Cowl neck knit dress- free pattern

After my last project – the Porn Blouse – I decided to return to using knit fabrics – easier to fit.  Ah ha, yes, but not necessarily easier to sew.

So Sew Easy - Knit dress, free pattern

Awkward Vogue style pose

I found this great FREE pattern submitted by a member on Burda. Although the lady in question is considerably smaller than me, I downloaded the pattern and upgraded it to my size as best I could by letting it out at the sides, bust and hip, but trying to keep the shoulder width only a little larger.  I also made it a few inches longer – I'm probably twice her age!


Another remnant bin find this week – a grey knit fabric.  It's quite firm and thick so I hoped it could be close-fitting but hide a few of the lumps and bumps – I don't like to show my undies.  Total cost $6.75.

So Sew Easy - Knit dress, free pattern

Making up was super quick and easy – just a front and a back, and a small facing for the back neckline.  But then it all started to go wrong – my machine got hungry and started to eat the fabric!  I was trying to finish off the arm holes by turning and top stitching but the fabric kept being caught up or the thread kept breaking – it took me the best part of two hours of unpicking and redoing to finish those and I'm still unhappy with the state of the stitches.

So Sew Easy - Knit dress, free pattern

But what really drove me mad was the hem – I have no idea why but again I turned and tried to stitch a straight hem and the machine and fabric went to war against each other.  Either the machine would eat the fabric and tear holes in it or it would refuse to stitch altogether – the needle would go up and down in the fabric but the stitches just didn't catch.  Arrgghhh.


In the end the bottom of the fabric was so destroyed by it all, that I just cut it off and had an unfinshed hem – and actually I really like it!  It's lightweight, smooth, doesn't ravel despite being through the washer several times.  So an unlikely success in the end.

So Sew Easy - Knit dress, free pattern


The dress is close fitting and I think quite flattering – I love the cowl neckline and the super smooth look with just the two side seams.  Not something I would wear everyday – not for my ‘fat' days.  But I certainly recommend giving this pattern a try.


The knit fabric really got the best of me this time.  That's it – I've decided.  I'm signing up for another Craftsy course – Sewing with Knits.  I'm really keen to master this fabric because I like the way it is so much easier to fit than a woven fabric.  Fitted t-shirts – here I come !


So Sew Easy - Knit dress, free patternAnyone want to sign up and learn with me?  We can share our tips and tricks and be sewing buddies…

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Authored by: So Sew Easy

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42 Responses to Cowl neck knit dress- free pattern

  1. Renee, Melbourne, Australia says:

    I’m busy Pinning for future when I have more time to sew. Just wanted to say thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your patterns and ideas, you are a true inspiration.

  2. Miss Wobie says:

    And I made an other one, a long one to go to a wedding 🙂
    You can find it here:

  3. Miss Wobie says:

    Thanks for the amazing pattern! i made a flowerversion, you can check the photos on my blog:

  4. Betty DeMers says:

    You LOOK amazing!!! You are such an inspiration! I’m guessing I’m the same age – probably older and most likely shorter, too – and still like to wear easy, one-of-a-kind, flattering clothes! I’ll be on the look out for some stretch fabric to try this style.

    I have sewn really tight woven stretch before. From what I remember a special needle and a different face plate is the key. I’ll test it and see what happens. I bought some black stretch fabric last year and never used it for the project. Maybe there’s enough?

    Thanks for posting so many good styles. I am working on your maxi skirt for my daughter right now, using your excellent instructions!


  5. I’ve never had an interest in learning to sew. Sure, I wish someone would zap me and I’d suddenly have the skill, but actually going through the motions to learn sounds like hard work. Found your blog through Moms Make Money and, if I read correctly that you didn’t know how to sew when you started this blog, wow! Very impressive! And this dress makes me want to sew. SO cute. Could see it in so many different materials. Florals or fun patterns make this a cute sundress! I like that it can be casual and dressy.

    • Deby Coles says:

      I feel the same about playing the piano. I really really wish I could play the piano – but I haven’t got the time to learn it. I just want to be able to play by magic and have the skill already ‘downloaded’ to my brain hard drive! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to order skills ready learned that way!

  6. Yan says:

    The dress is very flattering on you. I’m going to sign up for the Craftsey knit class now.

  7. Olga says:

    The dress looks great! I’ve been watching the Sewing with Knits course too although haven’t started on any projects yet.

  8. Pam says:

    Despite all the problems making it, the dress looks great on you!

  9. Oooh lovely dress. I’m really wanting a cowl-neck t, or t-dress at the moment. I’m inspired!

    I found your blog through pinterest. It’s great! I’m enjoying reading it. Must add you to my bloglovin’ feed 🙂

  10. I made your fitted skirt yesterday, now I’ve just finished this one today. Fitted lovely, although it started as a dress and became a top (which was always an option) because the skirt part was a bit tight for the fabric I used. Top looks great and I think I’ll make another one, but try different fabric next time. Thanks again!

