I can make that! Border Print Dress

Left: RTW dress | Right: My copy of the dress

One of the great things about sewing is being able to recreate garments that are already in your wardrobe. If you own a simple garments (like leggings, tees and knit skirts/dresses) that fits you well, you can typically trace it to create your own pattern . If you’re more adventurous you can take apart more complicated garments (like jackets and pants) to trace off your pattern.


My mother gave me this cute simple pullover knit dress a while back. I worn it several times because it’s comfy and easy to throw together with some heels or wedges and a jacket. Each time I wear it I think “I need to recreate this in some other knits in my stash!

The inspiration dress.

Finally I said today is the day and “made” a pattern. For the body I simply folded the dress down the center and aligned the center of the dress with the edge of my paper. Using pattern weights to keep it in place I traced around the neckline, armsyce, body and hem (using a curve ruler where needed). Next I added 5/8″ seam allowances (SA) to all but the neckline and hem. The hem gets an 1″ SA.


One of the details I like about this RTW dress is the wide but high neckline. This is actually achieved by the yoke being cut on the fold so I didn’t need to add a SA to the neckline. Making the yoke took me a second to figure out, but once I did it wasn’t hard to figure out. I started by marking the line for the bottom of the yoke and the to of the front dress. To do this I simply folded over and marked where the yoke ends using a straight ruler. I immediately marked a notch along this line for joining the two pieces later. I then cut along that line and made a note to add SA there. It would be best to redraw these pieces adding the SA or simply tape a piece of paper to add the SA, but I’m lazy sometimes.


Now you have all the pieces! The main dress and yoke (I used the same piece for the front and back). I wanted this version to be sleeveless, but had I wanted to add the sleeve I would have traced it very similar to how I traced the main dress.


Now on to the sewing, I selected this border knit from Michael Levine Loft that I bought last summer. The original dress has a border feature at the hem, so I think that impacted my decision. I used the borders along the selvages of my fabric for the yoke and hem.

I first sewed the shoulders of the front and back yokes together RSF then attached the yoke front and back to the main dress front and back before topstitching the SA to the yoke. My original dress had piping here which is a nice touch, but alas I didn’t have any. Next was the side seam. I could’ve simply hemmed the dress and stopped here.


However to keep with the look of the original dress, I decided to add part of the border to the hem, so I decided to shortened the dress ( I just eyeballed it) and added a portion of the border. The last thing was to hem the border piece and I was all done!


As I write this I realize it seems like quite a bit of work, but I did all of this in a day.

If enough people want, I could do a video tutorial on this. Let me know in the comments.