Black Tulip Dress

I made my deadline! This dress was a study in figuring out what would work with the fabric I bought. I usually start with a design in mind and then go out and find fabric to fit the pattern. This time, I just went off to the fabric store and bought up a bunch of black fabrics. Once I was home, I started figuring out my design.

You might be asking why I went about doing things differently this time. Well, I am leaving for vacation in two days and as I was figuring out what to pack I realized that a dress I was planning to take didn’t fit anymore. Ah, just what I needed, an excuse to make a pretty new dress. Those are my favorite kind of excuses.


The design came about somewhat organically as I worked through a couple of sketches and played around with the fabrics I had gotten. I am really pleased with the final result even though the dress went through a few revisions. And, as you can see from the pictures, the inside looks almost as good as the outside. For me, that’s a sign of a job well done.

Design/Pattern: My own design (strapless princess seam bodice with overlay, midriff, and dirndl skirt with petal shaped overlay). I’m calling it the black tulip dress because of the way the sheer dotted overlay allows the solid black skirt to peek through between the overlapping layers of the skirt.


  • Sheer polyester with dotted texture (which my sewing machine did not get along with)
  • Cotton/lycra blend
  • 12 inch zipper
  • ¼ inch plastic boning
  • Fusible interfacing

Techniques: (What techniques didn’t I use?)

  • Inserting boning into the bodice
  • French seams
  • Machine rolled hems (which I think I can finally do without wanting to cry)
  • Lapped zipper
  • Gathered skirt & bodice overlay
  • Catch-stitched bodice & midriff lining to the skirt

Grade: This dress earns an A. It’s pretty, feminine and elegant. It’ll be perfect for my vacation and an upcoming friend’s wedding. I can wear the dress two ways too—with the bodice overlay open to form a shawl-like look or with the bodice overlay gathered at the shoulders. Either way I wear it, the black tulip dress makes the grade.

1 thought on “Black Tulip Dress

  1. Pingback: Licorice Sorbetto | Fresa Handmade

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