  11. Tasha says:

    Aloha! Love your site. It has inspired me. Itching to get sewing. Enjoy your day.

  12. Rajlaxmi says:

    I love it!!! It’s absolutely fabulous. You look awesome and that is a wonderful colour. Also love your writing style ^_^ I am making this dress as soon as I get my ewing machine.

  13. Catherine says:

    Love the dress and considering the problems it came out looking really good. I wonder, were you using blunt needles for knits in your machine? I could see sharp needles causing the problems you describe.

    • Hi Catherine – yes, I was using the correct needle, but the fabric turned over on itself to hem at the bottom, and around the armholes just wasn’t stable enough. Now I have been following the Sewing with Knits course, I know all about the various methods to stabilize a hem and I;m sure I’ll never have these problems again.

  14. Maureen says:

    I love the dress! I have also purchased the Sewing with Knits course on Craftsy but have had trouble watching it because the teacher seems so unsure of herself so I’ve only gotten to the supplies section. Does it get better especially when she is working on the patterns? I really want to learn to sew knits and like you said I tend to think I can run before I’ve mastered walking. By the way I read the post that you just put up for the trousers and I am going to have to make a pair for myself because they are beautiful!! I’m tall so I always have problems finding dress pants that fit and don’t cost a fortune. Thanks for such a wonderful blog. You’ve got a new follower here!! Have blessed day:)

    • Hi Maureen, I found the course especially useful because I am such a beginner so the very slow pace suited me perfectly. But I agree the instructor is not a professional presenter – but she is excellent at sewing. I’m sure if someone put me in front of the camera, even on a subject I was expert on, I would seem more than a little faltering! So I appreciate what she is doing, and feel for her that this sort of thing must be difficult. We all hide behind our blogs and our online business, so suddenly stepping out in front of the camera and all those thousands watching must be very nerve-racking! Stick with it – she has some great stuff to share!

  15. ngnrdgrl says:

    I love the cowl neckline! It is very flattering! Great job!

  16. Natalie says:

    I LOVE your dress, you look super!

    Thanks for sharing on Tutorial Thursdays.

  17. Renee says:

    Looks fantastic! I’ve had my eye on a cowl neck shirt pattern on craftsy (hoping it will work for breastfeeding!)…just need to get some fabric.

  18. What a beautiful dress! I came over from Skip to my Lou. You’re making me wish I could actually sew…

  19. Leslie says:

    Very nice, I love the way it looks!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite post at Raising Imperfection! We feature our favorites on Friday, make sure to come back and check.

  20. Lanaya says:

    What a great dress. I love this type of neckline!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. 🙂

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  21. justine says:

    This looks fantastic on you! Thanks for stopping by!

    • justine says:

      BTW if you want to make a nice hem with a normal machine you should go out and buy a double needle which is designed for hemming knits. It looks very professional!

  22. Diana Rambles says:

    I am not sure if I am more jealous of your sewing skills or where you live! Both are great!!

  23. Amy Mayen says:

    Turned out great! What do you do to hem knits? Zigzag stitch? I’ve never gotten my knit hems to look good.

    • On this one I tried EVERYTHING ! But now I’ve joined the Sewing with Knits course I have learned there are SO many options and ways to do it. Different stitches, twin needles, different types of tapes and all sorts. I never think I’ll have a problem again with all these new skills in my virtual sewing box.
      I’m currently working on the first project – A fleece hoodie – it’s going just great! Will be on the blog soon.

  24. Theresa says:

    Very cute dress, I think I may have to try it. I have a pile of knit begging to be something.
    A little bit of advice, your machine may have a thread/lint jam in the bobbin case. This happens to me, and it just takes a quick cleaning and we are back on a roll. Hope you enjoy your class.

  25. Becca says:

    Very cute. I really like the cowl neck look 🙂

  26. Foster says:

    This is really flattering. I love the simple look and the color. I’ve noticed that we keep posting on the same linky parties. Who could miss that, ah, blouse you recently posted. LOL.

  27. annanicole says:

    It may have been an epic battle but it looks great on you! It’s very flattering.

  28. I just had an email from Craftsy to say the Sewing with Knits class is half price – but only for the next 8 hours. Sign up quickly if you want to take part and take advantage of this excellent saving ! (5 Feb)

  29. Elaine says:

    great top! thanks for sharing the pattern. i’ve been looking at that craftsy class… tempting to have someone to take it with!

  30. hellokirsti says:

    I’ll have to try this pattern as ‘knit practice’ gotta start with something simple to learn through, I always try and jump to that expert level and get frustrated!

    • I always run before I can walk – my ambition is always greater than my skill! But I’m loving the Sewing with Knits course – working on my Fleece Hoodie – all the patterns are included free with the course. I’ll have it finished ready to post for next week. The Craftsy course is on special offer right now with $10 off. I highly recommend it – I have learned SO much before I even set a needle to fabric.

  31. On my way there now! Thanks for the invite.

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