Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

My twist on a navy and white dress and a collar band tutorial

I like this dress from Anthropologie.
I like navy and white but sometimes they're too nautical or masculine... not this dress.
I was inspired by it, but wanted to add a little interest--I started with this pattern, which I know, I have used a million times:
And I decided to add the band, but I gave it scallops, a faux middle panel, and some vintage white shank coat buttons:

I used a semi-sheer navy cotton that I think was from Goodwill, but yards of it years ago, so I don't remember, and just some basic white cotton.  Zipper up the back (cheating I know, but it was so much easier to use a fake front panel).
What do you think?  If you're interested, here's a little mini tutorial on how to add the band on top of the bodice, creating the look of the Anthro dress (and this vintage pattern that I chose not to use this time)
...using any pattern, really:
  • Tape the pieces together allowing for the seam allowances.  Lay the top of the pattern against a long piece of paper.
  • I'm choosing to make the top of the dress straight across instead of dipping in the center to make the sweetheart neckline:
  • Sketch on the top of the bodice and mark the center front:
  •  Remove the pattern and sketch the collar, probably about 2" plus 1/2" seam allowance on each side.  I gave mine a curve at the center front, although you could do a straighter shape.
  •  Cut the piece out (with paper scissors!) and use it as a pattern piece!  Cut 1 of the fashion fabric, 1 of the lining.  With these, you'll sew right sides together, press and turn, and insert as you would straps in between the fashion fabric and lining before you sew them together.
  • You now have a pattern piece!
Of course, I chose to add big scallops on the yokes--I did this by cutting out the full band piece, then folding the pieces into equal parts and cutting the corners.  It comes out with sharp geometric edges, but then you round them and give it a nice seam allowance, then clip clip clip clip in the corners and press and turn as usual!


  1. I wish I had more time to sew! I'd love to put some more of my creativity into action. And much of my creativity would be spawned by yours, I suppose, so reading your blog just makes it worse and worse! Like maybe I'm a creative bubble about to burst!

    If sewing in a zipper is cheating- then kudos to you! Although I'll take sewing in a zipper to putting in buttons, neither one appeals too much. Maybe I'll just have to make muu muu's.

  2. I love your version! You are so incredibly talented! I dream of being able to create custom outfits for myself & my daughter but just don't find the time. You always inspire me creatively!

  3. I love the details you added to this dress. So adorable!

  4. This dress is darling! A dead ringer for the Anthro one... I'd love to see some of your creations in action, like how you style them when you wear them out.

    Thanks for your inspiration!

  5. This really is amazing! It looks exactly like the Anthropologie one!

  6. i loove that dress! they had it on display when i was at an anthro in NY and fell for it hard, but not the huge price tag. thanks for showing me how to make my own!!

  7. VERY cute--love this!

  8. Wow! Great job! I really like this. Like happyfamily commented, I really wish I had more time to sew. I really want to explore pattern making.

  9. I love that so much.

  10. cheating??? naaaaaaaaah. i'd rather do zippers than buttons- i jsut find them things so scary... the crazy button foot... eEEeeep!



  11. amazing! i wish i could sew!!!

  12. Cool detail for a dress! Love those scallops!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  13. Lovely. I really like the navy and white combination!

  14. tried this dress on yesterday! i'm amazed at your creation. great job.

  15. I love your site! I was looking at all your clothing ideas and was so impressed and than saw that you were from Portland. I grew up in Portland and now live in Keizer.

  16. So you inspired me to ask for a sewing machine for my birthday... I'm totally adding this to the list of stuff I want to make :)

  17. The dress is adorable!

  18. Really lovely. I prefer/really like your version. Very nice adaptation.

  19. Can you do some tutorials from dresses , like this one ?
    I'm from Belgium and i can't find this pattern anywhere ..



    1. Hi there,
      This post is the tutorial, so that's all I have on this one, sorry! You can probably find a very similar pattern online. Simplicity 4070 is very similar http://www.simplicity.com/p-2091-miss-miss-petite-special-occasion-dresses.aspx, but any basic strapless dress pattern will work!



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