Make Your Own Basics: The little black dress

Make Your Own Basics: The little black dress

It’s that time of year when we’re all supposed to be relieved we have an “LBD” in our closet — that simple little shift or tee dress or slip dress that you can pull out and dress up or down for any sort of gathering you may be invited to. I don’t get a lot of party invitations at any time of year (lol) but the value of a versatile little black dress is undeniable. Here are a wide range of fairly timeless options — but of course, these are also just wonderfully versatile dress patterns that would make great wardrobe building blocks in whatever colors or prints suit you best and any time of the year—

TOP: Catarina from Seamwork is a slip dress with gathered skirt that’s great as a party dress or a summer frock, and would go great with sweaters [UPDATE: I just saw that the current issue of Seamwork is the LBD issue! Here’s the intro]

MIDDLE LEFT: Farrow from Grainline Studio was Jen’s wedding dress in crepe de chine, so that one definitely dresses up or down

MIDDLE RIGHT: Inari from Named is a slightly cocoon-shaped tee dress you could do absolutely anything with

BOTTOM: Anna from By Hand London is a little bit va-va-voom at floor-length and cute and girly in the knee-length variation


Simple Slip by April Rhodes is a plain slip dress that comes along with the Date Night Dress pattern — bonus! (See also: Juno)

Fen from Fancy Tiger, which I’ve mentioned before, looks really great in dressier fabrics — here’s proof


For a knitted dress option, Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s simple tee dress, Ebb (below), would dress up beautifully in black.

Make Your Own Basics: The little black dress

PREVIOUSLY in Make Your Own Basics: The turtleneck sweater


10 thoughts on “Make Your Own Basics: The little black dress

  1. I can testify that Ebb makes a wonderful LBD. I knitted one for my daughter, and added crocheted trim to the sleeves to dress it up a bit. Currently, I’m making her a striped version with a variegated blue/grey/black and solid black.

  2. I just made myself an LBD for the holidays using the Pauline Alice Xeria dress. The version with short sleeves.

  3. I love the idea of a knitted dress, I’m always cold and I find combining a cardigan with a dress quite tricky, especially without spoiling the elegance of a little black dress.

  4. I think Farrow is exquisite. Whether it be in linen, silk charmeuse, a soft, drapey wool, or a basic chambray, the lines of it are perfection. Well done, Jen … I will get to it eventually.

  5. Not surprisingly, I have a couple (ahem) LBDs, but I’m quite intrigued by the knit one as well as by the new Seamwork offering. It’s really hard to go wrong with an LBD. Not sure if I have time this holiday season to make a dress for myself, but who knows?

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  7. Totally bought the Anna pattern because of this post, thank you by the way :)! I’ve been working on tracing it out and modifying as needed and for the first time in a long time I’m not rushing the process. I ran out of tracing paper so two skirt pieces are in my waiting zone but I think this may be my big make for 2017.

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