The grey wool off the shoulder dress

posted in: Finished projects | 29

I got some very nice feedback for my first off the shoulder dress, and provided some information about how I have developed the design. You may remember the toile for the off the shoulder princess line dress with an attached halter neck. And you may remember the turquoise bra you can clearly see underneath. Ahemm.

Pattern cutting drop shoulder dress
Self drafted drop shoulder/halter neck princess line dress – the toile

I wanted to try this initially as a knee length dress and had been thinking of using a nice silver grey double faced wool crepe I got at Simply Fabrics. Here is the cloth. I know it looks a bit grubby, has yellow writing on it, and a stapled label. It also had a big square sample cut out of it.  But as you can see it says Roland Mouret and I was happy to buy it for about £5 for around 1.2m. It is a thick warm fabric, with a definite depth to it. I cut it out with my new scissors and enjoyed the crisp snip. And then I sewed the long princess line seams.

What a joy this fabric is to work with! Lovely squishy, slightly stretchy high quality, soft wool. OK the colour is a little bland, but I think still elegant and capable of being a quiet background piece with snazzy shoes or jacket.

As it is a princess line it also easy to fit as the long seams allow a little nip and tuck as we go. Here are some of my hilarious self fitting pictures. The reality is different to the theory! I didn’t even zip it up properly before I started. Blush.


I finished it this weekend and wore it to go out to lunch.

I wish the hem was not so apparent despite the fact that I bound it and tried to press it carefully. This fabric is rather thick and appears to have creased a bit during its outing.  But overall I love the fit and shape of this dress on me. I can wear this to a formal dinner with decent hosiery, or for work with a jacket or cardigan. And don’t the flower baskets look nice, providing a bit of colour?

Off the shoulder halter dress
Off the shoulder halter dress

Because this dress is not a “proper” halter dress I do have to draft one for my college course. And I am a week behind due to our trip to Italy. So I am thinking of recreating this pattern – a YSL dress from 1969, described as a “One-Piece Evening Dress. Floor length gathered skirt attached to halter bodice gathered to neckband. Bodice criss-crossed low at sides” In terms of the technical drawing I think the first picture is of the side view, then back view, then front. What do you think?

29 Responses

  1. Linde

    I love this off the shoulder dress so much ,it is so chic and the curved shoulder lines are so flattering. The best yet.

  2. Joyce Latham

    I agree with Linde. This dress is screaming CHIC ! Classy and shopicicated…and phenomenal!
    The interesting collar is all you need to keep it out of snore-ville. The colour is lovely on you. This is a dress that makes you shine, without stealing the show. I see you, befour the dress ( and you are show cased perfectly). Fabulous fitting! Do you ever carry a handbag?
    Looking forward to the YSL.

  3. Stephanie

    Kate, the fit is wow! I am particularly envious as I tried a first princess line yesterday and am not getting a good fit through the middle yet. Lots of fun though so will keep trying. Enjoy this lovely dress! I look forward to seeing the YSL one. Ooh la la!

  4. Annnieloveslinen

    Wowsers Kate that’s perfect everything just works, the colour on my screen looks dove grey and it’s a great colour on you. I think you could carry off the YSL style very well, go for it, you’re on a roll.

  5. Anne

    I love your dress and the colour, which isn’t in the slightest bland. Would underlining the fabric have helped with the hem?

  6. Mags

    Yes, also love the grey dress, the simple well fitted lines with the interest of the neckline. I like the halter but it looks like it would show most bras at the side.

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