Sleek Silhouette

I designed a dress!



I feel like it’s been a long time since I posted anything, mainly been because I’ve been working on three dresses at once and not necessarily getting anywhere with any of them! But I have now finished another dress I would love to share with you. I’m surprisingly proud of this dress as it’s the first dress I’ve made that was designed entirely by me, by a pattern I made! Anyway, here it is!


It’s super simple but nevertheless I like it :)


The pattern was made using the pattern block/sloper I talked about in my last post. I changed it slightly from the wearable muslin in my last post by adding a gathered top rather that using darts. I thought this would nicely balance the gathered ruffle at the bottom.

For some reason I was hung up on making it in a mustard yellow colour and couldn’t find a material I liked anywhere. Then I saw this pattered fabric from the Village Haberdashery and thought it would work. For some reason I didn’t think, ‘woah there Katy, you’re already using a pattern you’ve designed, are you sure you want to make things harder by adding a pattered fabric?’. Although, despite my concern when I started to cut it out, the pattern placement actually turned out ok in the end. It even all meets up at the zip at the back, after a little fiddling. I think the print looks a bit 60′s or 70′s when it’s made into a dress, which I kinda like.


The design feature at the back is actually more out of necessity than design, as I didn’t have a long enough zip! So I started the zip just above where my bra would be and then added a hook and eye at the top. I like how it shows a sliver of skin. I was planning to do this on another dress, so now I know it works!

I wanted the inside to look as pretty as possible too so I made facings and lined the dress too.  I love this inside shot, as the colours resemble some bed sheets my mum used to have from the 60′s! I think it looks super retro. I’m also proud that the facings  lines up. I followed the tips from this quick facing and lining shortcut in threads, as I’d not added facings to a lining before. It was super easy, and I shall be doing things this way from now on!


To be honest it all went together perfectly – which shows how good the directions for making the block are. The only thing I struggled with was down to my own stupidness! Having not really done arm holes before – I seem to have only made strappy dresses, skirts and a shirt so far – I did not realise that I should sew my arm hole BEFORE sewing up the side seams. When I cockily did this afterwards I realised I’d actually sewn my arm holes closed! Then through stubbornness I refused to undo the side seam – did I mention I french seamed everything? It would have taken so much effort to undo them…. Refusing to unpick the side seam meant I had an interesting task of sewing the arm hole together with very little room in which to maneuver. Anyway, I did it! And they look just dandy.

I also found a way to sew both my lining and my dress fabric to the zip at the same time, so I didn’t have to hand sew anything or have any topstiching anywhere. Again, I’m sure I’m the last person to stumble upon this but it made me happy!


Basically, although I don’t think I’ll wear it everyday, I love this dress – and there’s even a bit of material left for a hair band. I’m off to go boogy now. See you soon!



  1. You constantly amaze me Katy – I can’t believe how fast your skills are developing, you’ve got a serious talent for this! The dress is gorgeous, fits like a glove and the lining is amazingly neat! Thanks for sharing the Threads article, I need to read it as I’m scared of lining and have thus far avoided it like the plaque ;o)

    • Wow, thanks Marie. That’s such a lovely thing to say! I really love sewing, I think I’m turning into a geek! Yeah, check out the article I found it useful. I find linings annoying too, but this material was a little too sheer without one.

  2. WOW! Fits great!!! Amazing job at doing it all on your own. It fits you perfectly.
    I’m going to add ‘making a sloper’ to the list of things to do ;)

  3. Thanks Gaby! Yeah, definitely give it a go. Its so nice just sewing something that doesn’t need any changes.

  4. Just gorgeous! The dress looks wonderful on you, and I’m so impressed and amazed at how you made the fabric pattern line up perfectly. This looks like a very expensive off-the-rack dress! You’re truly an inspiration to the rest of us beginner sewists! :)

    • Thanks Madelyn, I had to fiddle a little to make it line up. The most frustrating thing was finding that after I’d pinned it perfectly the fabric shifted when I put it through the machine. Grrrrr. I’m told that I should use a walking foot next time – good advice! I guess my aim is for things to not look too ‘homemade’, so I’m thrilled you think it looks like an off-the-rack dress, and an expensive one at that! I’m also honoured that you think I’m an inspiration, you’re very kind :)

  5. Wow! You should be really proud of yourself, this looks amazing! Well done! And can you please post the link for the zipper (attaching lining without hand sewing?), because I’m clearly the last person in the world to know about that one!

    On the mustard theme (which you can totally pull off,btw) , did you see Zoe (sozowhatdoyouknow)’s inspirational post yesterday about mustard? Some really great inspiration there.

    • Thanks Helen! Actually I don’t know of a link for attaching the lining without hand sewing – I just thought up how to do it and it seemed to work :) But I’m happy to show how I did it if that’s useful? Don’t worry, you’re definitely not the last to know! Thanks for the tip for Zoe’s blog, I hadn’t seen it but I’ll check it out now.

  6. ….and it’s even lovelier in real life! Katy, you’re a total inspiration, you’ve learnt so much in such a short amount of time. Beautiful dress. x

  7. Wow, it’s amazing! The design looks pretty complicated so well done for getting it right first time. It looks great in that bold print and colour. Love it!

    • Thanks Tilly, So glad you like it! I’m might try it again with some piping along the gathered seams as I’ve not tried that technique yet.

  8. That’s amazing! Congratulations on your first design. I hope to one day design my own patterns, so his will inspire me whenever I feel like I’m not going to be able to make my project work. Speaking of which, would you mind terribly popping over to my blog and helping me out with a fit issue? I promise I’m not trying to promote. It’s not even searchable yet, but I’m kinda stuck and don’t really know what I’m doing. :-)

  9. And if anyone else wanted to help, I’d appreciate it! I’m new to this whole blog thing, and don’t comment on them often.

  10. Pingback: Sewing a zip to the dress fabric and lining at the same time | Sleek Silhouette

  11. I love this! It really doesn’t look like its your first try!
    I was wondering if you could post the pattern pieces please? I am interested to see how you went from bodice and skirt slopers to this pattern!
    Thank you! You’ve really inspired me with this and your bombshell fitting!

  12. I am all about this dress, from your awesome design choices to the fit to the fabric. Well done!!

  13. Pingback: I won an award! | Sleek Silhouette

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