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One Pattern Two Dresses

Added Jan 6, 2012

by lincatz

Kitchener, Canada






I found the V neck dress, 107 from 12/11 very intriguing, from the neck line to the midriff band to the pleats and gathers of the skirt. I decided to make two variations. The first variation is a shorter, just above the knee dress in Black and Pink Devoure velvet. The black background is sheer and the pink velvet is soft and shiny. The cuffs and midriff band are in black cotton/lycra knit. Both fabrics have been in my stash for a while. I made wide puffy sleeves and close fitting wide cuffs instead of the flutter sleeves. Flutter sleeves make my my wide shoulders look even wider. The midriff band is top stitched by hand using Wonderfil’s “Razzle” thread in a pink that perfectly matches the paler pink velvet. To make a contrast neckline I cut the bodice pattern half and inch from the last tuck fold line and added seam allowances to both sides. I make the tucks and then sewed the band to the bodice. After that I continued to sew as instructed. I made a separate satin slip for wearing as a dress. I can also wear it layered over a black tank top, black leggings and boots for a casual look.

The second variation is sleeveless. This is made with vintage rayon Challis. The fabric has a green background and a small paisley floral in purple, pink, blue and yellow. I used purple thread for construction and top stitching. I can wear it like a jumper over a long sleeve t-shirt in winter or wear it without any other layers as a summer dress. I made two wide strips so I can tie the dress in the back and make it fit a little closer to the body and make my shape look a little more like an hourglass and less like a pear.

I cut four strips 3 inches by 24 inches, sewed them wrong side together leaving one 3 inch end un-sewn. I turned them, pressed, them, and pinned them into the side seam so they were lined up with the midriff band. After I simply sewed up the side seam as directed. On the zipper side I pinned the strip to the front of the dress so the strip goes over the zipper. A tie band on the back can put a lot of stress on the zipper, with this method there’s no stress on the zipper and it pulls the front of the band snug to the body.

The armhole edges were overlocked with the serger, turned to the inside, pressed and top stitched in place. If I had the time I would have cut proper facings but I had to have the dress ready to wear in only a few hours. So I took the easy way out. The back tucks aren’t laying flat for me, I think I need to re-stitch them so they do lay flat -again I was rushed.

Both dresses are quite nice. One is better for things like art galleries and uptown dinners, the other is a bit more classic and conservative for every day. I really like both the fit and the style of the dress. It’s comfortable, stylish and shows off curves that I want to show and hides the one I don’t want showing -meaning the midsection bulges. It was easy to sew, the only fiddly bit was the deep V of the midriff band and the tucks. They weren’t difficult, they just took a bit of time and extra attention. I think I might make more variations of this versatile dress.

Material Notes

Devoure Velvet, Wonderfil Razzle thread in pale pink, Rayon Challis


Garment Type

2 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 043011donna_large

    Feb 3, 2012, 01.22 AMby dborecky

    I’m making this dress now too, but I am having trouble with the folds on the front. I don’t know how much to fold on each line and I can’t find it in the instructions nor on the pattern sheet. Plus my topstitching doesn’t look right. When I attached it to the waistband, I had to fudge it a lot in the gathers to make it fit, and the folds still do not look nice. Am I missing a step in my instructions somewhere? I think I need a tutorial on how to do the folds.

    2 Replies
    • Eb175c68c6e86cf172dba0a73bdf951828c38776_large

      Feb 8, 2012, 04.28 PMby lincatz

      I’m a firm believer in improvising a pattern to fit, especially where gathers, pleats and folds are concerned. I fit the midriff band to my body and then gathered the bodice and skirt to fit on the band-being sure the center fronts all lined up with the V of the band. I wanted a very tight fit in the midriff to hide any lower-half bulges. I’ll check the magazine instructions again, I think the folds and tucks are a bit clearer than the print at home PDF. The top-stitching looked horrible the first time i did it and if you look carefully the second attempt is still a bit wavy, but the stretchy fabric was impossible to sew without waves. I hope that the bright pink hand sewn saddle stitch detracts from any issues with the folds.

      I will double check the instructions versus how i made it and perhaps clarify how the tucks are done.

    • Missing

      May 23, 2012, 05.28 AMby GiselleC

      I just finished making a muslin for this dress. An easy way to do the pin tucks is to extend the drawn fold line of the pleat on the pattern and notch it on both end of the pattern. When you have transfer the notches onto your fabric it gives you a guide to fold it evenly. Fold it, iron it and stich it. Repeat two more times in this order for one side. You should have perfect pin tucks.

  • 382748_327745717240354_810573976_n_large

    Jan 7, 2012, 10.39 AMby asperge11

    I love your versions of this dress. I tried to make it too, the top version, but it didn’t turn out very well. I think I used the wrong type of material, I haven’t even finished it cause I know I’m not going to ware it. Anyway, good job with yours !

    • This is a question
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