Let's start this post off by first defining a shift dress vs. sheath dress: Shift and sheath are oftentimes used interchangeably, but they are completely different. They are both uncomplicated dresses with hemlines falling somewhere near the knee. The difference is a shift tends to be less fitted around the waist and the hips. If it's a good draft, it will still have bust darts. Whereas a sheath is fitted because it either has front and back waist darts or is cut with princess seams.
I'm saying all of this to say, that this is the first thing I noticed about Vogue 8945. You should already know by now that I picked it because of these sleeves. BTW, I've made this before as a top.
I cut the size 12 from the top and graded to the 14 at the waist and hips. I lengthened the dress by 2 inches because I wanted it to fall above the knee, but I didn't want a mini dress.
The back of the dress has waist darts. And the front only has horizontal bust darts. So in my opinion, this dress wanted to be a shift in the front and sheath in the back. On my frame, this created a fit issue. I had A LOT of fabric pooling under the bust and above the hips. While the dress was somewhat fitted at the back, the excess fabric in the front created an almost blousing effect. Since I lean towards sheath dresses anyway, I took in the sides -- right below the armholes to the top of the hips.
With my fabric, this beautiful Baja Blue Stretch Poly-Rayon Crepe from Mood Fabrics.com, which unfortunately has sold out, these alterations worked out great. This stretch poly-rayon crepe looks like wool crepe, but it wears like a ponte with its crosswise stretch. I see why it went fast. Amazing stretch wovens don't last long.
The neckline is finished with a facing.
The insides are finished with serged, pressed open seams. And in lieu of a hook & eye, I used a rouleau loop and button.
The star of this design is the triple sleeve flounces. With my fabric, this makes my dress a little heavy. Heavy as in, I'm very much aware of the sleeves while wearing this.
Even though I absolutely love my fabric, I feel this dress would completely float into a room if done in a silk crepe. Who knows? Maybe the next version...