Embellish with Trim!

Greetings from the beautiful Wofford College campus! I grew up in a historic home on this campus where my father was Dean of Students, and both of my daughters are Wofford graduates.  I’m quite at home popping over for an occasional pic, and always enjoy seeing campus developments.IMG_0021
Right now the Colonnade of Wofford’s new Greek Village is calling my name. 
IMG_0003 3No, I wasn’t a sorority girl, but the classical architecture is a great setting for one of my favorite classics – the shift. I’ve sewn dozens of shifts and even though I vow to move on, I consistently return and sew yet another shift pattern. What is it about this classic style that I cannot resist?

To quote costume designer Edith Head.……… “A dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to prove you’re a lady.” 
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I was introduced to this Donna Karan vintage shift pattern Vogue 1809, by two lovely sewing friends Lucy, from My Love Affair with Sewing and Julie Starr, my partner in crime.


The lined bodice is shaped with French darts, but what truly attracted me to the pattern is the upper bodice which is cut in just enough to be summery and stylish.


The front and back are connected by 1 inch straps and best of all, I made no alterations to the pattern other than shortening the bodice by 1 inch.IMG_9434 2

My shift is inspired by the Lilly Pulitzer collection of white shifts trimmed in gold….Lilly shifts

….. a clear departure from the lively floral shifts she created to hide fruit stains while working at her family’s fruit stand!

The white embroidered cotton is a gift from my Aunt Maggie, one the most talented sewists on the planet. To create the trim I used a metallic rayon loop trim which is readily available in several colors. I’ve had mine a while and believe I ordered it from Etsy.

I placed a single strand of the trim in the center of the front bodice,IMG_9313

and stitched through the braided running thread with Coats and Clark Jungle Gold trilobal embroidery thread to secure it to the bodice.




To prevent the trim from rolling out, I stitched each loop to the one beside it together at the sides with three or four zigzag stitches.
This was tedious but thank goodness for the Creative Icon’s auto thread cut!

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So here it is…… a classic summer shift, perfect with sandals or heels, lined for comfort but cool enough for summer in the South, customized with trim and ready for a Fourth of July croquet match!

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Until soon😊

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