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Oct 24, 2011

Find me this dress pattern, please.

Friends, as you probably already know, it's Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.  Or maybe it just was -- or is about to be.  I'm very holiday-resistant, and with the exception of MPB Birthday, on January 23rd (which you should mark in your calendars if you haven't already), tend to get them all confused.

We were over at my brother and sister-in-law's last night to celebrate, and Prachee, my sister-in-law -- a fantastic cook AND marathon runner -- asked me if I would make her a dress.  Since I offer to sew her something pretty much every time I see her, knowing that, busy as she is, she's unlikely to take me up on it, I was very surprised when yesterday she made a very specific request.  I'm trapped.  (Just kidding, Prach!)

It's the dress up top, a picture of which she snapped with her cell phone.  It looks like a simple sheath dress with horizontal darts and a decorative halter-style neckline.  I don't think it will be difficult to make, but I still want to work from a pattern and I'm having a hard time finding one that fits that bill.

To me this dress just screams Eugenia, or Elizabeth, or Rachel.  I'm hoping one of them, or perhaps someone else, can steer me in the right direction.  I've hunted a bit online, but I'm coming up short.

As you can see, the pattern below has a somewhat similar neckline -- but this McCall's dress is more of a maternity muu-muu.

For the dress itself I found this:

To be honest, I was a little surprised at how little there was to choose from and how difficult it is to find something basic, without gathers or fuss, and for a woven fabric.

So I am hoping somebody can help steer me in the right direction.  It doesn't have to be one of the big three (or is it four?) pattern companies but I'd like it to be an in-print pattern, if possible, so I can get my hands on it easily.

I'm excited about making something for Prachee.  But then again, I was excited about making a skirt for my mother, and a suit for Michael.  Hopefully this will play out better.

It shouldn't be too difficult, right?

A big thank you in advance, friends.

Happy Monday, everybody!


  1. What about Simp 2219? or Simp 3505 - I've made this one for myself more than once and love it! :) Nevermind that the pattern pretends to be for knit fabric either ;)

  2. It's a gorgeous dress. I haven't a clue on pattern numbers, but my first thought is don't discount a pattern for a slip. Swap the straps for that yoke/strap and add a zipper. But I'm sure your confidence in your readers is well-placed to come up with a close pattern.

  3. If you can't find a pattern in that style, this tutorial in Sew News might help:

  4. I know you want one in print, but these are modern patterns, so they should be sort of easy to find on Ebay:
    McCall 3958 is really similar, only it is a bodice with skirt. Easily turned into a dress, though.
    Vogue 2530
    Vogue 9811
    Vogue 8073

  5. I self draft my patterns hence i guess i can't help you much with pattern over here.

    wow your SIL is Indian. I am Indian too.

    wish you family a Happy Deepavali.

    Please do check out the Traditional Indian Silk Skirt & Top i have made for my Daughter, this Deepavali

  6. That dress can be free styled. You have the skills to accomplish this. Just make a muslin 1st.

  7. I'm doing a pattern making course at the moment & I bet that'd be possible to draft using your Dorothy Moore book's assistance?

    But I wonder if these commercially available patterns might help you?

    From the German BurdaStyle site (for download - I use Google translate to help me when purchasing from their site. I keep one page in German and in a fresh window the Google translation page where I cut & paste the German words into as I go along the purchase process - and I click the correct links s a I go along side by side so I can tell what it's saying LOL!):
    NR. 7405-V

    Or... NR. 7470-V

    Kwik Sew 3402:

    Leko / Lekala 5962: (for download in custom sizes)

    Or: Leko / Lekala 5190:

  8. email Mena at Sew Weekly! she has a whole page devoted to "Make This Look". If anyone can find you the exact pattern it's the sewing maven Mena!

  9. Could you adapt Vogue 8725?

    or Butterick 5353

    Perhaps you can morph the two and create what you need. Although, I agree with have the mad skills to make this all on your own. ☺

  10. These are good folks! Larri, I especially like the Butterick and Vogue you mention.

  11. Why don't you try Built by Wendy dresses. They come with a basic shift and sheath dress pattern and directios and ideas on how to alter them.

  12. or you can change the drawstring on this into a nice sparkly fabric neckline

  13. Please don't make me buy another book. ;)

  14. How about Marfy 2437? It's $16 (ouch) and doesn't have seam/hem allowance, cutting layout or instructions. You're an expert Peter, if anyone can sew this, it's you.

    Thanks for the great read!

  15. is free :)

  16. Very clever, making everyone work for their dinner... personally, I haven't a clue where to look since I am a relative newbie and the only woman I'm going to sew for is only 7 years old at the moment.

    I promise to help on something else in the future. But nothing worthwhile is free (I'm sure your mother taught you that.)

    I would like to know if you are still in love with the Pfaff 30, since I am agonizing between one and a Bernina 117. ?? I know the Bernina has more "caché", but I don't care, I have "caché" out the wazoo, living in the south of France.

    My apologies for interrupting the flow, but I had to give it a try.

