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!

Sewing Circle: To wear to a wedding...

It's almost wedding season, so I've been getting lots of wedding-related Sewing Circle questions!  Here's one about a cute summery party/cocktail dress, that Cara sent in...

Q: I found the perfect dress on Piperlime recently and didn't purchase it quickly enough! It has sold out, and I can't find anything else I would rather wear to a summer wedding this year, and would love to try to make it. Do you know of any patterns that might work for this? 

I found a fabulous out of print Vogue pattern, but can't find it on sale anywhere. Has anyone replicated it or made something similar?

A: Hello Cara,

I’m sure you can replicate a dress like that, and I found a few options that are even closer than the vintage Vogue pattern! Here are a few choices:

Vogue V8380. Really super close, even has the tie at the neck. Has a waistband instead of an elastic casing like the Piperlime one, but I think it’d actually be more flattering that way!

McCall's M6029. A little more structured, again, waistband—you could easily add a not-too-full gathered skirt to get the look.

Simplicity 2406. Not quite as close, but would be super simple. It has no waist, just a sash that you wear with it, but you could easily add an elastic casing at the waist.

So, nothing exactly the same, but hopefully you like one of those!

Readers, which one do you think is best?!?


  1. Anonymous5/29/2012

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  2. Anonymous5/29/2012

    I think any of those patterns would work, but I wonder if the dress could be made without a pattern. It really just looks like a grown-up version of a pillowcase dress. Of course, the fabric choice and the interesting hemline, along with the bow tie in front make it really cute. Also the elastic waist makes the dress more appropriate for an adult. However, all of that could be easily added to a pillowcase dress. Even though, I usually sew with commercial patterns, I think I'd consider giving this dress a shot without one.

    1. Wow, you're brave! I tend to use patterns, too. But yes, with the right fabric, it could be cute without much shape!

    2. I keep looking at that dress and thinking you should be able to make it without a pattern, too. OR find a dress pattern that you like, but when you cut it our, just cut across the bodice near the top of the arm holes, fold it down for a casing, and run a ribbon through it to tie at the front, which is a very cute detail. I might sew the bow tied so that it didn't come undone at an inappropriate moment.

  3. I was going to say the same as anonymous above. It looks like a grown up pillowcase style. You could add the waistband elastic by either just sewing elastic to the inside at the waist or folding the dress up a inch at the waist to make a channel for the elastic.

    1. Yes, I'd add a piece on the inside to create a casing. Or just add a belt!

  4. I agree with Kelli! This is a pillow case dress and not too difficult. Good luck!

  5. I have a question for you! I am going to a few weddings this summer, and I'm going to be 7-8 months pregnant... what the heck am I supposed to wear? I want to look nice, not frumpy.

    Any suggestions would be wonderful! :)

    1. Cool! I have no idea, I've never been pregnant! ;) But did you see Katharine's reply below? I think anything like that with an almost-empire waist will naturally look good over your belly!

  6. Old Navy has longer versions of the dress you showed above!



    So if these are cheap enough you could shorten them at their empire waist band.

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

  7. This is a reply to Morgan...check out the post below, where the Vogue pattern 8380 shown by Suzannah was modified to make a pregnancy maxi...a gorgeous result!


  8. Vogue 8380 was the first dress I ever made. Definitely had some lessons to learn on it! I prefer the security of a pattern, so would vote for Vogue 8380. Beware though, the cover illustration is tricksy. It looks like the waistband sits on the waist, but it actually hits right under the bust. Deceptive, Vogue!

    1. Oh, cool!! I am a pattern person, too, so would go with a pattern myself. Good to know--always can move the waistband, too!

  9. I just bought the Cynthia Rowley pattern. I haven't cut into it, but its so cute.

  10. Anonymous5/30/2012

    I like the white Vogue V8380 Dress, its perfekt for gardenpartys

  11. Anonymous5/30/2012

    I think the first one, Vogue V8380, is the closest to the original (which I also think is super-cute and perfect for s summer wedding too!) Personally, the Simplicity 2406 is my favorite. I might actually give it a shot. I've been sewing a lot more lately (really, I am more of a knitter) and making my own patterns for baby clothes and accessories (really, I am more of a knitter) but I've never made a dress. Do you think it would be easy enough to follow for a beginner?

    And to Morgan, I sympathize with you! I think I wore the same wrap dress to every event I had to go to during my pregnancy. It's so hard to find something that looks good on you when your belly has just become a huge protrusion! Good luck!


  12. Great post, I really like McCall's M6029 model, this could easily add a not-too-full gathered skirt to get the look. It's perfect fit for young people...

  13. That is just a basic pillowcase dress, no pattern needed. But, Simplicity has a simple adult pillowcase dress pattern if you need to use a pattern. it could be very easy to make the casing for the elastic waist.

    I just made 2 for bathing suit coverups.



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