Shelby Dress

Hello! I’m here today with my tester version of the newest pattern from True Bias. Shelby is a 90s inspired dress or romper that comes in an above the knee length or an above the ankle version. As you can see, I chose the above the knee length.

The dress features princess seams and is paneled similarly to the Yari jumpsuit. It has a v-neck, back waist ties, and a button front. There are two sleeve options, short and cap sleeves.

Let’s talk about the 90s. I graduated high school in 1991 and I graduated college in 1995. I started working at Gap in 1991, while I was in college in Chicago.

I worked at Gap until 1998 and that is where my deep appreciation of alternative rock music started and also when my love for Doc Martens started. (This is also the time that my deep, abiding love for overalls started. #sewbibs)

I had at least 5 different pairs of Docs during that time and all but 1 are long gone. I bought these boots on a trip to London with my mom and sister when I was in college. I hung on to them for all these years and let me tell you how happy I was to have them when it came time to take the photos for the Shelby dress.

I’m pretty sure that I wore some iteration of this dress/boots combo back in the 90s, while I was listening to Smashing Pumpkins. I definitely I had a denim shirt tied around my waist, though. (Why didn’t I think of that before we took these photos?)

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure the black boots work all that well with the navy, tropical floral print. I don’t love black and navy together, but I just had to wear the boots with the 90s inspired dress for the photos and I think they look pretty cute together. I’ll probably be wearing my sandals with this dress the majority of the time.

Since I made this dress, I’ve started seeing this silhouette more and more in ready to wear. I mean, Lady Gaga is totally wearing one here, right? I wonder where I could get some of that fabric??

I need something with a black background to make the longer version of the dress to actually wear around with my Doc boots. I was thinking a small scale floral would be cool, but maybe big pears are the answer.

Anyway, back to the dress. I really loved sewing this dress. The panels are such a great touch and I just love the flare that they give to the skirt. It twirls really nicely!

I made a size 10 graded out to a 16 at the hips. I raised the v-neck by one inch, just based on personal preference. I did a 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment and a 1″ full biceps adjustment on the sleeve. (My sleeves are the short sleeves.)

The only thing I regret is not lengthening the dress. I am 5’7.5″ tall and I think the pattern is drafted for someone who is 5’5″. The skirt is a bit shorter than my preference but it won’t stop me from wearing it. Next time I’d probably add 1.5″ to the skirt length.

This fabric is a rayon challis from Indiesew. It’s a heavier weight challis than I’ve used before and it was a literal dream to sew. I was inspired by this Bonn dress that Tori made when I ordered the fabric. (I even ordered the same buttons that Tori used for her dress!)

Since then, Allie from Indiesew made the Closet Case Fiona dress in the same fabric and it’s gorgeous. If you like this print I’d highly recommend you order some of this fabric when it’s back in stock at Indiesew. (Not an ad or affiliate link– I just love to recommend great fabric!)

The Shelby dress is going to be so much fun to wear this Summer. It’s swingy, breezy, and fun. I’m going to love wearing it while I listen to Radiohead (still one of my absolute favorite bands) on Spotify.




10 thoughts on “Shelby Dress

    1. Thank you, Jeanette! I am sure I will enjoy wearing this dress over the Summer. It’s finally starting to get warmer here after what seems like the longest Winter ever. So glad I will be able to wear my dresses without all the layers soon.


  1. You look so good in this dress!! First of all, do you know how jealous my 90s self would have been of you working at the Gap!? 😀 Secondly, Telio has a lemon print rayon challis that could definitely give you that vibe. 😉


    1. Thank you, Heidi! I have my eye on that fabric and will probably end up buying it soon– it’s so fun and definitely close enough to the pear print for me!


  2. Hello, I’ve stumbled on your post as I’m about to make my first Shelby. I’m also taller than the 5”5 the pattern is drafted for and I’m hoping to lengthen closer to the knee. I hope you don’t mind me asking your advice but when you say you would lengthen in future, would you simply add to the bottom of the skirt rather than through the waist? I’m beginner/intermediate at following patterns but not confident with making my own adjustments!


    1. Hi Jess! I think that the waist was actually hitting me in a good spot so I think I’d just lengthen at the hem for me next one. Sometimes I do have to lengthen the bodice but this dress just seemed short through the skirt on me. I hope that helps!


      1. That’s really helpful thank you. My top half seems to line up quite well with the pattern so lengthening from the hem sounds like a good way to do it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s