The Zoe Dress is a semi-fitted shift with beautiful, unusual design lines. It features princess seams at the front and back, which gently sculpt the dress to your body, and a french dart to fit the dress at the bust.
With no waist seam, the long princess lines elongate the body to create a flattering silhouette, gently bringing you in at the waist. Darts at the back neckline fit the dress to your shoulders to eliminate gape, and a facing finishes the neckline beautifully.
Zoe comes with two sleeve length options – a shorter sleeve, perfect for summer or underneath cardigans, and a classic 3/4 length for cooler weather. The dress closes at the center back with a neat invisible zip, and the front princess seams house everyone's favorite in-seam pockets.
Perfect for work, Zoe is the ultimate outfit-in-one for those days when you need to head out of the door in a hurry. Practical yet chic and stylish, pair her with a blazer for a smart office look, or a chunky necklace and heels for an evening out.
Sewing Level: Advanced Beginner
Fabric Suggestions:Zoe works best in medium weight woven fabrics with some structure and body. Think chambray, lightweight denims, cotton poplin, stretch cotton and sateen, lightweight wool, suiting, brocades, jacquards, as well as medium to heavy weight crepes. For a summer dress cotton lawn would also work nicely. We recommending avoiding anything too lightweight with lots of drape (such as rayon), as these won’t hold the shape of the dress.
Inspired by the classic Chanel boucle tweed jacket, Coco is stylish, flattering, ever-wearable and guaranteed to never go out of style. Perfect for in-between seasons, the Coco Jacket will add that little bit of chic elegance to your look.
A simple cropped jacket, it features a pretty round neck, princess seams, two-piece sleeve, full lining and optional braiding. That quintessential shape, Coco is a wardrobe staple, guaranteed to go with any outfit. Pairing beautifully with a high-waist, we love her over the Betty Dress for a beautiful wedding guest outfit. Or channel your inner Jackie O and sew an Ultimate Pencil Skirt in the same fabric to make a sassy co-ord suit.
With clean style lines, Coco is the perfect blank canvas. Make a statement with a bold, bright fabric, or keep it classic with an exquisite plain cloth. Have fun with textures for a truly luxurious jacket the real Coco would be proud of.
Sewing Level: Intermediate
Fabric Suggestions:For the Coco Jacket we recommend a medium to heavyweight wool fabric, such as tweed, boucle, boiled wool or melton. For a lighter jacket, you could also try a jacquard, linen or viscose linen blend. If you are a beginner we recommend avoiding fabrics with a very loose weave (such as boucle) as these fray easily and can make your sewing more tricky.
The Coco Jacket is fully-lined, so you will also need lining fabric. We recommend using something with a silky finish so you can get the jacket on and off easily, such as satin, acetate, or even silk charmeuse for all-out luxury.
The Doris Dress is the perfect summer’s day dress. Feminine and romantic, throw it on and you’ll be set for that picnic in the park, day out at the beach, or hey, even a stint at the office. A truly versatile wardrobe staple, the Doris Dress will keep you looking elegant and put-together no matter what you get up to this season.
Inspired by Lisa’s love of vintage 1950’s fashion and pretty feminine shapes, the Doris Dress is semi-fitted with a flattering scooped neck bodice, bust pleats for delicate shaping and floaty grown-on sleeves. The waist can be left unfitted for warmer days, or cinched in at the back with the attached ties or fixed back belt.
The fluted panelled skirt has two length variations – short and cute above the knee, or an elegant below the knee option. The Doris Dress closes with a concealed zip in the side seam and has an optional buttonhole closure at the centre front. The bodice is finished with facings for a neat finish on the inside.
Sewing Level:The Doris Dress is an intermediate level sewing pattern. You will need to know how to insert a concealed zip.
Fabric Suggestions:We recommend a lightweight woven fabric for the Doris Dress, ideally with a good amount of drape. The skirt and grown-on sleeves will hang best if the fabric has some drape. Think rayon, viscose and crepe. However the Doris Dress also works beautifully in cotton, so if you’re not experienced sewing with drapey fabrics and would prefer to use something more stable, you could try a cotton lawn, poplin, or a lightweight linen.
The Meredith Dress is a versatile wrap dress, designed to be sewn in jersey. Simple yet elegant, Meredith features a wrap front with modest V neckline, as well as a neckband which helps avoid any dreaded gaping! The gathers at the shoulder yoke provide shaping and help to achieve a great fit around the bust, and the tie keeps the dress closed whilst cinching you in at the waist.
Meredith’s very slightly A-line skirt has two hem length options (below the knee and on the knee), and the sleeve can be cut full length or three quarters to suit your preference.
Sumptuously comfy yet elegant and stylish, Meredith is a great work staple. She looks classic in a polka dot or solid, but can equally rock a print. With her minimal seams, she’s the perfect canvas for a bright, bold larger-scale floral, geometric or abstract pattern!
