Sleek Silhouette

The (sexy) Gathered Dress!


I’ve been thinking for a while about how I would like to make a dress version of my gathered skirts…. and the other day whilst waiting for my fabric for my Minoru Parka to arrive I thought I should perhaps stop thinking about it and just make it?

I used this GORGEOUS navy blue Roma Jersey from Fabric Godmother which I bought from the voucher I got from work, and was specifically bought with this dress in mind. I’ve never bought or used Roma Jersey before, instead buying cheaper, thinner jersey. WOW the difference is incredible! This is sooooo soft and wonderful to touch, and yet feels sturdy. It is WONDERFUL!

This dress was so easy to make. I already had my gathered skirt pattern, and a jersey top pattern which I had designed aaaaaages ago. I just applied the same technique that I used on the skirt for lengthening the top so it could be gathered. Stuck them together to make a new pattern, and that was it.

From start to finish, including creating the pattern to walking out the door in said dress for date-night, took me three hours – not too shabby!

The fantastic thing about this dress is that it fits me perfectly! I know that sounds silly as I made and designed it, but I get so fed up with RTW being baggy around my waist and SKIN TIGHT around my legs that it is so nice to wear a bodycon dress that not only fits perfectly, but is also so forgiving thanks to those gathers!

I also feel unbelievably sexy in this dress. I don’t usually ever feel sexy, and I certainly wouldn’t class myself as a sexy person. But in this dress, on that date, I felt pretty amazing.

The images that kept coming to mind while I was wearing it were of Cameron Diaz in The Mask, and pretty much any dress that Scarlet Johansson wears….

(Yes these are both red dresses, I am planning a red version….)

I don’t normally wear anything too low cut, but this time decided I wanted to show off my ahem ‘assets’ and apparently this dress does that well. Next time I might cut a higher neckline and have thicker straps ( I feel like a lot of my back is on show too) but every girl’s got to have a dress they feel a million dollars in don’t they?

I’m pretty pleased with the back, even though it’s a bit skimpy. When I designed this top, way back when, I took the time  to make sure the crossed over straps of my bra would be hidden.  I’m so glad I took the time to get the pattern right as it’s one of the few tops I don’t have to worry about a bra strap peeking out somewhere. On this dress it feels a like I’m showing a lot of skin and that’s because this time I used bias binding on the neckline rather than adding a jersey band as I would normally do. This was as I wanted the dress to look high-end, and not a bit sporty. This meant that due to folding the edge of the fabric over with the binding the straps became thinner than normal. I also only had a lighter blue bias binding in my stash but decided to use it anyway as I wanted to wear the dress that night! It isn’t a problem as you can’t see the bias binding at all, but next time I might try to match the biding a bit better.

Clearly this is not a dress I can wear to work, but I’m thinking that a version with sleeves (and a higher neckline) might work. Of course that involves working out how to draft sleeves….

What do you guys think? Do you have a dress, either RTW or that you’ve made, that makes you feel a million dollars?


  1. WOW. You look amazing in this!

  2. You look absolutely AMAZBALLS!! And the back is perfect, very flattering, and shows the perfect amount of skin… Amazing

  3. Dude hot! You could totally wear this to work…but maybe I’m just more revealing more of the time than you tho haha.. oops

  4. Gorgeous dress! And it looks amazing on you. The best thing about sewing clothes is that you can make perfectly fitting clothes!

  5. Wow – that’s amazing. You look fab and well done for designing it yourself. I love the racer back. x

  6. Wow that is gorgeous! Imagine that would suit all manner of body shapes too. For work perhaps three quarter length sleeves but a deep slash v neck to sex it up?!

  7. wow, that looks fantastic! great job on the design.

  8. That dress is gorgeous and fits you perfectly! You did a great job with it. I think with a sweater you could totally wear it to work with a cute cardigan.

    OAN, my perfect dress is a bit too dressy to be worn often, but I loooove wearing it and definitely feel like a million dollars when I’m wearing it!

  9. Looks great! How did you do your gathers? They look nice and even.

  10. This is really fab! I so want to make this!

  11. Saw your dress on BurdaStyle and had to come and check out your blog. Love the dress on you, especially the racerback.

  12. Gorgeous!! I especially love the length of the dress. Very elegant!

  13. I love, love, love this dress. You look fantastic and I can just imagine how comfy it is to wear.

  14. Wow! You look amazing! It looks great but comfy too! Perfect!

  15. great dress, would love to see the tutorial for this as I am new to sewing and would never be able to achieve this otherwise!

  16. This IS the dress I have been looking for!! I have spent weeks searching online for a side ruched midi tank dress and haven’t found just the right thing until today!! I decided I would have to just make it myself, but, where to find a pattern?? You look to be about my size, any chance you would make the pattern available?! It is truly lovely on you- very flattering. Well done :)

    • Thank you, thats so lovely to say! I don’t have a pattern to share for it, but I am planning another version, so will post a tutorial soon!

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