Sewing Circle: Mystery: Draped crossover bodice for a bridesmaid dress

Totally fun, inspirational dress on Sewing Circle this time!  Especially with wedding season coming up!  Katie wrote me this email:

Q: My friend is making my bridesmaid dresses for my wedding in the summer and we are looking for a pattern that looks something like this ModCloth dress, which is sold out!:

Are you aware of any?! Any help would be much appreciated :)

Hi Katie,

Thanks for your email, and thanks for reading! That is a super cute dress! But, I don’t have any great news for you… I have never seen a pattern for something like that, and the draping, while not terribly difficult if you know what you’re doing, isn’t something I’m super familiar with. I don’t know what level seamstress your friend is, but if she doesn’t know how to drape on a mannequin and use a base strapless dress pattern, it may not work out terribly easily.

 I did find some patterns that could give the same feel, however.  For the bodice, try:

  • Simplicity 2250.  Imagine it in a dressier fabric and without the straps, and it's pretty close!



  • Vogue V8150, and cut it off at the natural waist and adjust to make it strapless.













So, sorry, nothing exact! But maybe you like some of those.

As for the skirt, you don't need a pattern and can easily make it with panels of fabric to the length you want, but you could use a pattern like version C or D of Simplicity 2512--except modify it to make sure it will fit a dress with a natural waistline, unlike the skirt by itself with a slightly dropped waist.

Although if I were you I would just try out making a muslin of the skirt and play with length, draping, etc.  Since you'll be making multiples, it may really be worth the extra time!

Its SUCH a cute dress.  I'd like to have one for myself, and I think I have some extra grey fabric... you've inspired me!

Readers, what suggestions do you have for Katie and her friend on their bridesmaid dress efforts?  Do you vote for any of the patterns I suggested, or do you have other ideas?  Have you played around with crossover draping?

18 comments

  1. Definitely the first Cynthia Rowley pattern. I have made it at least 5 times, and I love it!! You could easily make it strapless, and eliminate the top band too. It is really similar. I might also have to make myself one like this...

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    1. I just made it up myself! Post coming soon. It is really similar!

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  2. In the Colette Patterns book there is a pattern for a dress with a very very similar bottom- an "asymetrical flounce"...

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    1. Thanks! That one isn't constructed the same but it would have a similar look, especially if you added room for pleats!

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  3. Seconding the Colette Patterns book... There's a dress in it that's called a Truffle dress that has a flounce that looks like it could easily be made to look like the one on that dress. Combining that bottom with a different top would work pretty well.

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    1. You're right, it could be made to look very similar, with pleats!

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  4. Beware that first Cynthia Rowley pattern!! the bodice lining piece is drafted wrong! I thought it was just me, but on patternreview.com, I was not the only one who had major problems with this pattern. Even if you get it to work, though, it's time consuming and complicated--for advanced sewers only, in my opinionl. I think the Vogue pattern is a good shape, though!

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    1. I just made it myself--can't remember exactly how it worked because I don't usually follow the instructions very carefully, but I can see how it might have been off! It was definitely a trickier/more advanced pattern.

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  5. I've made the Cynthia Rowley 2250 dress and I LOVE it! the top was the hardest part. But after some fudging and fidgeting I got it to work. I think the vogue dress would look fantastic :)

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    1. Samesies--I just made it and it all worked out in the end, although I'm not sure how closely I followed the notches and everything. Will be blogging about it soon!

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  6. http://www.fabricgodmother.co.uk/vogue-pattern-1154/ here is a stunning dress: Vogue 1154

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  7. All great looks and would be universally flattering on different body shapes! It's always nice to wear a pretty dress as a bridesmaid!

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    1. True, any would be better than many bridesmaid dresses!! ;)

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  8. http://www.etsy.com/listing/71214662/womens-plus-size-evening-gown-formal I found this while searching around. I knew I had seen a similar bodice on some patterns. This is a reprint, so shouldn't be to hard to find one.

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    1. Oh, I LOVE that pattern, I've seen it before. Not constructed the same but has the same general look in the end. Great suggestion!

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  9. http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/a-novices-guide-to-draping
    Had a little difficulty finding this tutorial on Burda Style's website. It's not exactly the same, but seems pretty useful.

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    1. Wow, that's perfect! Thanks so much for finding that, I'm going to read it, too!

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  10. Anonymous4/08/2012

    http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/122011-piqu%C3%A9-skirt
    this skirt is pretty much the same as the one on the orinal dress

    do you know of any patterns to make shorts like these?
    http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/us/en/zara-us-S2012/209510/721013/PRINTED%2BPLEATED%2BSHORTS

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