The “Single White Female” dress

This is the confession of a sewing stalker and serial lurker. I like to hang about the online sewing glitterati, blatantly copying their ideas. This particular style steal was first spotted here at Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing. I saw, I wanted. AND it has a sort of ruffled collar going on. Perfect.

There was one small problem – it’s not a Colette pattern. My last three makes were all Truffle dresses for goodness sake. Would I cope?

This pattern is actually quite straight forward even for a sewing dunce like myself, I made a muslin though. When I first started sewing I could not see the point of this at all. “What a waste of fabric and time” the old me sang happily in my head. “I’ll save time by just jumping right in” I trilled naively. That lesson has been learnt and I have a pile of clothes that don’t fit properly to prove it.

My usual adjustments: I didn’t bother with an FBA because the bodice is gathered in the booby area but I cut a smaller size in the shoulder area and graded it up two sizes at the waist, taking out about an inch under the armscye. Turns out my back is small compared to my front and I have small shoulders. I made ths skirt longer by about 4 inches to save the general populace from having to witness my knees. I did these things before I made the muslin and it fitted first time.

My husband is a hugely keen coarse fisherman and has a posh camera for taking pictures of various slimy carp and pike. Can I get him to use it to take pictures of me? Can I heck. Situation normal is a two minute session with the point and click camera in our garden until Mr T decides he is bored of all that, thank you very much. However, in an uncharacteristic attack of creativity he agreed to go to Ayscoughee Hall to get a few snaps. To celebrate I tried to pose for a few more atmospheric shots by looking away from the camera with a moody pout but it just looked like I swallowed something unpleasant. So I reverted to gumming a big grin as usual I’m afraid.

On my sewing journey I have wandered down a tempting knitting side path and you will see I am sporting a rather nice cardigan that I am very proud to say I made myself. From this distance you can’t see the mistakes.

Fabric: vintage 1950’s cotton bought from a Vintage Festival

Pattern: McCall’s 6503

Year: contemporary

Notions: invisible dress zip, thread, interfacing for the waistband

Time to complete: about 8 or 10 hours including muslin

First worn? On holiday in Slovenia

Wear again? Yes please

Total price: about £25


Charlotte Tilley

Charlotte Tilley sewed a dress in 1988 on her mother's machine. Then nothing for over 20 years. She came out of hibernation to sew along with sewweekly for the last year. She has learnt alot, but has a long long way to go.....


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  1. Cardi and dress go great together Charlotte – love the frill on the cardi!

  2. Tyanks Diane, I was hoping you would see my knitting x

  3. Thanks Diane, I was hoping you would see my knitting x