I LOVE this dress! I can assure you that I am not as slim as this dress makes me appear, but the design, shape, dark side panels and careful shaping to the center panel creates an illusion that makes the wearer look slimmer and smoother. I've combined mine with a border print for the center panel but this dress also looks great in a solid too.
This color block dress pattern is Pattern of the Month for August.
Make this dress loose and figure skimming or really turn some heads with a figure hugging look and some vibrant colors.
Looks best with a patterned or brighter central panel and darker side panels to emphasise your shape.
- Scooped neckline with binding.
- Slightly A-Line skirt
- Center back seam for perfect fitting
- Princess seams front and back
- Use dark panels on the outside for a slimming effect
- Shaped panels front and back
- Wide shoulders
- PDF download with full step by step photo instructions
This pattern is rated Intermediate because you may be joining knit fabrics that have different weights and stretch, or which stretch in different directions. There are also tight curved seams. Experience in sewing knit fabrics would be useful. Otherwise, its a very simple pattern and very quick to sew.
Pattern tester feedback and results
Judy at Stoney Lonesome Sew Works made a couple of versions and even entered one in a sewing contest. Her first was an interesting mix of stripes placed both vertical and horizontal and then a slinky black number. “Really like the design as it is so flattering to a curvy woman!! Very happy with the end result.I think you have a hit with this pattern Deby! Everyone is going to love it.”
Diane admits to being ‘vertically challenged' and suggested I add in several lengthen and shorten lines because of the shaping and how it needs to fit the correct parts of the body, so at her suggestion there are lines approximately at the bust, waist and hips where you can add or remove length if you need to. Great idea Diane. “I really loved how the dress looked on you in your photos. It is simple but elegant and very flattering. It looked like an easy to sew pattern which makes it a quick project. My guy must really like it since he asked me about it again this morning. I'll have to wear it for him when we go out! “
Emma gave me lots of help on the shaping of this dress and saved me from one glaring error in sizing – thanks Emma, you saved the day and showed the importance of the testing process. She suggested using a rib knit for the neckline binding and also found the armholes a little too high for her. “I liked they design on you and it printed and went together perfectly.”
Robin at The Pattern Tester – Robin has a terrific eye for detail and can always be relied upon to point out my every spelling mistake 🙂 “I love this pattern, and how the design gives a slimming effect. It's a great dress to wear for different occasions, and very comfortable.”
Linda – proof that you don't have to make this dress in dark colors – doesn't she look fabulous! She made me laugh when she told me her husband says she shouldn't go out without him looking so hot! “When I first saw the pattern I was very impressed by this beautiful dress, the fit of it and could not wait to try it. I just love princess seams even if they are a bit harder to assemble. The fit is so nice. My husband's jaw just dropped!! Had not seen this in a long time!! I feel very woman in this dress but the fact that it's knit makes it so comfortable at the same time.”
Louise – “Very easy and fashionable dress. Simple to make. Excellent directions for neck band. The only issue was of my own doing. The center panels were a wonderful 2 way stretch jersey, but I choose a ponte knit for the sides, which did not stretch nearly as much as I would have liked.”
Get the Color Block Dress Pattern
Pattern of the Month Club
If you like this pattern, you may like some of my other sewing patterns. Like them all or several? Then consider signing up to the 2014 Pattern of the Month Club and get 15 patterns for a very special price.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Eas
thanks very beautiful please can you show me how you place your pattern?
Hi Rorota, what do you mean how you place the pattern? Do you mean the grain line? IF so it should run up and down with the most stretch running sideways. All other instructions are inside the pattern.
Has anyone adapted it for larger sizes? Heaven knows we bigger gals need the “slimming effect”… 🙂
Got my eye on this for the first thing I sew when I get my Christmas gifts done. Such a flattering dress!
This is a beautiful dress!!!! I can’t wait to try it out! I am a beginner, and I have never worked with knits. I better go practice!!! I NEED this dress ;).
This is another really wonderful pattern from you! I am hitting myself in the head asking myself why I’ve not YET made one of your patterns. I love how everything is very wearable, flattering, functional and just really great looking. Keep up the awesome work!
Goodness Kathy, you should give one a try. Let me know when you do, I’ll be happy to promote your post on my social media, I love to share things made with my patterns.
Great design. You do a great job of modeling and you have a great photographer.
These dresses are sooo flattering, thank you for the great pattern!
Just got it! Can’t wait to make it!
OOh, so excited. Please share when you are sewn.
I love the color blocking in this dress. Fabulous. Wish I had smaller teetee’s (-: 42 inch bust just wont do. But I wanted to tell you I think the dress is fab!
Thank you Donna, I appreciate it.
you always look beautiful in the clothing you make. I love this dress.
Aw, thanks Sue-Ellen, that’s kind of you. I usually design patterns that I think will flatter and still look good next year too, and the year after that. Even when color blocking is no longer in style, this will still be a great princess seam dress to make.
You’re welcome. You do such a good job at it too. I got my cloth today for the 30 min skirt can’t wait till the weekend to get it done. Hope to share pics soon of it.
Great pricing! kc
Deby, you look great in this dress!
Thank you – my hubby thinks so too. Now, if only I could persuade him to actually take me anywhere, I’d get a chance to wear it. 🙂
I live in the Tropics….love the dress! Knits are just simply too hot..could I make this in a cotton mix fabric???
Yes you could certainly do that Rita and it has a center back seam so you could add a zipper. However it is designed for fabric with stretch so you would probably want to go up a size and make a muslin to double check the fit of course. Or do it in a light stretch cotton for a perfect compromise.
A very flattering dress, Deby, especially when dark panels are used at the sides.