Brief Encounter Dress – FREE Easy Dress Pattern

easy dress patternI'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…)

easy dress pattern

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:

  1. Make it as shown
  2. Make it without sleeves
  3. Color block – with different but complementary bodice and skirt fabrics
  4. 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.

easy dress pattern

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)

easy dress pattern

Materials needed:

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Download the Brief Encounter Dress pattern

You can download the pattern from my design account on Payhip.  Add it to your cart and check out - its FREE.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.

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.

easy dress pattern

Opt In Image
Download the Brief Encounter Dress pattern

You can download the pattern from my design account on Payhip.  Add it to your cart and check out - its FREE.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.

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 cold and stiff-upper-lip style and overly British?

This film always makes it into 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!

recycling old placemats

Free dress pattern. Modest knit dress with sleeves and circle skirt. Full video tutorial to show you how to make it too. Perfect for work?

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67 Responses to Brief Encounter Dress – FREE Easy Dress Pattern

  1. Marcia says:

    I want to thank you both for making such great patterns downloadable and most of them for FREE!

    I am a confirmed seamstress for many years. Sewing is my pleasure and my joy. You have been bringing me joy for several years, ever since I found your website! I’m now planning on making the “brief encounter knit dress”! I love knits and purchased a serger about 15 years ago to make clothes for my daughter (who is now 30!)!!

    Since I also own 2 sewing machines, one probably 30 years old and another around 5 years old, I have always been making clothing for myself.

    I might add that my daughter has caught the sewing bug. I just purchased a sewing machine for her!!

    All the best from a seamstress who eagerly jumps to your website every time I sit down at my computer!! I actually have a link set for 1 click access… (I donate, too)

    Thanks so much for all the joy and please keep up your great work,

  2. Fabiana says:

    Great pattern! I sewed it yesterday and was really easy and the dress is beatiful. thank you!

  3. Jennifer Hagen says:

    I’m just curious…. could this be made into a long sleeve dress? If so, how would I go about doing that, just extend the short sleeves so it fits my arms or is there another way?

  4. Lillian Connell says:

    This is beautiful. Can it be made into a v-neck? (V-necks are much more flattering on me.)

  5. Jane Sprague says:

    Such a beautiful easy pattern to make – thank you! Oh, and regarding “Brief Encounter,” it remains one of my all-time favorite movies! Every time I watch it (or listen to it), I get so emotional over the events that occur between the two protagonists. Both Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson exude such anguish! It just pulls at my heart as only British acting can!

  6. Marie says:

    I wonder whether the seam allowance is included in the cutting plan or do I have to add it before cutting?!

    Best wishes

  7. Rosemary O'Koren says:

    I can’t find the printed directions. I click on the links but I do not see the step by step directions and pattern layout diagram. I have printed and cut out the pattern pieces.

  8. Teena says:

    I would like to download the pattern, but am unable to do so as the computer that I am working on (not mine) has a filter on it that blocks the site… , Peter Lowe’s Ad and Tracking Server List ???
    Is there another way to obtain it?
    Thanking You in Advance

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Teena, what you are experiencing is in your browser, erase all the cookies and browsing history and try again, that should do the trick.

  9. Paula W Leonard says:

    I need to add 3 inches everywhere on the dress. Can I just cut the pattern and add a 3″ STRIP in the middle to make it larger? Additionally, can it be made with cotton spandex? I know it’s a bit thicker but it does have 4 way stretch.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Paula, I would not recommend either one. Cotton spandex will flare more than the fabric suggested above. However, if you are ok with that be my guest. Just make sure it is a 4-way stretch fabric. What do you mean by adding 3″ everywhere?

  10. Chris Casey says:

    Hi there, I am quite large on top. Can I easily enlarge this pattern. I need about 48″ to have some wearing ease. It is really a great design. I’d live to make it. I will also have to add about 4″ to the front piece to go over “the girls”. I very rarely make dresses because of the bust line issues. This pattern is so nice I’d like to make it any way! You are exceptionally gifted designers! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Chris, yes it is possible to make a full bust adjustment. Don’t be tempted to pick a larger size than you normally would use. Proceded with care with this neckline if you are not an hourglass figure. it will make your girls look even larger.

  11. Lisa Johnson says:

    Hi There! This is a beautiful dress. I also love your tutorial. I’m a plus size girl. Is this pattern easily adaptable for me? I haven’t made a dress for myself since I was thin (quite some time ago lol). Thank you.


  12. Mariana L. says:

    I love this dress! I´m a beginner and I´d like to do it without the sleeves but i don´t know hot to make the hem, do you have a tutorial for that?

