Eva Knit Dress – Free pattern

I found this great site for free patterns – Your Style Rocks.  There are only a few patterns but they are awesome!  I was immediately drawn to the Eva dress.  Their photo on the dress form looks so slimming and sophisticated that I had to make it.  Except mine didn't come out quite like that.

It is described as a classy and elegant dress with a beautiful cowl neck.  I chose to make it in a plain black, although with the design across the front being in different pieces, I think this would look great as a color blocked dress.

So Sew Easy - Eva Knit dress - free pattern

I used a light-weight slinky knit from my local store and I think this is mostly where I went wrong with this pattern.  My fabric is simply too light and thin to have the smooth draping called for to make this look really good.

The dress was quick and easy to put together.  The pattern is very well drafted and fits together perfectly.  Instructions and clear and easy to follow and the dress fitted me just great without the need for any large alterations.

There is a tuck in the back, which is in two pieces, top and skirt, and the tuck is in both parts.  It pulls in the waist a little to make the dress more fitted.  I'm actually not too sure about this feature.  It might be better omitting this and have the black plain, and cutting it smaller in the waist instead.


When it was finished, it fit quite well, and there was enough ease to allow me to pull the dress on and off, but not too much.  I have worn it a couple of times and I thought it looked good, although my colleagues weren't so sure.

Now I've seen these photos – I agree with them.  It just does NOT suit me.  I look too ‘butch'.  Is it the wide slashed neckline and the little sticky-out sleeves?  I look like a tiny head on some huge shoulders.  And the shape is all wrong, or the length?  The diagonal lines on the front? Or maybe it's the silly way I am holding my arms in these photos.

I'm just not sure why it looks so bad, I can't quite put my finger on it.  But this dress makes me look all frumpy and dumpy and just Big.  I'm pretty sure its the wide neck and the sleeves are wrong for me.  It's in the back of my wardrobe now and I won't wear it again unless I can change it somehow.


 Anyone have any suggestions on what changes I need to make to this dress to make it more flattering?  Or should I just scrap it and move on to something else?

Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy

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50 Responses to Eva Knit Dress – Free pattern

  1. Rose Martine says:

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  2. alice mathieson webb says:

    Hi, i just downloaded this pattern today but don’t understand how to fit the pieces together. Is there something I’m missing.

  3. I wanted to make the Eva dress, but I agreed with your comment about the pleats at the back waist. So I took your advice and altered the pattern to remove these. I’m so glad I followed your suggestion as it fitted perfectly without the pleats and looks so much better. I also changed the direction of the two front draping pleats so that they weren’t fighting gravity and I think it looks a lot better this way. I’m so pleased with how it turned out that I’m going to make another one soon.

  4. I agree that shortening the sleeves could help- a shoulder showing tank, not one of those icky confined “sleeveless” things.

    Move the tucks elsewhere. They look like a mistake that you took in in order to correct for something you cut too large- something that wasn’t supposed to be permanent. I don’t think they should be stacked-in the same place on top and bottom since that accentuates the look of “mistake”. Maybe change the top to back darts that aren’t built in to the seam? The skirt could be light gathered, like shirring, with twill tape or light weight elastic holding it together.

    My first thought was to add a light => heavy trim that moves well on the neck and skirt bottom. I’m not sure what it would be- Oh! Maybe a silk chiffon. Have it stitched on and then trim the garment fabric away. The neck would have to be structural but not the skirt. Maybe even a slim piece on top and bottom, running vertically, but only on one side. It would lighten the look.

    I once sewed a top and bottom failure and then sold it at a garage sale. I ran away when I saw a woman wearing it at the nearby grocery store but I should have looked more. It was a purple with darker purple tunic-y top and an a-line skirt, coordinating with the background purple. A shift like shirt on the bias and a slightly fuller skirt. That’s what I should have done- I realise decades later.

  5. MJD says:

    Deby, the dress does look good on you. You are right, it doesn’t quite “rock it”. I don’t really think the weight of the fabric is the culprit. It looks like the placement of the back waist is not quite right for your body and the front folds in the diagonal piece do take away from your fabulous shape. When looking at the pictures of the original Eva Knit, it looks like the back is designed to hang slightly away from the body, allowing it to hang correctly in the front. The dress you made seems to be a little tighter and clinging more to your back. That will effect the way the dress hangs in the front as well. Perhaps adding a little to the back seams or raising the back waist (perhaps a sway back adjustment?) will solve the problem. The pleats at the back do add interest I think you should keep them.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thank you for the suggestions. A subsequent change in body size (er, weight gain) makes the dress fit poorly right now, but I’m determined to get off these extra pounds and then I’ll be back to see if I can make some changes here.

  6. Sharon Stein says:

    Hi Deby, thanks so much for all your info. I made 10 skirts this summer using your pencil skirt sloper. Lots of fun!,, As for your Eva dress, I like the style on you, but I don’t think black is your colour, at least not near your face. Keep up the great work, Lady!! Love to see the things you do!

