party-shift-blueparty-shift-drawingThe Bubble Sleeve Dress (FREE PATTERN JUST HERE) is everything I love in a dress. It’s loose fitting, finishes just above the knee AND has those 3/4 length sleeves that make it a bit special with their pretty bubble at the bottom. It is EASY to make and has no fastening to contend with.

This version here is made in a light weight silk in deep blues and purples. It hangs nicely (and I have lined it to stop it clinging to my lumps and bumps – although the lining part is not included in my pattern I’m afraid). 

mint-v2mint-v1It was inspired by some beautiful shift dresses I saw in Mint Velvet. This little navy feather number was one of them, with its sheer split back panel which looks comfortable AND glamorous – what more could you want? I also spied this cute burgundy dress with the bubble sleeves that I really wanted to replicate. Mine are a little longer, but essentially the same idea.

bubble-sleevePeople often ask me whether it is cheaper to make your own clothes or not. Well, my answer is that it used not to be. I made so many mistakes, tried too many over ambitious projects, didn’t really know what I was doing and wasted so much fabric that it was just a break-even kind of hobby. But as my skills have increased and I have found some fabulous suppliers of cheap fabrics, it has definitely swung to be a massive money saver. And where you save is on the posh dresses – the dresses that you would pay £50 – £500 for (depending on your budget!) If you can make them well, then it is a huge financial saving.  Although, to be totally honest I make far more clothes than I would probably buy, so… is that really a saving? Well if you look it as a form of entertainment AND a source of clothing, then yes. (There’s an article here from Love Money debating whether it really is cheaper or not…and a good thread from here from Reddit).

party-shift-blue-bubble-sleevefree sewing pattern shift dressI have gone on to adapt the original pattern, as I often do, into another version. This new one has a sheer back panel, a bit like the Mint Velvet dress, and does look completely different in this highly patterned fabric. Have a look at my separate post about the Bubble Sleeve Shift with Lace Back. It is pretty similar to this blue version but with a lace panel and some false buttons added at the back.