A relationship with a dress 

Shift is a simple ladies’ shift dress meant to be sewn, cut and re-shaped into different styles. This technique could be applied to other garments. The designer has already imagined the many shapes the dress could take and printed them digitally onto the dress in a colour-coded map for the owner to follow. S/he chooses a dress style and then sews or cuts along the dotted lines to create it. Some of the designs are reversible, meaning they can be sewn and then un-sewn back into the original shape. Others are irreversible, i.e. cutting and dying create permanent changes. Whatever you choose, the dress can follow your changing desires. This adaptable dress might not last forever in your wardrobe, but it could live there longer than most.

The idea of altering garments is not new. It was a normal activity until the advent of the industrial garment industry. Clothing is an important form of communication and expression. We want our clothes to change as we change, which also means we can get bored with the contents of our closet.

But are there other ways to get a new style without discarding old clothes and buying new ones every month? What if our clothes were made to be altered: to be sewn, re-sewn, cut, dyed and formed into new shapes? What if they came with easy-to-follow instructions so that we could alter and change them ourselves? Could our fast-fashion society find the time to cherish and love our clothes?

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Material & Technique

Satin dress, printed at Tobex AB, Boras, Sweden.

Can we take advantage of newer clothing-design tools e.g. digital printing, 3D printing, laser cutting and knitting machines to bring back the idea of a garment with lasting power, one that can be altered as time changes?


  • Versatility
  • Personal design 
  • Impact