True Bias Shelby Dress ft. VERY Special Fabric!

by - 7/31/2020

This isn't your usual sewing pattern review. It's my first blog post featuring MY OWN FABRIC DESIGN! You heard it right, my very own fabric. If you follow me on Instagram (@whatabimakes or @craftypinupshop) you'll probably already know about it because it's all I've been talking about for months, but this is the first time I'm going to be sharing it on my little old blog. 

In the process of designing a fabric collection, I ordered samples to test how it sews etc, so I thought it would be cool to share my new fabric in the form of a new sewing pattern review! I've been wanting to make the True Bias Shelby dress for months now and I've been saving trying it for this fabric because I knew it was going to be a great pattern & fabric pairing. 

The 90s style, button up True Bias Shelby Dress pattern is one of the most popular indie sewing patterns out there right now. Seriously, just search the hashtag on Instagram... 

Here's a peek at the pattern:

I've made the short dress version of the pattern and I used exactly 2m of fabric. This is under the recommended amount of fabric, but as I was set on using my own fabric for this pattern I did my stealthiest cutting out ever. I ended up cutting the two front-side pattern pieces on the bias for minimal waste and I cut my facings out of a different fabric (as they're hidden on the inside, know one will ever know...). 

Let's have a moment for the fabric! I'll be going into it all in more detail over on my shop blog and perhaps I'll write a post here about designing it, but for now let me just cover the highlights:

Here's a look at my Crafty Pinup fabric designs:

My debut design 'In Bloom' comes in two beautiful colours: classic black with pink highlights (used in this post) and emerald green with added touches of sky blue. The fabric is a viscose poplin, made from renewable plant wood pulp. It's (in my opinion) the perfect, dressmaking fabric with a lovely drape and vibrancy. 

  • Designed by me & exclusive to Crafty Pinup
  • Made in the UK
  • Sustainably & ethically produced


Let's get into the sewing pattern review of Shelby. Shelby is a collarless button up style and the front and back sections are made up of 3 pieces each with simple t-shirt sleeves. As I said above, I cut my facings out of a different fabric (same weight) to be able to cut it out of my fabric. 

It's a simple pattern to sew and it was an enjoyable process. There's lots of long seam sewing for the panels and it all comes together really quickly. It features thin ties on the back sides to pull in the waist and I love that detail and it worked so well with my viscose. 

I'm really happy with the fit of my Shelby dress and wouldn't make any changes. I made no adjustments and it fits comfortably across my bust. Its worth mentioning, under 99% of my dresses (especially when they're viscose like this) I wear a black or nude slip underneath to combat any transparency. 

If I had more fabric I would have pinched the sleeves from the By Hand London Jenna Dress (and made the sleeve ties thinner) as I love those tie sleeves so much, but the simple t shirt sleeves suit this dress, maybe I just find them a little boring. I would also love this in a mid length but would definitely need more like 4m for that.

Sewing Summary:

Notions: small self covered buttons

Sewing time: A couple of hours to half a day

Modifications: None

Fit: Spot on!

Difficulty: Beginners & beyond

Watch out for: Getting a neat facing. Make sure to clip the curves and do lots of pressing as you go!

Make Again?: Yes, I've already got plans to make another very soon and can see myself hacking it a little for extra customisation.

I loved making the Shelby dress and didn't come across any hiccups and have a great fit on my final dress, so I'm sorry I don't have too much to say on it! It's a simple sew that works perfectly with my fabric and this dress will be great to wear across the seasons, I think this will look so good paired with my leather jacket and boots in a couple of months! 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my fabric in action too. I'm really proud of what I've made and have done so in a sustainable and ethical way and I really think I'm adding something of value to the sewing community and hope you'll love it too.

Some other blog posts from me you might want to check out:

Have you made the Shelby dress? Did you think it lived up to the hype?

Thanks for reading!
Abi xo

Disclaimer: contains affiliate links.

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  1. Your Shelby dress looks amazing! I love the pattern. And the fabric is just gorgeous!