  7. Hazel says:

    I think it’s great. Really suits you.

  8. Kendall says:

    This is late, but I just found your blog. It’s funny how everybody has such differing view. I agree with the one commenter who said that perhaps it is different style from those you normally wear.

    I do agree, however, that the sleeves are kind of “off.” The diagonals really do great things on your body–I can totally see it colour blocked also. I also agree with you that the knit is probably a little too thin for this pattern.

    Beautiful, though–don’t just stick it in the closet. Someone said to cut off the sleeves; try it with this and see how it works to decide for the next time.

  9. Jodiann says:

    Sweetie You’ve got the figure for this dress! Wow the back pic really shows the great lines of the pattern and how well it suits you. Could it be that its VERY different from what you usually wear and might take some time to get used to? After looking at the Your Style Rocks to see the Eve Dress pics I see what you are saying about the smoothness and fit of the fabric you were going for ( everything looks better on the mannequin) You live in the tropics, is a heavier knit even suitable in your climate? I call this dress and how it fits you a SUCCESS! I see a light scarf tied and trailing down the back of a big sun hat, with those sunglasses is all you need to balance the look.

  10. Petra says:

    I don’t know what you’re worrying about! The dress looks really super on you! It looks like something you would wear to a cocktail party/dinner out with some nice strappy sandals. It would look nice in other colours too, and the back looks great as it is – adds interest. Don’t worry about what other people say – I’ve seen this style in really nice boutiques. 🙂

  11. sewsassy1 says:

    I’d wear it as a tunic top with leggings, skinny jeans or tights and play around with sandals, boots, pumps etc. If wearing it as a dress I think a full slip would be appropriate so it would be a little less clingy if that is a bother. But if you feel frilly go for a paired down mini-peti skirt to add a touch of fullness in the skirt area. You gave me a great image of color blocking options!!! You are fit and could easily pop out the centre panel and pop in something vibrant and give it a whole new look and show off your figure. I like the dress on you and I think you have a lot of ‘styling’ options if you don’t want to use it as a stand alone piece. cute, cute, cute

  12. I think this looks great!! very nice!

  13. marigoldsloft says:

    Very Nice!
    Thanks so much for linking up on Tutorial Thursdays, I love your sewing crafts, hope to see you again this week 🙂

  14. ngnrdgrl says:

    I really like it, but like you said, there is definitely something off about it. I think it would look cuter sleeveless. Perhaps the heavier fabric would help make it drape better. However, I have a cowl necked tank top that is a pretty lightweight fabric that drapes beautifully. I think the lighter weight fabric with the shorter skirt (and that beautiful, sunny background) wants to be more summery, so loose those sleeves! Also, perhaps something more cheerful than black?

  15. Jacqueline says:

    I like it. But this is my first time at your blog, so I don’t know you or your style. You have to like it if you’re going to wear it!

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  17. Jenny says:

    Way to go for making a new dress for yourself and trying a new style!!

    Great job!
    Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns * Women & Children

  18. Jenni says:

    I think it looks lovely on you! I don’t think you need to change a thing — though the comments about shortening the sleeves and making the dress come above the knee would probably make it look even better! Great job. 🙂

  19. Andrea says:

    It looks fantastic on you! And it would be great as a color blocked dress in a nice interlock I think.

  20. Charity says:

    I think the dress is lovely, and it looks good on you. A slightly thicker fabric probably would make the draping smoother… other than that the only alteration I can think of would be to raise the diagonal portion a couple inches, since it looks like it is mostly hitting below your actual waist. But really, I think it looks really pretty as is. =)

  21. Brittany says:

    Love the idea of this dress. I was reading the comments and agree with just about all of them, maybe the fabric, and I do think it looks good on you….

    but I think I personally would change the sleeves. To be fair, I hate cap sleeves. Perhaps sleeve-less or a 3/4 length. I think both options would slim down the top a bit, and could create a leaner over all look?

    Also one of the comments mentioned the diagonal lines. It may help if they were centered around your tiny waist.

    I’m new to your blog but looking forward to seeing more.

    Hope this helps 😛

  22. Cindy says:

    You look lovely in the dress….i think the shoes are too “heavy” looking….maybe a more strappy shoe 🙂

  23. The dress looks beautiful!

  24. Vaunda Noerenberg says:

    I neglected to compliment the beautiful drapes that the pattern makes so gracefully in your chosen “default” fabric. I think it is a total success for you except I may recommend showing more upper arm for “feature” – but the dress is totally spot- on for your additional features. I try to always skim the upper knee, but that is me….

    • Vaunda Noerenberg says:

      I can’t think of how to define it but the wideness of the bateau-neck effect seems to accentuate the width of your shoulders – would you destroy the drape of the neck if you experimented with sewing it a little more together, along with shortening the sleeve a bit? the dress is so good I am wanting you to rescue it!