    May your needle never break.
    Ben aka Papadesdeux aka Onestrangedude

  17. @Papasdesdeux: Love is free ;)

  18. Here is my free and utterly worthless opinion: Get the Pfaff.

    Then again I know nothing about the Bernina 117. It looks like a zigzagger. The Pfaff 30 is a straight stitch machine. But it uses standard Class 15 bobbins and can use Singer straight-stitch attachments, which are easy to find.

  19. Bless you child. Your opinion however biased, is valued. The Bernina is a zigzagger, a snazzy one. But I will probably go with the Pfaff, I already have a 1970 Pfaff zig-zag, (and enough other machines to put my relationship in peril) so the fact that the Pfaff won't steel bread from our table is also a plus. And the fact that some old machine snobs poo-poo it as a Singer clone... so what. Maybe it's bashert. Thanks again. I'll keep my promise.

  20. I made a 70s dress that is really similar, here it is on the vintage wiki:'s_4534 There's also one on etsy right now for 7.50!

  21. Try Simplicity 2922. It has a similar neckline and is more form-fitting than maternity muu muu.

  22. That dress looks more to me like it has an empire waist with a halter neck (probably bare in the back?) than like a sheath dress. Kinda like this:

  23. Peter,

    With the dart placement and the elegant simplicity, have you given consideration to the fabric choice?

    Could a silk/hemp or silk/linen be a necessary extravegance? The nuanced contours this dress demand a high degree of drape.

    Also, self-cups might be in order, not just for support, but to assist in the steaming and contouring of the fashion fabric without any visible (to me) apex centered darts.


  24. My suggestions are:

    Simplicity 3503, McCall 6075 or Vogue 2859.

    Also Lekala has a similar design that is a free download in European size 44 or 46. This might be large on your SIL.

    Scroll down until you see number 5962.

    Good luck.

  25. Hi Peter,

    the dress style is very similar to vintage '70's halter style.
    Good luck, Bev

  26. Off topic, hope you won't get mad ... ;) , congratulations on your Vogue appearance.

  27. After finally getting the neckline detail photo to display, enlarging it and holding my nose about 3 inches from the monitor - it is not a sheath dress, it is a halter or possibly a T-back. Also it is not an empire waist, and has no front center seam. There are seams over the bust (like princess seams) then change into seams extending into the side seams. The skirt extends to the neckline in the center.

  28. Hi Peter,

    The time has come. You need to learn patternmaking. I'm looking forward to your new adventure. :-)

    Elaine can do it. Gertie can do it. You owe it to yourself and to Cathy. Your sister in law will make a great guinea pig, er, model.


  29. It's definitely an empire halter, with under bust seams and perhaps a bias cut straight or slightly A-line skirt.

    I'd check 70s era patterns, too, if you don't find something modern that's quite right. Tanit-isis made a similar dress last summer.

  30. I vote for B5353 or using V8666 for the Body and B5353 for the yoke with a modification.

    Good luck!

  31. I'll throw out McCall's 6283 too. The collar would need to be drafted but that would be wicked easy. I made this dress for my daughter and it's well drafted.

  32. What about OOP M6114 ( or OOP V8494 (

    I know I've seen something else like this. The designer escapes me...

  33. It looks something like this:,
    but with the more sleek modern neckline and without the floppy bow in the back of the neck.

  34. Hi from Australia Peter!
    Youve got alot of good suggestions already.
    For the top half- the bodice is exactly New Look 6584- view A & B. Dont know if this is a help?
    Thanks for your inspiration, instruction and daily entertainment!

  35. I have no idea about the pattern, but I just wanted to say that my birthday is January 23rd, too. Isn't it about the most perfect day of the year :)

  36. Well, you have already got so many options, but I found Vogue 8571 is perfect, just leave out the ruching in the bodice and turn the skirt into a sheath. It's go the neckline and empire seam you need. the rest should be easy.
    Good luck!

  37. Burda 7493 is similar. Interesting that there are so many round-neck versions of that inset neckline, and so few with the flattering V of the one your SIL likes. The photo made me think of Folkwear 219, which I've made as streetwear and is super-pretty -- bias-cut, slinky but not overly clingy, really beautiful lines. It could be adapted to have a wide, inset neckline such as the inspiration garment.

  38. There's this on Etsy.

  39. My, do you generate a hype or what? I wouldn't have thought that I could help (mainly sewing men's stuff myself) but I stumbled upon this item:

    The Vogue 1192 seems almost identical to the Luca one, only the shoulders may need a bit of adjustment.

    If all this doesn't help: why not just call Luca for the pattern. They might surprise you ;)

  40. I just hope Prachee didn't read this; she may want ALL of these dresses.

  41. he he, i hope she did, i would like to see each of those patterns into outfits and may be draw some inspiration from them!

  42. I plan on using this pattern as a guide for a similar dress...

    Lose the sleeves... drop the armholes... boom.

  43. I wish I could help. I couldn't find any patterns in my stash that work. :(


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