A Dress in Two Hours?

Do you ever get sick of tracing/cutting loads of pattern pieces and fiddling with fitting a new pattern?

Well, you have plenty of company, my friends. Some days we just want a new dress. We want it to be comfortable AND flattering, easy to launder, travel nicely, and most of all, we want it NOW.

Enter the t-shirt pattern. That’s right, the one you use for your basic-not-very-exciting-but-essential wardrobe staple. For me, The Perfect T-Shirt by Pamela’s Patterns is the ticket. Yep, those 3 simple pattern pieces will make you an attractive dress in a blink, by just adding to the length.

Red Sweater Dress by Sew Maris

Here’s the proof!

I made two of these dresses before heading to London last November, and I have plans for at least 1 more from a yummy wool blend cable-knit. It was as simple as adding enough inches to the front and back pattern piece to cover my wrinkly-old-lady-knees. No flaring. Just a straight line down from the hip. Easy-peasy. I used sweater knits for both versions, and I don’t remember the exact fiber content, but it was definitely a blend.

Red sweater dress trim by Sew Maris

You can add stretch trim to the neckline and sleeve hems if you want a bit of contrast; I added some black “faux piping” I made in about 2 minutes on my serger, just to add a bit o’ pop. It is subtle, but I like the finish.

Grey animal print sweater dress by Sew Maris

Grrr! Animal prints are always fun.

I.Love.These.Dresses. They are my new go-to wardrobe staple. With a belt, tights, boots, and a bit of jewelry I feel polished and put-together, and it takes almost zero effort. My kind of dressing!

Have you ever altered an existing top pattern to create a dress? Are you a dress or separates kind of gal?

Happy sewing!





24 Responses to A Dress in Two Hours?

  1. What stunning dresses! I have made dresses from top patterns before; this past summer I added a gathered skirt to a halter top. I wanted something simple out of jersey with self fabric lining for the cups, and I wanted to wear it the next day. Every dress pattern I found for download was much more complicated than I needed, but I found an old halter top pattern in my stash that was just right. Easy-peasy! Sometimes a girl just wants a dress, right now.

    And dresses over separates forever!

    Finally, I bet that your legs are fabulous! Go as long or as short as you are comfortable, but I promise you that no one but you will pay attention to your “wrinkly knees” but you. Besides, fashionable, fabulous and 50+ is a “thing” now. Lucky us!

  2. These both look awesome!! And I totally get what you are saying. Sometimes you just want a quick and easy sew – I think that’s why I got so obsessed with Lindens.

  3. Both of the dresses look fabulous on you. Great prints and colors! Pamela’s patterns are wonderful. Just yesterday a couple of sewing friends and I were talking about possibly taking a fitting class with her sometime in the future.

    • You are so right Sarah – I usually complicate things by insisting on a new pattern that must be fitted and fiddled with – but this may have taught me a new way to get.things.done!!!!!!!!! 😉

  4. Perfect go-anywhere dresses, Maris! Last year I extended my favorite kwik sew turtle neck into a dress and have nearly worn it out!

    • Thanks Silvia! I love to sew fast, and I also like to sew slowly and enjoy the process. Just depends on my project!

      Only a bit more than 1/8″ shows – quite narrow. So your strip width will be dependent upon the seam allowance you use. I think I used a 1/4″ SA, so probably cut the strip 3/4″ to start. Experiment a little and see what you like!

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