Almost Winter Dress

It’s that time of year again.  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I like to sew when the weather starts getting cold.  My most recent project was a rayon dress.  The pattern I used: (view A)pattern

This was actually the third time I’ve used this pattern.  The first one turned out okay, but I was disappointed by the polyester I chose.  It clings like crazy.  That’s why I swear by rayon.  Rayon shrinks a lot, but it seldom clings and the drape is soft.  It’s also pretty inexpensive.

I have a few tips when it comes to working with rayon:

  • Buy about 1/4 yard extra than the pattern calls for.  This will allow for shrinkage and cutting on the grain.

  • Always wash your fabric beforehand, just as you would wash it when it’s a completed garment.

  • Pull a thread to get a straight cut.  This is especially helpful when you cut out sleeves.

If you’ve never pulled a thread to get a true straight cut, I suggest trying it the next time you work with rayon or any drapey fabric like linen or silk.


Simply snip the fabric at one selvage edge, choose a loose thread and pull it.  It will start to gather the fabric up and make a run.  Pull it flat and cut along that thread line.  Sometimes the thread is strong enough and you can pull it across the entire width of the fabric.  Sometimes you’ll need to pull several threads along the way to achieve one long cut.

Last year I made a flannel version of this dress:flannel_dress

I made the sleeves a bit longer than the original pattern, and cut them on the bias for a different look.  I stitched a bias strip at the hem to match.

This year I found a cute red rayon at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  It was on sale for $6/yd, which brought my grand total to $10.48.  You can’t even buy a dress at Forever 21 for that!

I liked the idea that the fabric could be interpreted as dressy or casual.  I combined it with some funky tights, a pinstripe blazer and heeled booties for a fancier look…

dress with tights


Again, I made the sleeves longer, adjusted the pattern to give them a bit of “puff” at the shoulder, then lightly gathered them with elastic at the elbows.

For a more laid back look, I paired it with a scarf, jeans and boots, which is how I prefer to wear it since it turned out a bit short.  *Note to self:  buy extra “extra” next time to make it a few inches longer!*

dress with boots

I think this photo is so funny.  The animals always have to be in on the action!animalsI guess this pattern is discontinued from the company, but Amazon, Etsy and Ebay all had copies for sale.  I like this pattern too, even though the sleeves are not set in…which technically would be EVEN EASIER than the pattern I used!

Do YOU have a favorite pattern that’s simple to sew?  What fun alterations have you made to it to change up the style?  I’d love to know!


3 thoughts on “Almost Winter Dress

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