The Quest for Dresses

I keep looking in my closet for a dress to wear and find myself hating everything. Everything!! I addressed the issue somewhat with my fall sewing plans with my two versions of the Inari Tee Dress but I’m still not satisfied. I’d like to be able to open my closet, see a row of options and want to wear all of them right now.

There are a few requirements for the perfect everyday dress. First the dress needs to fit my body. Last year I got rid of a lot of the dresses that no longer fit as well as they used to (I lost some weight over the last few years which means a lot of my handmade things became too big). Second, I need to feel comfortable wearing it. It shouldn’t be too flashy or too revealing and it needs to play well with the other things in my wardrobe.

Here are the top 5 dress patterns that I plan on adding to my wardrobe this year. I've made a few of them and a couple I've yet to try. Read on for all the details!

Five Classic Dress Sewing Patterns

1. Inari Tee Dress by Named Clothing

I started my quest for more dresses a couple of months ago and so far it’s going pretty well. First up was the Inari Tee Dress, a pullover cocoon style dress with short sleeves. It’s really easy to make and super easy to wear. Check out my versions here and here.

2. Mesa Dress by Seamwork

The Mesa Dress from Seamwork Magazine is my new favorite knit dress. I made a muslin and perfected the fit (seriously guys don’t skip this step, you won't regret it). Now I have a pattern that I’m totally in love with. I shared one version of the Mesa last week and will have another one to share later this week.

3. Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio

I've made a version of the Alder Shirtdress and I love it but I need to perfect the sizing (FBA and lengthen). This is a classic design and I'm really looking forward to making it part of my wardrobe.

4. Ultimate Shift Dress by Sew Over It

I have not tried this one yet but I love the clean simple design. So classic! It's also the kind of dress that allows for a big lunch but still looks polished with the set-in sleeves.

5. Darling Ranges by Megan Nielsen

This pattern has been on my to-sew list for a while. I've loved all of her patterns that I've tried and I'm sure this one will be no different.

And now for the runners up! There are so many great patterns out there and I want to make them all. 1. Adelaide by Seamwork (wearable muslin here), 2. Scout Tee by Grainline Studio (lengthened into a dress!) 3. Simplicity 1366 (again a top lengthened into a dress!), 4. Vogue V9075 (my jumpsuit version here), 5. Butterick B6182, 6. Gallery Tunic by Oliver & S, 7. Phoebe by Colette and 8. Bettine by Tilly & the Buttons.

Please share your favorite dress patterns in the comments. I'd love to hear what works for you.