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A classic Little Black Dress

Something that my handmade wardrobe is seriously lacking is a classic LBD.

Despite my usual preference of dresses with florals, bows, ties and ruffles, this time I wanted to make more of an elegant simple style with no frills.

I also wanted a dress that was quick to make and didn’t use much fabric.

The Pattydoo Marie seemed to fit the bill perfectly, and as I had only made this dress once before it was perhaps about time that I gave it another go.

The Pattydoo Marie dress is a very simple sleeveless dress pattern with a round neck, and princess seams at the front and back which form the most adorable pleats just below your waist. I wrote a blog about the first version that I made here back in August 2018, and whilst I loved lots about it, I didn’t enjoy the fact that it was sleeveless and disliked my fabric choice.

The Marie Dress from Pattydoo. Line drawing is from the Pattydoo website.

For this version I added short sleeves from another Pattydoo dress that I have (The Chloe dress), and this worked out perfectly. I feel much more comfortable in a garment with sleeves these days.

I also cut the hemline straight again, as I don’t think a shaped hem suits me.

So this is where things might get a teeny bit confusing. Stay with me. Pattydoo are a German pattern company, and unfortunately I don’t speak a word of German. When you visit their website you can click on an English version, but this only has a handful of patterns available on it, (and they are not ones that I want). This is not a problem though because most of the German patterns all have the most excellent sew-along videos which are easy to follow visually despite being spoken in German. The sew-along for the Marie dress is here.

I’ve been holding out for a sleeve add-on pack for the Marie dress but here’s the thing that I’ve just noticed on the Pattydoo site – they now make an Eliza Dress. This looks exactly like the Marie, but with sleeves! So it looks to me like instead of creating an add-on sleeve pattern for the Marie, they have just released pretty much the same pattern but with sleeve variations, and called it a different name. The pattern comes with 3 sleeve lengths. The only difference that I can see is that the Eliza has a straight hemline, whereas the Marie’s hemline is shaped. I can’t find a sew-along video for the Eliza dress, but I would just use the one for the Marie dress linked above and insert the sleeves before sewing up the side/underarm seams.

This is the Eliza Dress. Line drawings from the Pattydoo website.

By the way, did I mention that Pattydoo PDF’s are only 2.99 Euros!!

I used a black scuba (I can’t remember where from) for my dress, which of course holds the pleats at the waist beautifully. I think this dress would look pretty in a french terry or a ponte too, if scuba is not your vibe.

The dress front and back pattern pieces are quite an unusual shape, I don’t think that I have another dress that has a pattern shaped like this!

The neckline is just a simple ‘turn over and sew down’ although you could draft a neckline facing easily enough if that is your preferred method. I used a twin needle to finish the neckline, sleeves and hem.

Seaglass necklace from @lilypad_jewellery

As expected, black is the most difficult colour to photograph. I have done my best to show you the details where possible, but I’m pretty sure that now that I know that I can add sleeves to it, I will want to make more – in colours that will photograph more easily!

The back of the dress has the same princess lines as the front, which gives you the most lovely dress shape all the way around, and gives you a kind of tulip shape.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but there are no fastenings to this dress – it’s a good ol’ pull on and off over the head situation! Win win.

One last look at those pleats before I go …

What is your ‘go-to’ classic timeless dress pattern?

Take care, I’ll be back soon

Kathy x