Akram's Ideas
Quick review of my 60’s shift dress made with a vintage floral fabric and vintage reproduction simplicity 1609 pattern.

60’s Shift Dress – Simplicity 1609

If you’ve seen my sewing videos you’ve gotten a glimpse of my ever growing fabric stash. It’s big, I have a lot of fabric.

Because of my accumulation of fabric, my darling husband jokingly said I couldn’t get any more fabric until I used what I have. The very next day I came across this beautiful vintage floral pink fabric and had to have it.

So, I told him that this fabric would not go in my stash, that I would use it my next project that weekend. He was skeptical, but I did it!

Simplicity 1609

The fabric had a very late 50’s / 60’s feel to it and I didn’t have a whole lot of it either. So, I decided to go with a basic shift dress. I’d been wanting to sew a shift dress for sometime, I even had Simplicity 1609 pattern in my stash.

Akram's Ideas: 60's Shift Dress - Simplicity 1609
Simplicity 1609 is a great jiffy shift dress

Jiffy Pattern

Simplicity 1609 is a reproduction of a vintage 1960’s style shift dress. It has a clean a-line silhouette , bust darts and a back zipper. Best of all this was a Jiffy pattern.

I love Jiffy patterns as they are usually made up of about 3 main pattern pieces, in this case 2. So, the whole dress was sewn together in no time.

Posing in my Simplicity 1609 shift dress
I love the vintage print of this fabric

While the pattern had several collar options, I decided I wanted the highlight the print on the fabric, so I opted for no collar.

I also wasn’t sure how the front seam would look on my fabric, so I choose to cut the front on the fold eliminating the front seam all together.

Simplicity 1609 is a prefect summer dress
It is the prefect summer dress

Piping Facing

Since I had limited fabric I forgoed the facing and used a piping facing instead. The idea came about after seeing a post on Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing. I knew she had done a post about Simplicity 1609 pattern, then while surfing through her site I came across a post for using piping as facing.

I decided that piping could take this simple shift dress and really make it pop. My hubby also liked the idea and suggested I use a contrasting teal color for the piping to pull from the flowers on the fabric and give it even more of a pop.

Akram's Ideas: 60's Shift Dress - Simplicity 1609 complementary piping
Close up of the complementary piping on the neckline and armhole.

The piping facing works similar to the bias tape facing (which I recently did a video about), which a few minor differences.

Other Changes

On Gertie’s Blog she makes note that the dress is a little snug, so I opted to sew the seams at a ½ inch instead of the standard ⅝ inch, and this seemed to work perfectly.

Since I have big arms, I also graded the arm cycles. I starting with my shoulder size at the top and grading to a size larger as it came down. This seemed to do the trick.

I wish I had french seamed the inside but I wanted to baste stitch my seams first to make sure the ½ inch seam allowance was going to be enough. Also, I was kind of lazy and wanted to wear it the following Monday. Thus, the insides are just finished with pinking shears.

Mod Style

I really like the look of this dress, and while I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of pink I always seem to look good in it.

I love how the teal piping pops and while the colors are pastel they still have a mod like style to them.

Posing in my Simplicity 1609 shift dress
Posing in my Simplicity 1609 shift dress

I have a weep bit of fabric leftover so I’m thinking about making a clutch or a headscarf with it, not sure yet.

The only downside to this dress is that the fabric is cotton and it wrinkles like crazy. Overall, though I’m really happy with the look and style.

60's beehive and sun glasses
I’ve been leaning to a 60’s look as of late.

It also seems I’m kind of on a 1960’s mod style theme recently. The dress I made in April was also a 1960’s pattern and so was my new fave blouse Simplicity 1364 pattern, yes another 1960’s reproduction pattern.

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Quick review of my 60’s shift dress made with a vintage floral fabric and vintage reproduction simplicity 1609 pattern.


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  • Super fun look! There’s something about the summer that always puts me in the mood for sixties (and seventies – actually, especially seventies this year) fashions. I think it’s the (often) carefree, vibrant nature of such which matches the same vibes of this season.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

    • I totally agree, the 60’s and 70’s are a “carefree” as you say, making it easier to wear in the heat of the summer when you don’t really want any clothes melting on your skin 😉 I say this knowing that our 100+ degree days are coming soon.

  • This is positively adorable. I’ve been trying to make shift dresses for years but my bust darts always come out so pointy. How did you get yours to curve softly like that?

    • Thank you Sonia for the lovely comment. I how did I get a soft curve, I’m not sure. It maybe because I had to adjust the pattern slightly for a C-cup and perhaps the extra fabric gave it more of a soft curve at the bust. Could also be that your darts go in up to far into the bust point, making them pointy. Perhaps shorten the distance of the dart might give a less pointy look. Those would be my first suggestions anyways. I might have a better solution if I saw a picture of your dilemma. Anyways, I hope this helped a little anyways.

Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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