Hot! The “Little Black Sheep” Dress | Sarah Gabbart


The Facts 
McCalls M5927 - Chanel DressFabric: Wool focus fabric and taffeta lining from Jo Ann's Fabric and Crafts ~$20 total (with coupon – yess!)
Pattern: McCall M5927
Year: c. 2009
Notions: Metal zipper – $6
Time to complete: 5
First worn: January 2011
Wear again? Yes. 

Total Cost: $26


Ahhh the Little Black Dress, or LBD, one of Coco Chanel's most enduring gifts to the world of fashion and the main object of my desire ever since I started to sew. Who doesn't look amazing in a simple black sheath? Answer: no one. Everybody looks good in a LBD.

 To kick off a year of sewing for myself, I decided to tackle that one elusive part of my wardrobe: the Little Black Dress.

Chanel dress - zipper detail I found a basic black wool suiting material and a bright green lining at my local Jo Ann's but wondered how I could make this classic dress more "me." Then I noticed the metal zippers – what a great way to add some interesting, hard-edged detail to a very simple dress! $26 and one 40% off coupon later, I was ready to tackle McCall M5927 with gusto!

The pattern was straightforward with easy pockets, front pleats and darts in the bust and back. The most difficult part was the fabric I chose: working with wool was new to me and can give you some issues with thickness occasionally (especially on pleats). Also, it picks up anything you get near it – thread, frayed lining edges, dog hair and donut crumbs show up on it big time. Keep you lint roller handy!

 When I finally tried the finished dress on it fit perfectly – a total first for me as a seamstress. I don't know about you, but usually I need to do some surgery to make something fit better, whether it's taking in the bust a bit or taking out the hips a bit more. Not with this pattern – I simply graded my top size to my bottom size (which are 3 sizes apart – pear shapes represent!) and it was good to go.

Overall I'm really pleased with the way this turned out – it's a perfect dress for a night out (with some bright tights or sexy shoes – rawr) or a business meeting (with boots and a cropped jacket). It's apparently even perfect for walking Tex the Pug in the "harsh" Texas winter. Yes I'm aware 60 degrees outside in January doesn't technically qualify as winter. 

Chanel dress - on dress form


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. It turned out great, Sarah! In my mind, that’s the quintessential modern LBD.

  2. Lovely! So simple, so elegant – yet totally wearable to just about anything. WIN!
    I’m also digging the hat and pug pairing :)


  4. Yo Mama would look good in that!!
    Good job, Sarah!


    Love it! I am going to make up that pattern asap!!

  6. Thanks everybody!! It was surprisingly not too hard to make – I always get worried with new patterns that they’ll be crazy difficult. And I just couldn’t resist putting Tex the Pug in the photo – he’s such a little ham :o)

  7. OOH! Post a picture! I want to see how it turns out – it is such a versatile pattern that it will look so cool in so many different fabrics!

  8. Your cute black dress looks exactly like on my sister wore in the 1960’s with white gloves for the singing group she was in during High School.

  9. Love that you gave it a fun lining — i wanna see it!

  10. It’s the perfect LBD, well done Sarah!

  11. Gorgeous! Makes me want to begin my own LBD. Great job!

  12. Oh! I love it! Such a wardrobe staple! YAY!

  13. Looks fabulous! I love that you used wool – it really gives it a nice, warm feel. Definitely an item to add to your lifetime wardrobe. Well done! :)

  14. I LOVE this – amazing photo, amazing dress! Well done!

  15. Looks great! I love the zipper you chose and the picture is adorable!

  16. Thanks guys! Y’all have made my week with all your kind words :o)

  17. Great job, I’d wear this all the time. For some reason I always forget about black when it comes to sewing, this reminds me I shouldn’t.

  18. margueritedesigns

    Lovely! You could wear it with other things too, such as a nice shirt – at least you would have to at this time of year in the UK climate!

  19. this looks lovely! Wonderful work!

  20. This is sooo cute!! Thanks for sharing :D