Fearless – 1960s shift

This a typical 60’s style and the instructions are for a short women with a small bust. But this is pattern making from scratch and I haven’t done this before – fearless.

So my aim was to ‘make this work’ for me. I can work in cms or inches so I worked in inches and that was ok. I do have a copy of a metric pattern making book but I’ll use that another time. When it comes to research, I do just enough research to get me into and through a project.
So you saw these fabrics that I intended to use. Then I spied a second-hand cafe curtain remnant that I bought from St Vinnies that was more Enid (60’s) appropriate. The only pattern matching I tried was from the waist line to the hem. I love the front bust dart that goes to the hem and the effect it had on the lacework.
Front view
Back v-neck view

The large lace design is prominent at centre front but is minimised along the dart that goes from the bust to the hem.

Fitting changes:
The dress was at least 2″ too wide – fixed.
The front bust dart was 2″ too low – fixed.
More fitting changes:
On the pattern, the side bust darts need a bit more (2cm) taken out. The shoulder seam also needs to be shortened because the dress looks like it has a cap sleeve, which I don’t mind but wasn’t in Enid’s original pattern.
I’ll have to wear this dress at Love Vintage in March to get some styling feedback. There are sure to be some people there who are taking part in 1940’s Sew for victory.
Thanks again TJ for passing Enid over to me.


  1. Hi Maria, the shift dress is absolutely beautiful, and the second hand lace (what a wonderful idea) is reminiscent of the laces worn in the 60's (special dresses often had guipure lace which is so expensive – so your find was a brilliantly parsimonious solution). The dress suits you very nicely.


  2. I wonder if you were back there you would enjou the fashions as much as you do now. You are in your element in that dress, totally fearless!!


  3. the dress looks fabulous on you, all those fitting changes were well worth it. And you can never go wrong with red shoes – they are perfect with almost everything!


  4. You've done such a good job. Great fabric choice. I have been given an Enid Gilchrist book for children's clothes, but haven't made a thing out of it. I'm too daunted by drawing up the pattern. I'd never attempt your dress. Great Fearless Feb sewing!


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