Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and 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!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

I looove this work dress!

So while I haven't time to sew since we moved on Saturday, I have had a chance to wear a dress I made last week--and I felt so cute in it!  I wasn't sure about the pattern, since the sleeve option was weird and the bust seam seemed a little out of place, but it turned out great!  It's McCall's M6162, which I got for $1.99 at JoAnn's at a big sale recently.
See, weird sleeve.  I might use it sometime for fun, but... eh.  The pattern piece for it is actually just a rectangle on the straight grain!  Anyway.

I made it up out of a heathered-sort of grey poly suiting that I also got at JoAnn's, for $1.50 or $2.00 a yard on a half off clearance sale.  Here it is plain (forgive the bra straps; my photographer's not trained to notiec such things ;) ):
And here it is with a belt and cardi, how I wore it at work (I also wore black tights with a stripe woven in and cute black heeled "shooties").
Guess you can't really see my earrings, but that's all the jewelry I wore.  Next time I wear it I'll accessorize totally differently--could wear a blazer over it, or maybe just a scarf at the neck, and of course there are many different belts I could add!  I like to look different every day, and a dress isn't something as versatile as a skirt or top that you can easily pair with something different, so I want to be creative with it.  Any suggestions are appreciated!  How would you accessorize this dress?


  1. So cute!
    I just got a vintage snowflake brooch that I'd definitely wear on the dress, or on a cardigan over it. What a great piece!

  2. What a great dress, and your execution of it is wonderful. I'm always so impressed at how well you fit your dresses! I am still a bit of a dressmaking newbie, but I find that my dresses look best if I'm going for that paperbag chic look. :-)

  3. I'm going to have to get that pattern! You look so cute in it. It's the perfect classy dress. I love the look with the belt and cardi.

  4. lovely dress! it's very similar to the one I'm making at the mo - I hope it turns out as-well as your one lol!

  5. I love the versatility of these dresses, you could pretty much wear what you want with it, small belt, wide belt, patterned tights, cardi with a brooch... The list is endless!!!

  6. A very cute dress, indeed. Pink, red, or brown accents would be lovely. It would look sweet with a little shrug. What a great pattern.

  7. You are so talented! How adorable!!! :)

  8. cute dress and I love fabric! it would look cute with boots or a cardi, some long necklaces or a big flower brooch... the possibilities are endless! :)

  9. Love it! It's just a little different from what you've already done here but maybe a belt over the cardigan? That's a popular look right now. Very cute!

  10. Anonymous2/04/2011

    What a great classic dress! So feminine!
    I think it would look cute with a matching necklace and shoes. Or even a brooch.

  11. Love the dress. For some reason I'm feeling like a yellow scarf might look great.

  12. It looks great on you!

  13. I thought you would be too busy to post with your new job but I guess the new job is a bonus for us!! I love your ideas on office wear! I need the ideas! I went out an bought some 99 cent patterns from one of your post and am so excited to try one. I tend to be a color inside the lines kind of person and you are totaly inspiring me!! Keep it up!
    Oh and I think I would try a shortish cardi or jacket. You can probably whip one up before breakfast! Thanks for your guest posts! She is adorable!

  14. Wauu...I wanna sew one aswell :)
    Wear it with a funny colorful broche and a matching blouse/cardigan/jacket or hairband ;)

  15. Suzannah, I would make the dress with the sleeve detail. That's what makes it so different!
    JR Nuerge

  16. Anonymous2/05/2011

    I really like this one! Simple and classic. And I think you could do a lot of fun accessorizing because it's such a neutral color. Maybe some fun, bold colors with a scarf, necklace, or belt (I'm thinking yellow would be especially fun)

  17. You are whipping up some great wear to work gear. But I think you could add some colour to your workwear.

  18. Thanks, everyone! Thanks for all the ideas =)

  19. i am with megan, the first time i looked at it i thought a yellow scarf or other accent might be fun.

  20. Hi,
    You are amazing! I'm new to your site...but I just love the stuff you make.

    For accessorizing this dress...why not create one of your 'eternity' scarves, but a lightweight version...with the same fabric as the dress on one side and a complementing print fabric on the other....maybe the print could have colors that coordinate with a contrasting color blazer. Or something like your ruffled peplum belt might go great with it too.


  21. you could add a scarf, a crocheted neckline ( my mother used to make a lot of them), attach a ruffle to a belt and attach at the hemline inside the dress. Wear a ruffle around your waist. Color is great and can be paired with almost anything. You are making me want to start sewing again. (Then I won't be able to work on my jewelry that I sell.) Keep up the terrific work and ideas.

  22. This dress is great and so well made!
    I have this same pattern and attempted to make my first ever dress with it - it didn't turn out so well!
    Do you have any tutorials on simple work dresses?
    p.s - your blog is great!

  23. Thankd!!

    @Thejoya, I don't have any work dress tutorials posted (I usually follow the patterns pretty closely for them), but I do have a Sewing Circle all about linings coming up next week and it will be very relevant!




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