Sewing Level: Advanced Beginner
Fabric Suggestions:For the Meredith Dress we recommend choosing a light to medium weight knit fabric with lots of drape, such as viscose jersey, cotton jersey and lighter ponte di Roma. You’ll also need a length of clear elastic or stay tape, and a small piece of stretch interfacing. Depending on the weight of your fabric, you may want to stabilise the entire neckband with stretch interfacing.
Make yourself a pair of Ultimate Trousers with this perfect pattern. Slim fitting, ankle grazing and flattering for so many figures, the Ultimate Trousers will be your go-to trouser pattern. So simple to make you will be whipping these up in a couple of hours.
The Ultimate Trousers pattern is the perfect choice for an advanced beginner who wants to delve into trouser making without any of the complicated or confusing techniques. With no tricky fly to contend with, the Ultimate Trousers fasten with an invisible side zipper. The waistline is finished with a facing and the trousers are machine hemmed. Made up of only four pattern pieces it's hard to go wrong.
The pattern contains full step-by-step instructions with beautifully illustrated diagrams.
Skill level: Intermediate
Materials required:We recommend a medium to heavy weight cotton, wool, crepe or denim for this pattern. For a loose summery look you could also try rayon or other lightweight fabric. You will also need a 9" invisible zipper.
Based on the wardrobe of Mad Men’s iconic Joan Holloway, the Joan Dress should be a staple in the wardrobe of any vintage lover.
A fitted bodice and skirt gives the dress a sassy, feminine feel that the real Joan herself would adore. The bodice is fitted with darts at the waist and back shoulder, and features a gently scooped neckline. Stylish ¾ length sleeves and a 60s inspired tie collar give the dress a super elegant feel. Designed to hit below the knee, the skirt is semi-fitted with darts and sports a kick pleat at the back hem. The whole dress is fully lined, giving you a gorgeously professional-feeling finish.
Sewing Level: Intermediate
Fabric Suggestions:Joan works beautifully in a variety of different woven fabrics. We recommend using a medium weight drapey fabric with some structure – you don’t want to use anything too lightweight and fluid. For the cooler months lightweight wools work gorgeously and suiting fabrics are perfect. For the lining we like to use rayon, a lightweight crepe de chine or acetate.
The Pussy Bow Blouse is a beautiful, classic design that will always be in style. With two different style options you can choose between a v-neck version or a keyhole opening. Stylish and versatile, it’s perfect for the office but can be dressed up for a night out. We promise it’ll be the perfect accompaniment to your favourite pencil skirt.
Sewing Level:The Pussy Bow Blouse is an intermediate sewing pattern, so we recommend you have a few dressmaking projects under your belt. If this is your first time using lightweight drapey fabrics, remember to take it slow and don’t be shy with the pins!
Fabric Suggestions:The perfect pattern for showcasing drapey fabrics, it works best in a rayon, sandwashed silk, crepe or other lightweight fabric with a lot of drape.
Want to start dressmaking but don't know where to begin? The Ultimate Shift Dress would make an ideal first project. The pattern is designed with beginners in mind, and will guide you through the basics of dressmaking.
Learn how to create bust darts and attach neckline facings like a pro. With no tricky zippers or buttonholes to master, simply pop the dress on over your head and fasten with a hook and eye.
But don't forget, with loads of options for customization, including adding sleeves, sleeve frills and a neck flounce, there is plenty of scope for a more advanced dressmaker to play around and have fun!
Sewing Level:The Ultimate Shift Dress is a beginner level sewing pattern.
Fabric Suggestions:The Ultimate Shift Dress is an extremely versatile pattern when it comes to fabric. Most light or medium weight woven fabrics, such as cotton, linen, rayon, viscose, wool, crepe or even silk (if you’re feeling adventurous!) will work. Just remember that slippery fabrics are harder to sew!
Make yourself a beautiful 1950’s inspired dress based on the style of Betty Draper!
With a fitted bodice and full circle skirt, Betty is super flattering for all figures, nipping you in at the waist and flaring out to create a beautiful silhouette. The dress fastens with an invisible zip down the centre back, has facings around the neckline and armholes and a machine finished hem.
The pattern contains full instructions with beautifully illustrated diagrams.
Sewing Level:The Betty Dress is an advanced beginner pattern. We recommend you’ve made a couple of garments before and had a go at inserting an invisible zip.
Fabric Suggestions:The Betty Dress works beautifully in a variety of different fabrics, including light to medium weight cotton and cotton lawn, rayon, crepe and even lightweight wools. Because of the nature of the circle skirt, we recommend avoiding any strong one-way directional prints.
A stunning, vintage-inspired woven wrap dress with a wearable contemporary feel, the 1940’s Wrap Dress is a gem from the Sew Over It archives. Stylish, sophisticated and elegant, you can wear this dressed up or down, perfect for both daytime and evening.
