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 with Friends: Alyssa's black lace Arrow-inspired dress

Super cute black lace dress knockoff DIY today, but made by my dear friend Alyssa instead of me!

Alyssa and I go way back. We met when we were about 10 and she was my closest friend in high school despite us going to different schools very far apart. Lucky us, she ended up in the Portland area after college, too, and we've reconnected in recent years and she's picked up sewing! She seems to have way more time and fabric shopping energy than I do, and she's whipped out quite a few very cute dresses. I did some pics of her in them a couple years ago--she's made even more now, and uses some of my fave patterns and has great taste. I thought it would be fun to share them with you!!!

So, this series was born--we all know how fun it is to share a random, specialized hobby with someone, and it's so super cool that Alyssa and I can talk sewing as well as favorite 90's movies, owning too many shoes, and other good things we have in common. I snapped some pics of Alyssa in her latest and greatest creation, this pretty black lace dress, and thus begins what I hope will be a somewhat regular series--Sewing with Friends!

Alyssa saw this cute Alice + Olivia dress worn by Thea on Arrow. She drafted the pattern herself and used a black stretch lace (not too scratchy!) and tan lining. I love the dropped waist!!

What an awesome knockoff, right?? She Instagrammed a similar comparison here. (She's the greatest at using my hashtag, #howtowearDIY! You can join, too!) The character Thea wears this dress at a charity party scene in one episode.

Super wearable, too, because it's short and not too bare or structured; makes it great for a date night or simple party. 

The skirt is a simple gathered skirt. For the bodice, she cut the top piece the same width as the skirt, then did some trial and error drafting where she wanted the front to lay. For the neck band, she cut a narrow curved piece and gathered the top of the bodice onto it. Then she sewed the bodice and skirt pieces together and added elastic at the waist. So simple but looks great!

The original dress is actually Alice + Olivia (love when someone else finds out where clothing on TV shows is actually from, takes some of the guesswork out!), and she totally nailed the look. See?

Wow. So fun. Thanks, Alyssa, for inspiring me to get back to the sewing machine, and for hanging out talking about clothes!!

P.S. Here's to friends who are awesome. My sweet friend Jessie just started a chic home/lifestyle/DIY blog this month and has an awesome recap of her 2013 (including Europe travels and having a baby!) and mentions me. I'm so touched. Feeling so grateful for friends that I can share things with!


  1. Wow! The dress looks so similar to the original. You did a great job and kudos to you for making the pattern!

  2. I love that show and that dress!

  3. You are too sweet!! Thank you so much for mentioning me! And thank you to Alyssa for inspiring me to get to some sewing projects too. I Love that dress!

  4. Wow!!! Great job, what a knockout dress -sexy without the floozy factor. You did a fabulous job of recreating . Can't wait to see more. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Ooo, I love this! Being inspired by the fashion on TV and then showing how to make it real is amazing! It's always a little unfair that people are supposed to be "like us" on TV shows but are always so casually fashionable in $600 outfits...



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