Skirt or dress?

For the  last couple of years ready-to-wear fashion brands have been introducing more and more “two in one” clothes such as dresses that basically look like a skirt and top. For people who already had trouble telling the difference between a skirt and a dress (is this a call to the men out there??? nooooooo 😉 ) this must be so confusing. I must admit I feel bad now for the boys who all these years would put themselves out there by complementing us on our dress and we awful creatures would just answer with contempt “it’s a skiiirt!!!” and turn around laughing and walk away with our girlfriends. Sorry guys for what we made you suffer!


So this is my version of a skirt-dress. I love that style which is so practical: you don’t have to worry about matching up an outfit and keeping all the pieces in place during the day.

The design is based on two different patterns: Simplicity 2406 dress by designer Cynthia Rowley for the top and Burda Marie 9177 skirt for the bottom. The top is a white cotton with a slight brocade-like white-on-white print and the skirt is a black cotton sateen lined with black polyester.

The cut-out sleeves were a little tricky to figure out but the instructions were crystal clear so it worked out fine. I made the back opening smaller for more comfort and finished it with a vintage bronze colored button. I sewed the pleats on the front of the skirt as indicated in the pattern but I decided to make the back as a straight pencil skirt with two darts on each side.

black and white dress montage

The skirt and top were easy to put together but an unexpected problem appeared at the very end which made me give up the project and put it away for a few weeks. You know, it’s that really infuriating detail which gets so frustrating that you just give up the entire thing…

I put an invisible zipper in on the left side of the skirt and since the top had a back opening and was pretty wide on the sides I thought it would be all good. But what I didn’t realize was that since the top was gathered at the waist I actually needed an opening there too. The solution I eventually came up with (with the precious help of my awesome sewing consultant: my mother) was to add 4 press studs which I sewed by hand on the inside part of the fabric above the zip. It’s unfortunately not as invisible as I would have liked – especially since I only had black studs at home and couldn’t be bothered to go out and buy some white ones! But it works and I have been excited to notice since then that dresses in shops are actually designed the same way.

What ready-to-wear designs have you been inspired by lately? Do you follow the current trends when you sew or do you just go your own way?


∞   Shoes Minelli   ∞


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