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!

A fall brunch dress (or the 43 minute dress)

I've had this dress in the back of my mind for months.  Inspired by several at Anthro, and some home dec fabric a friend gave me, I put together an idea to pretty much copy this dress:
I even got some really nice quality just-barely-off-white broadcloth from my mom's supply.  This stuff is such nice quality, totally straight on the grain and bolt.  So tightly woven, you have to use a really sharp needle on the machine to make it go through--and pinning two layers of it together is pretty much out of the question.  But it's nice, and thick, and doesn't get soft and pilly like quilter's cotton.

Anyway, as I was flipping through my pattern box to find the most similar bodice pattern I have to the Anthro dress, I happened on Simplicity 2497...
...which I've used several times before, and which reminded me of these Anthro dresses:
I figured it would work, too!  So instead of the first Anthro-ey bodice as I was imagining, I made the scoop-neck, unlined bodice, which, of course took practically no time at all.  I don't know exactly how long it took, but I was watching old Gilmore Girls episodes in the background, and I'm pretty sure I only went through one during the project--that's 43 minutes.  Ish.
I wanted to do something interesting on the scoop neck, not necessarily the ruffle from the pattern, and I realized I don't have anything with a pleated ruffle collar.  It was super easy to make--I tore a 4-5" long piece of the width of the fabric, folded it in half and pressed it well, and didn't even need to pin it all.  I basted the row of pleats before I attached it to the bodice, and just pleated as I sewed, tucking the fabric under the presser foot as I went!  Easy and actually kind of fun.  Then I pressed it really well before sewing it on the neckline, and finishing with self-fabric bias.  Ta-da!
I'm planning on wearing it to the post-wedding brunch on Sunday on my trip to Orlando!


  1. Anonymous10/22/2010

    Great dress! I love to get inspiration from Anthropologie :) And I loved GG!
    You'll look awesome during and after the wedding ;)

    Maria from:

  2. Anonymous10/22/2010

    Oh I love the fabric on the skirt! Very vintage-chic.

  3. Anonymous10/22/2010

    Oh, it's darling. The skirt colors are great. -heidi


  4. Its wonderful, i love the fabric!

  5. That's an adorable dress! I really like the pleats on the neckline. That skirt fabric is discontinued, and was on sale a while ago for $2 per metre, so I just had to buy a couple of yards. I love it, but I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet.

  6. I love this! I think it's my favorite of the dresses you've made.

  7. beautiful! it turned out perfect! what a good idea for the top! i have been wanting to make this dress for so long and just needed a little extra push. thanks!

  8. That dress is FABULOUS!!! I love it!! I really love the pleated collar. I have been loving those anthro dresses you posted, and I have that pattern, but I never thought of using it to knock off that anthro dress.

  9. Love this dress!! Great job!

  10. I love the ruffle collar! It is just the right touch.

  11. Great dress! I can't believe it only to you 43 min! I really love the ruffles and the fabric of the skirt!

  12. Yay!!! I love your version!! I'm always, always copying Anthro dresses for my blog also, just because, why pay for it when I can make it for so much cheaper, and have it fit better? I've followed your blog for a while, but have never commented before...just wanted you to know I'm a huge fan.
    Kristina J.

  13. I love this dress! I want to make one for my daughter now. Thanks for the post, you're very inspiring!

  14. Well done! I like the fabric choice for the skirt!

  15. wow 43 min, huh? It looks amazing. I might have to whip out one of those!!!


  16. Could you do a tute, or do you know of a good reference for the neck ruffle? I know you explained here but I'm totally a visual person and this is exactly the type of neck design I've been wanting to COPY!

  17. Thanks, everyone!
    @Linnea, sure, I can do a tutorial sometime soon for a pleated-neckline dress bodice! I will have to find some fabric and maybe make a more fall-in-Oregon-appropriate dress.



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