This is the Boho-chic little black dress pattern to make a great casual look for Fridays. This dress is easy to make and even easier to wear. Notice the gathered sleeves,
the invisible zipper,
and two tiers of ruffles, so you do not spend hours and hours gathering fabric. And more importantly, it makes a youthful, but appropriately short dress.
It's perfect for the office, for a get together with the girls, to pick up the kids or carry a baby bump and go trick or treating.
I would team this little black dress with booties, stockings and a short leather jacket.
- 2 – 2 1/4 yards of fabric
- thread to match
- 18-inch invisible nylon zipper
- 1/2 yard of 3/8″ elastic (optional)
- 1 yard of 1/2″ bias tape
- sewing machine
- invisible zipper foot
- rotary cutter or scissors
My Fabric Recommendations from Fabric.com
Skill Level: Intermediate
Knowledge of sewing an invisible zipper, sewing a dart, and gathering fabric appropriately is a must or a willingness to learn and follow the separate tutorials.
There is no seam allowance on these boho-chic little black dress pattern, I recommend the use of 5/8″.
Here are some helpful resources if you need a quick review:
3. How to gather fabric the right way
4. Attaching a bias tape to a neckline
How To Download Your Little Black Dress Pattern
We're going to continue to use the new Payhip web store to distribute our patterns. As most readers know, Craftsy, now Bluprint, has changed a lot and they have stopped designers like us from publishing new patterns on their site, so we've had to move to another service.
Our patterns are still free, but now you now have the option of making a small contribution if you like our work! We'd really appreciate it and it will help is keep going with new and fun designs like this. Even a dollar or two really goes a long way.
Thanks so much in advance for helping us out. You can use any credit card and you don't need a Paypal account, although you can use one if you have one.
Please use Adobe Reader to open and print the pattern. Adobe Reader is completely free and no other software is required. Print using Actual Size and Landscape Mode.
New Reference Squares
Taping together the So Sew Easy patterns is causing a little confusion among some readers. I have changed the circle for the one-inch square. All you have to do is trim or overlap the pages just a bit so the square is formed. There are lines on the pages to help you to achieve the appropriate alignment.
This dress is a loose-fitting garment, the following are the finished measurements per size. Please Allow 4 to 6 inches at the bust of ease.
|Bust||38 1/2||42||45 1/2||49 1/2||53 1/2|
Cutting measurements for the skirt
Measurements are given in inches. If you need to convert them here is a great resource. https://www.inches-to-cm.com/
How To Sew Your Dress
Note: Apologies! The back and the sleeve are miss labeled, but you will not have a hard time knowing which is which.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I am going to use white thread on black fabric. Please don't do this to your dress, it looks dreadful, I'm doing it so the thread will show up on the camera.
Step One: Sew The Dart
Sew the dart in the back and the inverted pleat at the front.
Step Two: Sewing The Bodice
Sew the shoulder and serge the fabric both seam allowances together. Iron towards the back.
Sew the sides, but just 1/3 up leaving the armhole side open. We're going to attach the sleeves first, then do the fitting before we finish sewing the sides and the armhole. Serge the side seams open.
Step Three: Sew The Sleeves
Sew two rows of stitching at 1/4″.
Gather the sleeves toward the center notch.
Pin the center of the sleeve using the notch to the shoulders seam. Make sure you know which is front and the back of the sleeve. The front is represented by a notch in your pattern. Sew the sleeve leaving a gap at the armhole.
Sew the sleeve from the wrist to the armhole leaving about two inches open.
Fitting: At this point, you can put the blouse on and work out if the sides are comfortable. If you decide to give yourself a bit more room, here is what you can do:
Reducing the seam allowance to 3/8″ will give you an extra 1/2″ per side, in total will add one inch to the bottom of the bodice. reducing the seam allowance to 1/4″ will give you an extra 3/4″ per side or 1 1/2 ” to the bottom of the bodice.
When taking out or using the seam allowance to make the dress slightly larger remember to do the same at the sleeve seam so the armhole matches with the bodice.
Likewise, if you decide to bring in the sides a little, you can take in the side, gradually, without changing the size of the armhole.
Close the side seam.
Close the arm seam then sew the armhole.
Serge the sleeve hem making sure the seam allowance is open.
Add the elastic to the sleeve.
Step Four: Sewing The First And Second Of The Skirt
Please see the tutorial on how to gather fabric properly. It is imperative you do a good job to avoid the dress looking sad.
Divide both strips of fabric into four equal parts, mark it with a notch, a pin or tailor's chalk. Pin the left notch the left side seam and the right notch to the right side seam. Pin the center back to the center back of the bodice. Gather between these points. Sew the tiers then serge reducing the seam allowance to 3/8″.
Step Five: Attach The Invisible Zipper
The use of an invisible zipper foot is imperative if you want very professional-looking results. Please refer to the tutorial above. This is an excellent video and worth the effort to watch.
Step Six: Sew The Elastic To The Wrist
This is an optional step:
Serge the hem of the sleeve. Working with the wrong side of your sleeve. Insert the elastic on the sleeve and then insert the sleeve in the arm of your machine.
Move the elastic 1/2″ from the serged edge and fold the fabric over the elastic. Sew at 3/8″ without catching the elastic.
