Little black dress

February 20, 2017

As a pattern designer and passionate sewer, sometimes I get so inspired by an idea I just have to see it through until it's done!  Everything else on my sewing/pattern drafting 'to do list' got pushed aside over the weekend and I decided to make this dress. I had been inspired by pleated bodices worn by an Australian newsreader (Janice Peterson for my Aussie SBS viewers!) for over a year and wanted to make one in girls' sizes. I needed over a metre of fabric for this dress and landed on this beautiful black floral I had been hoarding for about 18 months (fabric details at the end of the post). Isabella had ear marked it for herself and so I turned it into this dress which she absolutely loves (always a win now that she has become more discerning over what she wears)!

This dress evolved with more pleats - in the skirt and sleeves. Not the easiest to see in this dark fabric. I always wanted to incorporate a big exposed zip in the back of one of my patterns - and so here it is (I wish the zipper pull wasn't sitting up like that!). Plus a fun tight, short bow at the back for fun. This dress may not look vintage inspired which sewpony vintage obviously dictates, but you will find out more about the direction of sewpony patterns soon....
The sleeves were a bit of an experiment and didn't turn out exactly as I intended, but I still like them! Next time they will look a bit different .
I made the skirt slightly 'cacoon' style - shaped slightly at the bottom...which begs for some inseam pockets. I love that inseam pockets can be completely hidden - especially in a floral like this!
If you are looking to find yourself some of this beautiful fabric, it seems to be as rare as hens' teeth now. I bought it a while back from Hawthorne Threads. It is called Overachiever in charcoal by Anna Maria Horner. HT do stock it in the 'forest' colourway, but I think the black is really outstanding. I googled the fabric and found a metre here and there on etsy, and maybe you will have more luck finding some! My love for black floral continues!
Overall I am very happy with how the first sew in this design came up - lucky, since I risked the experiment with such pretty fabric! I am excited to try this pattern again - with the adapted sleeves and a couple of other different details I have planned!

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  1. Oh Suz, what a wonderful and successful experiment! I love pleats, so of course I am admiring this dress! I think Isabella looks a lot like Natalie Portman in the last pic!

  2. I wonder how this dress would look in a plain fabric, because I think I'll love all the details even more when they're more visible. But I already love this one, and I'm really looking forward to hear what you've got in your mind for the future of Sewpony!

    1. Thanks lovely Eva😄 Yes my next dress is in light fabric so I am looking forward to showing off the pleats more .

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