  25. Vaunda Noerenberg says:

    I think it is a sensational pattern! Your photo model makes me totally ready to go to all the trouble!

    I Love the detail front and back especially! At first, I didn’t like the drape of the neckline, but for those of us who love symmetry, could be “manipulated” to be more on-center.

    (I hate flat-back silhouettes of current commercial clothing that totally disregard the back view of us: especially flesh-y waist from the back) aka “muffin tops” in US… so I am SO admiring the treatment of fullness at the back waist.

    I would adapt this in a minute for myself by retaining all the body detail but revealing more arm at the hem of the sleeve! It seems to be squared-off like a t-shirt. I would alter the hem of the sleeve by scooping upward, shortening the sleeve (opposite the underarm seam) and perhaps narrowing! A dressmaker detail that might reveal good arms in a nicer way.

    I have always had the arm definition that is not showcased well by the squared-off sleeve hem.
    I still haven’t processed the flare of the hem of the skirt. I am a pencil-skirt person, but with open mind.

  26. Hilary says:

    well … I’m in the I-like-it-as-it-is camp.And I do NOT see “butch.” Of course, pictures are static and perhaps it’s not moving the way it should when you walk around real life? Perhaps a different knit? Was this a jersey knit fabric?

    But looking just at these pictures, I think the dress looks great. Just add some accessories. I would use a different shoe … a very feminine shoe with a heal. And load one of your arms with bangles!

    • I agree about the styling – I have a very small wardrobe of shoes – life in the Cayman Islands is shorts, t-shirts and flip flops so I only really own one pair of black and one pair of brown shoes! Same with bags etc. But I think you are completely right about the styling. If I wasn’t trying to balance in the sand with my heels half buried, and had made an effort with some accessories it might look entirely different! I am encouraged by all the replies that say its looks nice – I might get it out for another try. Thank you for dropping by.

    • I agree with all the ladies who like it. I think you’re being way too hard on yourself. I was looking for knit jersey and came across your blog. This is the type of dress that can go with a wedge or low heel for evening or a sandal/flat for day. I love accessories, so I agree with Hilary on the bangles. You look like you have a great figure and if you want to do something different, try it sleeveless, (like a tank), and shorten it with a pair of funky flat sandals or leave the length the way it is. Play with color…I think you did a great job. You are fierce and you just have to look in the mirror and start believing that as well. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Holly Lefevre says:

    I actually think you look lovely…but if yo are “not feeling it” that is what is most important! I am guessing the fabric is the culprit…and I like the tck in the back – I am a back detail kind of gal!

  28. Kelly says:

    No, no, no. It looks good on you! Keeeeeeep it.

  29. RoL says:

    Love the top half. I think the combination of the diagonals with the back-gather on that weight fabric might be the cause of the “meh” bottom half/waist. This is a case where less is more. Eliminate/change any 1 of those 3 and I think it’d be absolutely lovely.

    I do like the idea of the gather in back, but it’s just doing something a bit odd on this dress. Would be good without the diagonals. OR, the diagonals with out the gather & a little heavier fabric.

  30. handimom says:

    I think it is very flattering also, and looks well made. An empire waist on someone with your fabulous figure would be a waste! I think it’s the color black combined with the sunny beachy background that doesn’t go together and is causing the problem 🙂

  31. Bobi Jensen says:

    I really like it and want to make it for myself–can’t see the problems ;). It is a very flattering cut.

  32. Maureen says:

    I think the top and neckline are perfect. I think the problem is in the length and the diagonals. I my opinion the diagonals don’t work because they make the waist look a little odd. I would redraft and keep the top but I would change the skirt like a previous person said to an empire waist. I think it will be more flattering with that style of top.

  33. monsterscircus says:

    Wow, it looks so beautiful and must be a save the day dresses! You’re so stunning in that dress, and I think it’s PERFECT. Have a great week!

  34. heidi says:

    What a cute dress. It would be so versatile too!

  35. Leslie says:

    I like the dress a lot, I think it is very flattering. I think you are right that the fabric isn’t quite right. I think with the right one it would be fabulous!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

    • Yes, I suspected as much. Nasty thin fabric! It is probably well worth making it again because I know it fits easily, and then splash out on a thick fabric that would drape better. Thanks for writing. Deb

  36. Lanaya says:

    I love the simplicity of the dress yet it hugs the curves in all the right places!

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

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  37. Angel says:

    Hello, Im a new follower from the blog hop. The dress is lovely. I have enjoyed visiting your blog. Hope you will return the visit and hopefully follow back if you like.

  38. Rosey says:

    I think it’s pretty, I don’t see the ills you’re talking about, lol. I think it looks really nice on you. The gathering in the back is a neat twist too.

    I’m visiting from Raising Imperfection

  39. Amy Frisinger Mayen says:

    I think the top is quite flattering. I’d keep the top, and using a similar knit- draft it as an empire waisted something. You could make a fuller bottom, do a hi- low maxi, or a long a- line shirt and cinch up the sides.

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