The 1940’s Wrap Dress features a wrap front bodice with a front collar and pretty shoulder pleats. The bodice gathers into the uniquely-shaped pointed waistband, and the dress closes with hidden buttons or press studs. The slightly A-line wrap skirt is flattering on all shapes, and the narrow sleeves mean you can pair this dress with your favourite jumper or cardi. Both the sleeves and skirt come with a choice of two different lengths.
Skill level: Intermediate to Advanced
Fabric Suggestions: Perfect in light to medium weight woven fabrics with lots of drape, the 1940’s Wrap Dress works beautifully in crepes, heavier rayons and even cotton lawn for less experienced sewers.
Elsie is the ultimate party girl! Borne out of a desire for a graceful, grown-up party dress, Elsie is perfect for warm, balmy evenings in the sun, as well as those festive, wintery soirees.
With a gently curved v-neckline, flattering princess seams, dramatic pleats and a nod to our favorite fashions of the '50s, the Elsie Dress is elegant, sophisticated and guaranteed to catch an eye. We can definitely see Betty Draper in this!
Designed to have that immaculate finish inside as well as out, Elsie features a fully lined and faced bodice, neat invisible zip and delicate hand finishing. The pattern also comes with a quick-to-sew skirt version too.
Fabric Suggestions:The Elsie Dress makes the ideal canvas for those special fabrics; think striking stretch cottons, brilliant brocades and dazzling jacquards. Cotton poplin, silk dupion, taffeta and even lighter soft furnishing fabrics would be lovely. Ideally you want to choose something with a bit of body so that the skirt can hold the pleats. We suggest avoiding anything with too much drape for Elsie.
Eve is a versatile wrap dress for woven fabrics with endless potential. With two stunning variations creating completely different looks, there’s so much fun to be had with this pattern! Whether you go boho romantic for summer garden parties or sleek and elegant for everyday, the Eve Dress will keep you dressed up in style.
Floaty, feminine and romantic, variation 1 makes the ultimate summer wedding outfit. It dreamily harks back to the 70s with its dipped hem, on-trend statement sleeve and gently relaxed fit. This variation will have you dancing around the garden barefoot in no time.
Understated and sleek, variation 2 features a more contemporary silhouette, with narrow elbow-length sleeves and a level knee-length hem. Elegant and wearable year-round, it’s a great wardrobe staple; a sure-fire go-to for Friday evening post-work drinks.
Both dresses feature a pretty gathered yoke, wrap over front and a long tie closure.
Sewing Level:The Eve Dress sewing pattern is designed for sewers with some experience of lightweight drapey fabrics. With relatively simple construction, ambitious beginners might like to make their first dress in a more stable fabric such as cotton lawn or voile.
Fabric Suggestions:Eve works beautifully in lightweight woven fabrics with some drape, such as rayon, viscose, crepe and georgette. Less experienced sewers could try a lightweight cotton such as lawn or voile. With minimal seams it makes the perfect dress for showing off those big bold prints.
A flattering high-waisted pencil skirt with a kick pleat at the back, the Ultimate Pencil Skirt is a great wardrobe staple.
The pattern has four darts and a concealed zip at the center back. The top of the skirt is finished with an interfaced waist facing, whilst the bottom of the skirt has a kick pleat to make walking just that little bit easier.
Sewing Level:An advanced beginner dressmaking project, the instruction booklet comes fully illustrated to help you along.
Fabric Suggestions:We recommend medium to heavy weight woven fabrics for the Ultimate Pencil Skirt. Medium weight wools and tartans work wonderfully, as does stretch cotton or cotton sateen. Anything with a little bit of stretch (around 3%) will make wearing your skirt extra comfortable!
With 1940s and 50s influences, the Vintage Shirt Dress is a classic that will take you from season to season in style. Effortlessly chic, its feminine cut is flattering for all body shapes and sizes. Just throw this dress on for an instantly put-together look and you’re all good to go!
The pattern has both a sleeved and sleeveless version as well as endless fabric options, meaning there is tonnes of scope to make this dress your own. Ever versatile, you can even go two-tone and make the bodice in one fabric and the skirt in another to give the impression of separates.
With modern body sizing and revised shaping, the Vintage Shirt Dress has been updated to give it a contemporary feel, while the sweet notched collar gives it a vintage edge. A fantastic techniques-filled pattern, practise creating pleats, sewing a collar, adding facings and stitching buttonholes while you create your dress.
Sewing Level:The Vintage Shirt Dress is an intermediate level sewing pattern. It is recommend that you have experience with pleats and facings.
Fabric Suggestions:For the Vintage Shirt Dress choose a light to medium weight woven fabric such as cotton, cotton lawn, seersucker, broderie anglaise, rayon, viscose, crepe or lightweight wool. You will also need a lightweight fusible interfacing for the collar and facings, as well as eight 16mm buttons.
Essex Linen-Cotton Blends
One of our favorites! This versitile woven works well in quilts, clothing, bags, and home decor.