Step Seven: Finishing The Neckline
Work on the right side of the fabric.
Unfold the first crease of the bias tape and pin the edge of the tape to the edge of the neckline, leaving 1/2″ passed the zipper on both sides of the neckline.
Turn the end of the bias tape in.
fold in the bias tape to the wrong side of the fabric and stitch the tape at 3/8″.
This is the end of the tutorial on how to use this boho-chic little black dress pattern. I don't need to make a hem because I am using a fabric that has a border with embroidery and lace giving my dress a sort of Halloween/Goth look to it. Perhaps I will wear it when the children in the neighborhood come for trick or treating.
Last year I hid behind the door because I forgot to pick up candy for the children, as they left my door I heard them saying “so lame” and “boring people”, boo!!!!. I felt very guilty for some reason. The following year I was working all day and forgot about trick or treating altogether and just put a bowl of candy outside my door hoping kids would just pick a few and leave some for the rest. Nope! one child took all the candy and ran away laughing so again I got booed!!! I'll let you know what I come up with this year. Now at least I got my dress!
I hope you liked this boho-chic little black dress pattern. If you feel like it change the fabric to a soft color and you will have a very romantic soft dress to wear. Don't forget to check my suggestions from fabric.com
Until next time happy sewing!
Hi, what height is this drafted for?
Hi Fiona, 160cm; you can always lengthen the skirt or add another layer.
Looks great. Do the self drafted pieces include the seam allowance in them?
HI Karen, no there is no seam allowance.
So I have come a few times seeking the fabric recommendations.. it was there now its not can you please give us the names of the fabric and the item numbers.. I don’t see anything under the fabric recommendations..
Under the heading “my fabric suggestions from fabric.com” There are 4 photos if you click on one of them it will take you to the description of the fabric, you do not have to buy it but you can use it as a guide to buy in your local store.
Is the cute fringe detail part of the fabric – the same fabric as the rest of the dress? I have some great black fabric I would like to use but it doesn’t have fringe. I could find some but black is a difficult colour to match (actually all colours are hard to match).
I haven’t made any clothes for a long time. It would make a good break from quilting.
The fringe is actually a lace, you could recreate the look with the same type of lace, or you can have a look at the fabrics I have suggested on Fabric.com
Love this pattern!!! What kind of fabric would you recommend for this?
Hi Kerstin, have a look at “my fabric recommendation from fabric.com” section I have added some swatches for you to consider.
I don’t see the fabric recommendations, is there supposed to be a link? Thank you!
It is under the heading “my fabric recommendations from fabric.com”
What is the size range?
HI Janice, It is S to 2XL.
looks very nice, but zero sizing info provided. need to know that to determine if I can purchase it – has to include a full plus size range to be usable.
Hi Julie, I have updated the info there is a chart with the finished measurements now. Thanks for letting me know I totally overlooked that important detail.
Dress looks amazing, I would like to try the pattern:-) But cant find the measurements of those 2 strips of skirt? Can anyone help me pls?:( Thank you a lot
hello Michaela, I just added the info on how to cut the fabric, please have a look and hope you make the dress.
thank you very much Mayra:-*
Mayra, it looks great. I assume the measurements you gave for the strips are the width to match attach to the bodice. How long is each tier?
Check back in a few minutes. I will update the chart.
Thank you for the wonderful pattern Mayra!
Love the pattern! My daughter just got a new job and I would love to make this dress for her. But… Am I missing something in the tutorial? How long/wide should the two rufflebits be?
I just added it Nancy, have a look, please.
Found it! Thank you so much!
Cute dress! It seems like you have to download the pattern just to see the size range though. So that’s going to be a hard no for me
I just added it to the post, it is not in the pattern.
This is awesome!
Now for the really awkward part… I teach sewing through the 4-H program. I think this dress would be a perfect second project for garment sewing. If I was to pay … say $20 … for the pattern and copy and reference your tutorial, would that be a problem with copyright? It would be simpler and give me more control with my club members – not everyone has internet access here or the capacity to follow along online. Your details and sewing methods are very clear and would work so well with beginning sewists – think 10 – 16 yoa.
We would be shopping for fabric etc during a field trip to my local fabric store, during a sale period and then sewing together during meetings. I think this dress might just appeal to the kids. Not sure yet what I’d offer the boys… Our first projects would be simple quilted table runners or mats, tote bags and other things with straight seams – to get the idea of consistent seam allowance and sewing machine handling firmly into their brains. We would then move on to pj pants (woven) and tshirts (knit) for the techniques. Then this dress and? What would you suggest for the boys? Or something more unisex? But sooner or later the idea of “fit” needs to come into the equation.
I maintain a “herd” of sewing machines because not too many people have a sewing machine or access to one if they want to learn to sew and need to know if they want to invest in a decent machine. Your blog provides great information!
LOVE this little dress!! Thank you!
My pleasure! Hope you make it!
Found the width(round the body) of the skirt ruffles. But what is the length of each one(top to bottom)?
Thanks, hope to make this in another color. What type fabric do you recommend?
Hi, Anita Look into “my fabric recommendations from fabric.com sectiomn” Thank you!