The Shirley Dress - Free Sewing Pattern

Posted on May 1, 2019 by Lee Norris

In 1947, Christian Dior changed the fate of fashion with his "New Look" collection, bringing his iconic "fit-and-flare" silhouette into focus. Defining ‘50s fashion was just the beginning of its impact, as it continues making its way into wardrobes today! Personally, I would never pass up the opportunity to add a retro dress to my collection and that’s why The Shirley Dress is, without a doubt, my new favorite. Designed specifically with Mood’s Haberdashery Collection in mind, this new sewing pattern features a pleated skirt that’s just begging to be paired with a border print. If the collection’s vintage-sewing-kit vibe isn’t your speed, the Shirley will lend itself just as well to any cotton twill or sateen, whether abstracted, printed, or solid. To compete with the summer heat, you could even try a lightweight linen or embroidered organza over a solid lining. However you decide to style yours, you’ll look cute as a button-up!


Simply fill in the form below, verify your email address and you’ll be sent a link to download your free pattern.


All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.

Mood Sewing Pattern Size Chart

First, add the darts into the front and back panels of your dress bodice, following the guides on you pattern pieces. Attach the front and back bodice at the shoulders and side seams. Since this dress is unlined, I recommend using French seams.

Note: On the side where you'll be inserting your zipper, only sew about 1.5" down the side of your seam from the armscye. The rest will remain open until you attach the zip.

Set your bodice aside for the time being and take a look at your sleeves. Attach the fabric face of your sleeve band to the wrong side of your sleeve along the bottom edge, like you see in the lower left image. Iron the band downward, toward the sleeve hem.

Iron a 1/2" seam allowance up toward the wrong side of your sleeve band, like you see in the middle image below, and then fold the band in half. Top-stitch the band into place.

Close the inseam of your sleeve and then set your sleeves into the bodice of your dress.

Next, fold the center front of your bodice 1/2" inward toward the wrong side of your garment, and then another 1" to create the button placket. Top-stitch into place.

Add one of your collar pieces along the neckline of your dress. Pin the second piece on top of the first, fabric faces together, and then sew around the top three edges. Clip your seam allowance, turn your collar right side out and press. Fold the raw edge inward along the neckline and slip-stitch your collar closed.

Add your buttons and buttonholes evenly spaced along the plackets.

Following the guidelines on your pattern, pin your pleats along the front and back panels of your skirt. Stay-stitch into place.

Insert your inseam pocket on the opposite side of where you'll be inserting your invisible zipper. On the zipper side, only add your pocket to the front panel of your skirt. Fold the pocket in half so a 1/2" seam allowance protrudes past the skirt, like you see below. Pin into place and sew the skirt to the bodice of your dress.

Insert your invisible zipper along the opening at the side of your dress. The bottom of the zipper should hit just above the bottom of your pocket.

After the zipper has been added, sew the bottom of your pocket closed and sew down the remainder of your skirt's side seam. Lastly, hem your skirt to the desired length and it's ready to wear!

The Shirley Dress - Free Sewing Pattern - Mood Sewciety
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