Black Shift for Easter

I know that black probably isn’t the first color that comes to mind when thinking of what to wear for Easter, but sometimes you just work with what’s around. That’s what I did at least. After playing around with some design ideas for turning a year-old muslin into something wearable, this is what I came up with.


Designing and sewing this dress was a fun process and very different from my usual. Normally, I start with a pattern and then choose fabric to fit the design. This is how I was taught to sew and it’s become my habit. (It also reduces the chance that I will develop a case of enormous-fabric-stash-that-I’ll-never-be-able-to-use guilt.) With this project I was starting with a basic shape that I couldn’t really alter and had to decide how to finish it. Once I landed on my idea, it was pretty easy to execute. I decided to add to pintucks to the center front to frame three square buttons and use simple fabric bands to finish the neckline and arm holes.


Design/Pattern: Muslin from the front and back of the Licorice dress pattern from the Colette Patterns Book

Materials: black Sophia double knit (I think I may have mentioned my love for this fabric.)



  • serged seams
  • darts
  • pintucks
  • fabric bands to finish the neck and arm holes (cut two inch wide fabric strips, folded in half lengthwise, stretched as I sewed/serged them to the neck and arm holes)
  • decorative buttons

Alterations/Changes: My finished dress looks very different from the original Licorice dress pattern because I had limited fabric to work with. I had to come up with a different idea for the collar and sleeves, which I’ve described above. I also decided to take out the vertical darts on the dress front so that the silhouette would be a shift rather than a sheath.


When I started this dress I had no specific plans for wearing it on Easter, but as my spring break started I had this dress waiting in the wings. The day before Easter Sunday, I spent an hour or so working on my dress and didn’t have it finished. I told myself it wasn’t a big deal; I had other pretty things in my closet that I could wear. Easter morning arrived and my first thought as I lay in bed halfway awake was about finishing this dress. I just had to get up and spent another hour on it so that I could wear it that day. I’m so glad I did. It turns out that wearing a black dress for Easter isn’t such a bad idea.


1 thought on “Black Shift for Easter

  1. Pingback: Sewing Plans: Laurel Shift Dress | Fresa Handmade

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