I'm delighted to offer you another free and easy dress pattern this month. I've been really enjoying wearing some cute dresses both during the day and in the evening. All too soon the temperature will drop below 80 as winter approaches and I'll need my fleece and joggers (only kidding…)
I like the combination in this dress of a fitted bodice and then a longer-length circle skirt. Of course, you can make this up a lot of different ways too:
- Make it as shown
- Make it without sleeves
- Color block – with different but complementary bodice and skirt fabrics
- With a short flirty skirt – skater style
I'm trying to find a couple of knits that are opposites to each other, and if I'm lucky to find what I'm looking for, I'll probably make at least 1 or 2 more of this dress because it is so nice to wear.
Features of the Brief Encounter easy dress pattern:
- Quick and easy to sew
- Flattering fit
- Pick your own skirt length
- Center back seam to help get a nice fit
- Short sleeves, or make a sleeveless version too
- Sizes 29- 41 bust, 33-45 inch hips
- For knit fabrics only – I used an ITY knit with plenty of stretch
- Full video tutorial (below)
- Step-by-step sewing checklist (in the download)
- Knit stretch fabric with good stretch and recovery, and a nice drape (2.25 yds @ 60 inches wide)
- Matching thread
- Stretch or ball point needle for knit fabrics
- Useful – serger or Overcasting foot
- Optional – Stretch Twin Needle
- Optional –knit stay tape
How to sew the Brief Encounter Dress
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This style of dress always seems to suit a skinny belt I think. But you could always make a fabric belt with it too, or even a half belt by sewing ties into the side seams to tie at center back too. Or wear it with one of those wide elasticated belts too. Whatever you like 🙂
I don't have a waist, I'm just a big rectangle with hips on, but if you are blessed with a more curvy figure, this style can look really great on you too.
Why is it called the Brief Encounter Dress?
While I was sewing this dress I was half-watching/half-listening to Brief Encounter. Never heard of it? It's a classic black and white British film everyone should watch. Filmed in 1945, it tells the story of 2 strangers meeting on a railway platform. It's one of my favorite romantic films, but opinion is rather split on it. Is it romantic, tragic, passionate? Or the cold and stiff-upper-lip style and overly British?
This film always makes it into the ranks of the best-ever British films, and here is a recent comment on it that sums it up perfectly:
” Few films divide opinion like ‘Brief Encounter’. Many view the film as cold, heartless, too stiff-lipped to be truly moving, but without wishing to cause offence to my esteemed colleagues, they’re dead wrong. Because for those willing to chip through the ice-shelf, there’s a raging emotional torrent waiting to sweep them away. And it’s not as though Lean is celebrating these characters’ inability to communicate, to break through their social strictures and live real lives. ‘Brief Encounter’ is a tragedy, not just for two mismatched lovers but for an entire class of people, trapped in empty suburban existences ruled by propriety and that desperate, heartbreaking, terribly British desire to remain anonymous, to avoid offence, to blend in. And therein lies the film’s extraordinary power, because despite the miles and the decades which lie between, that’s still us up there on the screen.”
Here's a trailer. Enjoy!