Hot! The “No Longer A Pilgrim” Dress

The Facts
Fabric: Purple dot cotton from Jo-Anns ~$5
Pattern: Lisette for Simplicity 2245
Year: 2011
Notions: 2 buttons ~$1
Time to complete: ~8 hours originally, ~2 hours to fix it (2 episodes of West Wing)
First worn: Just for pics
Wear again? I think so
Total price: ~$6

I fell in love with this fabric at the store and was super excited to make it into the Portfolio dress. After getting to a good place with it, I tried it on and felt like a pilgrim in a purple sack – it was way too big, kinda short, and all around unflattering. It sat off to the side for over 9 months mocking me. I kept saying I’d do something with it to make it wearable and never got around to it. As I’m new to sewing I don’t have many UFOs. My “pile” was only the cardigan I finished for the buttons challenge, this dress, and the blouse version from this pattern – this is not a flattering pattern for me apparently!

I forgot to take a “before” photo of me wearing it, and I had already hacked the sleeves off when I realized this. So here it is laying on the living room floor with the sleeves sneakily back in place. The white collar and “bib” is what gave me the pilgrim vibe. All I was missing was a buckle on my hat.

To complete this project, and finally get to wear it, I snipped off the giant long sleeves, removed the collar facing and turned the previous collar into the facing for a new wide neckline. I then put in the button closures on the back and finally finished the hem with some ribbon because just turned up a centimeter was bordering on too short. I still feel it looks a little sack-like but I think the addition of a belt helps a touch. This is definitely a casual summery dress.



Liz has been sewing since April 2011 but has been crafty all her life. Her full-time job is as a museum curator at a smallish institution, where her DIY skills often come in handy. Liz likes to sew while watching TV, which she uses to measure the amount of time it takes to finish.


Comments are closed.

  1. I am liking this with all the changes you have made! The belt helps cinch it in and that fabric is too adorable! Well done on getting this to work for you :D (I have this pattern in my stash and I was a bit worried about the shape of this dress so thank you for the inspiration!)

  2. What a great save! It’s funny how a few style tweaks can rescue a questionable pattern once its all sewn up. Your version of the dress is awfully cute. I’m always drawn to Lisette patterns, but they do give off a boxy-alert sometimes. Sorry you didn’t hear the Pilgrim-alert on this one ;-).

  3. Hi Liz, great job revamping the dress. I think it looks great even without the belt.

  4. I am in love with belts-for-saving-sack-dresses-from-the-never-again-pile. This was definitely a great save, and I love that little block of white in front now!

  5. The belt and chop-job are a big improvement. The line of the dress is much nicer now.

  6. I really love it, the finished dress doesn’t look in any way ‘pilgrim’ now!

  7. Great save! I was concerned about this pattern’s shape too but I love it with the belt and the changes you made!

  8. Thanks all! Has anyone done the new-ish Lisette pattern, 2060 “Itinerary”? That one comes with a pattern for an obi belt. I think if I make the “Portfolio” (or, I also have “Market”) dress again I’ll plan on making a coordinating belt.

  9. Much better, and especially great with the belt! Great save.

  10. I agree, you really improved the dress. I Love your choice of fabric too.

  11. Gorgeous, oh I love a dress with pockets. Great save.

  12. Oops, I thought I had posted on this already. I love the purple fabric, and the modification to remove some of the white was a great idea – much less pilgrim-like :) Super cute!