Learn How SIMPLE
Digital Patterns Really Are!

Sign Up to Receive
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Sewing Patterns eBook + a FREE Skirt Pattern!


The five new patterns featured in this article are simple yet elegant, chic and understated. They are perfect patterns for beginners, but experts could be equally inspired to embellish them further, like all of my examples featured within this article. Read on to see them all!

Mondrian (pictured above): Mondrian, an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement, has been quite an inspiration to fashion designers. The first to come up with a reinvention of his famous Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930, was Yves St. Laurent with collection of limited edition Mondrian pieces in 1965. If you want to make your own (like the DVF shift dress above) try sectioning off this basic shift dress pattern into geometric sections, add seam allowance, and multi-colored fabric!

Factory Girl: For beginners, this simple shift dress with inseam pockets would look great in solid leather, silk or cotton shirting— but take it a step further by cutting the pattern from gold lame or mesh like the Robert Rodriguez metallic dress above!

Hippy Chic: A simple shift dress w/ties can be completely transformed into something more texturally rich, like the Missoni dress above, by using a vibrant woven fabric. Accentuate the waist with a fun belt too!

Embellish It: A simple shift dress can be transformed into a See by Chloe look-alike by embellishing this shirt dress with patch pockets with beads, sequins and trim.

Pop: Make a Spring coat that pops with this simple template, by cutting the pattern out in a vibrant damask or jacquard. Make a matching dress (from one of the patterns above) in a complimentary color for an eye-popping ensemble.


  • Rainy1_large

    Mar 22, 2011, 02.50 AMby rainyh

    I LOVE these dresses, every one! Plan to make the Shirt Dress first, and then the Mondrovian dress next. Can’t wait for summer!

  • 41927516934728368902728_large

    Mar 12, 2011, 04.06 PMby Dibaj

    Fantastic ة_ة

  • Missing

    Mar 9, 2011, 01.31 PMby LadyPetite

  • Pixie_redux2_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 09.48 PMby dilshadburman

    Love this! I Really want to try out a colour block shift like that this summer!

  • Boum_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 08.57 PMby masty

    A lot of nice ideas! Can’t wait to try them!

  • Benalm_july_10_078_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 07.04 PMby SweenyBov

    all so simple,yet with a little imagination so effective. Love it

  • C360_2013-07-09-19-57-47-392-1_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 04.41 PMby popbabe7

    Mondrian look- one of my favourites!!!

  • Mzl_ljixuoxi_320x480-75_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 04.31 PMby FabricUiPhoneApp

    The mesh looks fresh and daring and expensive, but doesn’t need to be …a litle bit of mesh goes a long way.

  • Logo_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 10.09 AMby aniomatronika

    I like this ideas, thanks for posting!

    2 Replies
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Mar 8, 2011, 02.46 PMby alisondahl

      Glad you liked it!

    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Mar 8, 2011, 02.46 PMby alisondahl

      Glad you liked it!

  • Bub_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 09.03 AMby baka-pepica

    very very cool! I like this coat!

  • 4b0baf013b18d4c34c8f097033869a5329edfb8b_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 06.30 AMby corinneski

    Love all of those garments especially the Mondrian look – my favourite. I really like the idea of a simple garment showing off the fabulous fabrics. I notice under the damask coat, the dress had a semi-belt which gave the garment shape without any gathering in the front – very flattering look especially for me who looks like a sack with a rope tied around the middle when wearing a tie belt. When I take a second look at these, I realise it’s all about the styling.

    1 Reply
    • Dahlnyc_1352392376_600_large

      Mar 8, 2011, 02.45 PMby alisondahl

      The “Hippy Chic” dress pattern pictured above has slight gathering on the side seams at the waist, very similar to the dress beneath the Damask coat. You could leave out the elastic and just cinch the sides of the dress.

  • April_me_large

    Mar 8, 2011, 04.17 AMby von-nation

    I love the damask fabric, but have always been too scared to use it in wearable garments. I really like damask fabric on cushions and as a furnishing fabric.

  • Missing

    Mar 8, 2011, 12.59 AMby hamblj


  • Silver_strand_feb_2005_large

    Mar 7, 2011, 11.05 PMby neama

    Oh am loving the shift dress with ties:) Nice post

    • This is a question
  1. Sign in to add a post


  • Editors' Pick
  • Pattern Collections
  • BurdaStyle Academy
  • Burda Challenge
  • Backstage Report
  • Fashion & Trends
  • DIY to Try
  • Tips & Techniques
  • Member Highlights
  • Sewing Projects
  • Outta Town
  • Contests & Competitions
  • Archive
  • Guest Columns
  • Videos
  • Meg's Magazine Mash Up
  • As Seen In
  • Podcast
  • Holiday