One Pattern; Four Bodies: The Wiksten Shift

At the end of last year, we did this fun post where we showed the same fabric in different patterns and on different bodies. We had every intention of making it a regular series, and being this is the second post only a year later, I’d call that success!

All sarcasm aside, being that our lives & styles are fairly different, I think sometimes we have more fun discussing what we don’t agree on than finally agreeing on a pattern or fabric to make. This year I suggested something popular: the loose boxy shirt/dress and we landed on the Wiksten Dress/Top pattern. Below find each of our separate opinions on the pattern, wearing it, our sizes, the fabric used, and if we’d make it again.


Becky:

I made the top in a viscose/linen noil and with matching pants to create a faux jumpsuit, but also to be able to easily mix into the rest of my wardrobe. There’s a full view of the capsule wardrobe here. I made the top in a size 6, omitted the pockets, and no other pattern alterations. Instead of hemming the neck facing I serged the edge and just sewed it down #teamlazy.

I’m just under 5’9” or 175cm, and my current measurements are: Bust: ~37” or 94cm; Waist: 28” or 71cm; Hip: 39” or 99cm. I’m currently preferring a 34C cup but I fluctuate to a 34D and up to an inch added to each of the above measurements with my weight generally at 150, fluctuating 5 pounds in either direction. From shoulder seam at neck to hem on my size 6, I measure the top at about 22” or almost 56cm in length, as you can’t see because I wear it tucked in.

cream linen boxy top hanging on a hanger on a French door
Becky’s mom’s linen Wiksten Shift Top

Not pictured on a human, but I also made my mother a size 6, although she’s 2 inches shorter than me, smaller in general and an A cup. Hers is in linen, has the pockets, and the hem is the raw selvedge edge. It was for a vacation she was taking to the North Carolina coastline, so I wanted her to have a breezy beach top.

Point is, it’s a versatile pattern and the boxy-thing is great for keeping fit more of a vague concept than a strict tailoring job. It only takes about an hour to sew up, so I’ll likely make it again. I have a small collection of various boxy patterns and I really find them fun makes, easy to wear, and now that it’s cold in the Northern hemisphere I find myself layering them over my merino turtlenecks. Cons: it tops out at size 22. Wiksten lost her on-staff grader, so I’m not sure where that expansion lies at the moment, but hopefully we’ll see more in the future.


Gillian:

A plus-size blonde shows the front, back and unbelted version of a shift dress.

Voila! My take on a Wiksten shift dress, sewn in a knit! I used polyester crepe double knits (Liverpool, to be precise) and sewed a size 20. I’m about 44″ bust, 39″ waist, 50″ hips, for reference. I had to remove the gathers below the yoke at centre back because I didn’t have enough fabric, and I think that was a good choice for this mid-weight fabric.

One thing worth noting: Wiksten patterns seem to be designed for the very tall! The model on the pattern cover is 5’11” and I’m 5’2″, so the midi length went down to my toes. This is the shortest version, which hits me at the knee, instead of well above.

A plus-size blonde shows the front, belted version of a shift dress.

I blogged about this dress back in early October, and at the time I thought I’d give it away… but turns out I’ve worn it quite a bit, with and without the belt! It’s always nice to be surprised, isn’t it?

The knit version was actually my muslin for a linen-rayon noil version, using all sorts of sentimental scraps from other projects:

plus sized blonde and her standard-sized mother modeling the same-sized shift shirt

This is the size 20 shirt, with the length as drafted. I made it, felt cute, and wore it to my mom’s house… only to make her try it on and decide it was more her style! She is perhaps a size 12 or 14, so I was impressed that it looked good on us both. Perfect if you are sewing a gift and don’t want to worry too much about fit!

Chloe:

I also used viscose / linen noil (it was kind of part of the challenge for us to use a similar fabric too) which was this amazing floral pink / orange thing from Tessuti fabrics.

I am not a lover of print on me, but persist in trying to find “the one”, because I love print on other people all the time.

I cut a 20, but went somewhere between the short dress and the top length, omitting the pockets. I also ended up with a high-low hem because it just went there and I liked it!

Overall the pattern was easy and the cut / fit is good, though am not sure how much this will be worn. It’s halfway between special (because of the fabric) and super casual / easy (because of the cut). As a result, I feel like it ends up being neither and just slightly awkward. I will wear it a bit and see how it feels…

Regardless of the success of this version, I actually love this pattern. Just scrolling through our various efforts made me marvel at the different options, how well it suited our very various body types and how different fabrics made for a very different effect!


How do you feel about ultra trendy patterns that seem to cross the world on fire? Do you get FOMO and have to sew them? There’s a lot of boxy top pattern options as well. Are you in the “love them all” camp, “only need one, thanks” camp, or maybe the “can high-volume just stahp” camp? Is there another pattern or fabric you’d like to see on a variety of bodies? We’d love to help out!


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