{Pattern Review} Jennifer Lauren Handmade: Afternoon Shift Dress

Confession: Life has been a bit rough lately. I haven’t sewn as much as I like to.  I’ve certainly not been blogging the stuff I have sewn.  Hopefully things will settle down a bit and I will get back on track.  Starting with this lovely make from last month.


I sewed up the Afternoon Shift Dress from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.  According to Jen’s website, she designs “fun modern sewing patterns that give a nod to classic vintage attire, with beautiful detail and clean drafting for a gorgeous fit. Built on form-flattering basics and using classic lines…”  I would have to agree now that I’ve made one of her patterns!

A bit about my version: I sewed the dress (there is also a blouse version), using a soft designer flannel.  I chose my size based on my bust and was in between a 14 and a 16, but closer to a 14 so I went with that size. My waist and hips fell in that size as well. There are two options for the front detail – an angled, pointy version and the curved version I went with. One could certainly pick a smaller button or one that was more monochromatic, but I liked the retro feeling of this oversize wooden button on the kimono sleeve dress. I also opted for the pockets because why the heck would I not???!!

Now, on to the review:

  1. Fit– Fit was good for me.  I feel like my photos show a bit of lines around my bust, but I don’t really see those when I look straight on in the mirror – must have been my stance for the photos!  I did not make any changes at all when I sewed up this version and I’m not sure I’d need to make any fit adjustments the next go round. I’m very pleased with how it fits.
  2. Construction– The pattern came together nicely.  Everything matched up and was clearly labeled. I did not love the method for hemming the sleeves prior to sewing up the side seams as I felt like it did cause some weird pulling under the arms. I also might add understitching for the neckline facing.  I like the softer look of not topstitching, but I feel like the facing is still flipping out a bit, even after ironing.
  3. Instructions– The instructions made sense and were easy to follow.  There were a few tricky spots, but were labeled clearly in the instructions to provide extra care in those steps.
  4. Pattern Printing– I printed the PDF pattern at home on my home printer.  It printed out well and everything lined up nicely. Though there are not layers on this patter, the sizes were labeled clearly on the pages and it was easy to follow the print chart to print only the version/options I wanted.
  5. Any other thoughts? I did not notice the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern, though it was mentioned in the instructions – it could be that I missed it, but I plan to reach out to the designer to double check.

Overall, as I said, I’m very pleased with this.  It’s easy and comfortable and finished very well.  I know I will be layering this flannel version through fall, winter, and spring, and will certainly be adding more Afternoon Shifts to my wardrobe.

Find the pattern here: Afternoon Shift Dress and Blouse

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