is unforgiving, so next time she will definitely be using a pressing cloth and making sure the iron is clean!
  • Using lots of pins to keep things together is really helpful with slippery fabric. Our Entomology Pins are ultra fine and ideal for finer fabrics.
  • Taking the time to hand baste the bias binding before top stitching ensures a neat finish.  
wiksten shift top sewing pattern in ivory white linen viscose fabric at miss maude store

Other team makes of this sewing pattern include this beautiful sleeveless linen version by Arna, we have sold out of this particular colour-way but we do have a delicious range of checks and ginghams on the website for you to choose from.

We really hope you enjoy this pattern and can't wait to see your versions! 

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