The Easiest Dress in the World

I had bought the fabric for this dress from the dollar fabrics at Fabric Mart, as a segula, an amulet so I wouldn’t die during surgery. I guess my $2 investment in magical thinking worked. I didn't die.  I thought it was time to make good on the magical thinking and make the dress, especially because I’m going to be spending most of the week in Boston with my mother. If I want to wear the dress for Rosh Ha Shanah I had better get to work.
This is the basic diagram for the dress. This dress is most easily made with a knit but could work made with a bias cut woven. The back and front are cut the same. I cut both layers of fabric at the same time.
easy dress 001
Most of the shaping in this dress is not done by complicated seaming darting, but by the shape of my body.
I cut the dress with a bunch of ease at the bust, so it drapes, less at the hips so it clings.
Here is the version I made last night out of a fabric that had come from a mystery bundle a few years back.  The fabric cost nearly nothing, so I cut it freehand.
Actually I cut this dress with a bit too much ease on the top and not quite enough on the bottom the result is  both too low cut and tight to wear to services, but could be worn to the theatre or to a party. If you decide to make this dress for yourself, think about the proportions of your body. If you have thin thighs, cut it slimmer on the bottom. If you are especially endowed in the belly or butt, cut accordingly, but basically you are making a big wedge shaped tube with arm holes. If you cut it wider at the top than you are then the top will drape attractively.

I used last night’s dress as the model for today’s. I used my errors to guide my cutting and this is the result.


It’s elegant looking and comfortable. The fact that it  took  fifteen minutes from start to finish and less than a subway fare to make does not make it any less elegant of a dress.
Tomorrow night I go shopping at Costco with my sister and Wednesday I do a giant cook at my mother’s. I don’t know if I will be able to post again this week.

Meanwhile to get into the high Holiday mood, you can listen to this wonderful rendition of
Sephardi selichot
It is the full service, nearly an hour, so you don’t have to listen to the entire thing, but the recitation of the 13 attributes of God is followed by a fabulous cacophony of many, many shofarot  all blown loudly, randomly and with massive enthusiasm. It’s a great service.


  1. DH is sitting next to me as I'm scrolling through your post.

    I say "that's a dress" and then we get to it cut out. He says "yeah".

    Then we keep scrolling and say "Yeah!"

    Second thought? Your hips are much more narrow than mine.

  2. sarah
    cant manage posting as computers make me feel dim,so you may get this twice
    your frock is almost a gown with its beautiful serenity
    well done with the draping,you are now an instinctive designer
    I do need sleeves and ankle lenght ,so cant make one,but I do believe you will look beautiful and serene like your creation
    again well done and top marks

  3. Thank you, Sarah, for such an inspiring dress.....loving that cowl. Hope you enjoy the holidays.

  4. Jan - you can make your dress in any length that you like. As for sleeves -add them if they make you happy. Elsewhere on my blog I show my crackpot method for making set in sleeves. On one foot... what you do is sew the shoulder seam the dress at the shoulder seam and use that curve as your guide for cutting the armscye. Be sure to add a bit extra at each side of the arm -pit so you can move your arm.

    So Jan you could make this. There are time when I have needed a long time to let an idea marinate in my head before I was ready to try it.

    Jane --thanks for the good wishes.. both about the dress and the holidays.


  5. Mary-

    try it in an inexpensive knit.If you feel you need more ease in your hips/thighs cut it bigger. it has to fit your shape and not mine. The blue dress...shown laid out on the floor is too narrow for me in the hips. I cut the next one bigger and I don't look like a tramp in the dress. If the wedge dresses always look terrible on you..Then make a top and wear it with a skirt that flatters you.


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