Hot! The “A Study In Grey” Outfit

The Facts
Fabric: Grey suiting $12, lining from stash $0
Pattern: “Frankenpattern”, Butterick 5032 and free deerstalker pattern
Year: Contemporary mix and 1952 reissue
Notions: 16″ zipper $1, covered buttons from stash $0
Time to complete: 16 hours (2 seasons of Sherlock and 7 eps of the 80s BBC series Sherlock Holmes)
First worn: For pictures
Wear again? Right, ho!
Total price: ~$13
It had to be done. It HAD TO! I had this cape pattern, and I had been waiting and waiting to make a grey dress. All I needed to do was Google a pattern for a Deerstalker and I was set. It had to be done. So I did.

Admittedly my mom is a bigger Sir-Arthur-Conan-Doyle-canon Sherlock Holmes fanatic than I am. She’s very particular about who Holmes is and is not. I am just a fan of the character in general, so I appreciate modern interpretations of all sorts. She came to visit me the first time I studied abroad in London, and I made sure to take her to the museum at 221B Baker Street. And then when hubs and I went to London for our honeymoon, we stayed just up the road from The Sherlock Holmes Pub on Northumberland Street, and made a special trip to the Baker Street tube station just so I could get a good picture of the tiles (after years of failing).

Anyway, the cape with the dress is meant to echo the Inverness cape/coat that Sherlock Holmes is commonly depicted wearing. But I’ve added the red buttonhole detail that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is known for.

Can you believe I don’t have a basic A-line dress pattern with a basic bodice and sleeves? I could’t believe it either. Everyone seems to have Simplicity 2444 except me. I’ve been trying not to buy a whole lot of patterns so I “Frankenpatterned” my way through it with the skirt from Simplicity 2209, the bodice from McCall’s 5972, and the sleeves from Simplicity 2211.

I knew the bodice and skirt would be easy-ish to put together, but I wasn’t sure how well the sleeves would work with the bodice. So first compared the bodice for the dress, and the blouse the sleeves usually belong to. Then I made one muslin sleeve and basted it in and made some minor adjustments and it was fine. Since I was doing sleeves I moved the zipper from the side, to the back. I’ve always wanted to do that! This whole outfit was just full of success!



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.


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  1. So when you said a study in grey, I thought of another book and wasn’t sure what to expect of this post! I love the cape, with its red buttonhole- I also have a cape pattern looking for an opportunity…

    • At first I was going to ask you which book…and then I put it together LOL! Umm yeah, NOT those books. I love the cape. I thought it was going to be ridiculous but I’m thinking I might actually wear it in the fall! Capes need a come-back!

  2. Huzzah for red buttonholes! My eldest has just started reading A Study in Scarlet since I’ve been doing wall-to-wall Sherlock and keeps running downstairs to tell me lines that amuse her or she’s seen adapted in the BBC Cumberbatch Sherlock….I have another Holmes covert. I love how you’ve made ‘Sherlock’ into a wearable outfit, not too costumey. I love the check lining. Actually the whole grey is very pretty. Including the deerstalker… fact I might say that you are the daintiest thing under a bonnet I’ve set eyes on all week, you eclipse and predominate the whole of… us sewists ;)

    • Thanks, Tempest!! You’re too kind! Study in Scarlet is a great book for BBC Sherlock-spotting. I think Moffat and Gatiss are really, really fond of the original canon and include it as much as possible.

  3. Super super cool. It looks entirely Sherlockian, but also is a cute dress! Amazing!

  4. Oh my, you look so chic! I love this!

  5. I’m a massive fan of Sherlock Holmes. Ohhh this outfit it’s fantastic… I need one.

  6. How fabulous – the whole outfit came together beautifully, I especially like the capelet

  7. Lovely, that the pieces can be worn separately is great!

  8. Wow! Love this Liz, can you imagine a red cape? Little Red Riding Hood!! brilliant job.

  9. This is great – the whole set together may look a little costumey if you’re carrying the magnifying glass (haha), but the pieces would all work so well separately. And gotta love the red buttonhole!

  10. Of COURSE you had to make this and it is wonderful : ) I don’t see it as “costumey” AND I like all the pieces together. I’ve been “Sherlock’d” so the red buttonhole is a very sneaky “heh, heh, heh” kind of detail. Successful indeed!

  11. I am loving everything about this whole outfit. The cape, the dress, the hat, all just so darling and so wearable. I really love you aesthetic.

  12. It is so flattering! Love your style and and photos this week. I have the pattern that you used for the cape and also for the next week’s challenge. It’s nice to see it made up. Now I can fearlessly tackle it because you have forged the way. Thanks!