  13. ladybugez says:

    Mayra, thank you so much for this excellent free pattern, and for your easy to follow, yet thorough video instructions. I already printed out the pattern and feel confident that my dress will turn out beautifully, as yours did. All due to your excellent video instrucitons! Emmy Z – Miami

  14. elizabeth says:

    hi, I am trying to view my patterns but can’t seem to find them.can you help me? thank you.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Elizabeth, you have to go to the download folder in your machine, if you are on Craftsy site, send them a message, I can only manage my account. Hope that helps let me know if you still need help.

  15. tuttitopcat says:

    Were these pictures taken in Aruba?

  16. gwyn says:

    There’s an issue on craftsy…the listing says it’s free, but when it’s in my cart, it changes to $7! just fyi. I’ll also email craftsy. Thanks for the free pattern!

  17. C Smith says:

    Are there instructions or tutorial for piecing the pattern together?

  18. peqs says:

    Hi! I got to the skirt portion, and I cut out the right sizes (size C) but the skirt waist is longer than the bottoms of the bodice. Is this normal? Thanks so much! Looking forward to wearing the finished dress 🙂

  19. Hi, would it work well with 100% polyester?Tks, Andrea

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Andrea,
      Most 4 ways stretch knits are 100% polyester. This pattern is for a 4 way stretch knit only.


  20. HelenD123 says:

    I just love your patterns and videos as it make it so easy even for a beginner like me, thanks

  21. Joyce says:

    Can’t get the download to work. I haveWin10. Problem??

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Joyce, I’ve checked the link and can’t find any issues. If you click the orange button in the yellow box, it will take you to Craftsy where you can download the pattern. There usually pretty reliable so give it another try. Let me know if you’re still having issues.

  22. Thanks for the pattern. Lovely dress.

  23. Amber says:

    Love that dress on you Deby! Thank you for sharing it to us.I really enjoy watching your videos. Keep them coming.

  24. Wendy says:

    I just finished watching the movie. I think it just became one of my favorites. Anyone who does not find that moving has never been in love.

  25. M says:

    You look beautiful in this pretty dress!

  26. This is niceness! Off to Craftsy now to add to my stash!

  27. I love this dress!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later this morning that links to your free pattern: –Anne

  28. Emily says:

    what a great dress! I have to try this!

  29. marjtrundle says:

    Debby, thank-you so much for so generously sharing this lovely dress pattern. I too will look forward to making this for summer here in Australia.

  30. Mary morrison says:

    Would love to make this dress! I don’t see how much fabric to buy?

  31. sewingaddict says:

    This looks lovely! I’ve downloaded the pattern and am looking forward to making my own version. Thanks so much!!

  32. JoAnn Clement says:

    thank you Deby for making sewing so so easy! and to make the pattern free is a blessing.
    this dress I paid for a similar pattern was so complicated and there certainly was no video tutorial!
    Thank you for doing this for free, you just don’t know how much of a blessing you are! JoAnn

  33. Rita Schenk says:

    A very nice Dress. Thank you for the free pattern. Love it!

  34. Wendy says:

    Thanks for the pattern! The dress looks great. Can’t wait to try it out.

    Thanks for the movie recommendation too. I love b&w films. I must admit though that at first I thought that the “Brief Encounter” title might have more to do with Marilyn Monroe than Celia Johnson!

  35. Donna G. says:

    Deby, thanks so much for yet another fabulous pattern! You’re more than generous to us. And thanks for the tip on Brief Encounter….I’ll have to check that one out!

  36. Dara says:

    Thanks sooooooo much Deby , I look forward to sewing this!

  37. Jill says:

    Derby, it is so beautiful. Love your fabric. Although it is winter up here in Canada I still feel I need one of these dresses! Thank you for taking time from your beautiful busy life to share such a beautiful pattern. And a video tutorial to boot!! I love your videos. Thank you!

  38. Jane says:

    Hi Debi
    Thank you for another great dress pattern. I only hope it looks as nice on me as it does on you. I think it give you a nice waist or at least the illusion of one. I am built the same way as you. That is probably why all your patterns are so appealing to me. Thanks again for sharing this with us. BTW I made your Perfect for Work Dress as a top. I made long sleeves with one the main color and the other the color of the contrast. I really like it.

  39. happygirl says:

    Love the film, so British, ca relate to her heartache. Fab pattern, how did you know I have the perfect navy knit for it? Love you Sunday posts good excuse to take 5 mins for myself.

  40. Judy O says:

    Thanks Deby for another great pattern! Just love your videos. Makes everything so easy.

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