GBSB Drapey dress


Megan from Meggipeg told me that the drapey dress from the Great British Sewing Bee was now available free on the internet


and I remembered that I had made it when I acquired the book.


However, my version looked like what a clown would wear should she choose to wear a dress instead of trousers. I looked ridiculous, yet everyone else who made it looked fabulous – so dispiriting. However, having had my memory jogged, I wondered about making a couple of changes.

I removed the pockets (sob – the best bit!) and added sleeves, a bit like the pattern hack in the book and I now have a really easy to wear dress, that was simple to make – in fact, this is one of the things I made whilst camping at Easter. Now is the time to apologise for the quality of the photos – I have no idea what has gone down here!DSC07249

This is a lovely cocoon shaped dress, and although the pockets would be useful to have, I think the front sits a lot better on me without them. It’s difficult to see the front pleat, but it’s there and it’s quite effective. The back is one piece and very simple.


I was surprised at how short the dress was – it didn’t seem to be that short on everyone else and I’m sure they are all a lot taller than I am. Ah well! My original intention, when I ditched the pockets, was to belt the dress, but I actually prefer it loose. DSC07245

I made the dress out of a piece of knit I had in my stash, which I bought from Knitwit. I had so much of this that it is the third item I’ve made from it. Luckily they are all pretty different, and I’ve finally used it all!

Having now worn this dress a few times, I can recommend it as a perfect autumn weight dress that doesn’t require much thought or styling, and which can be dressed up or down – perfect for me!



22 thoughts on “GBSB Drapey dress

  1. I saw that book in the library and can’t imagine why I didn’t bring it home. Your dress looks as though it will be very useful. It’s difficult to think of you going into autumn as we hit spring (although todays hail storms would make you doubt winter will ever let go).

    1. It’s got a couple of nice things in it. I don’t think the drafting is brilliant but the patterns are easy to trace and quite interesting

  2. Good choice to nix the pockets. Short looks good on you–nice legs, wish I could get away with that. Looks so comfy I could see making it long, caftan-like dress for lounging. Looking forward to your next project!

  3. Your depiction of your first version is hilarious. Too bad you had to get rid of the pockets, but the dress is now a total success with sleeves and this perfect cocoon shape. BTW, I also bought this book last year and made some of the patterns included. I found them well drafted, but the drapey dress did not catch my attention. I’ll give it a closer look!

      1. I made the sleeveless shell top several times (2 for me and 2 for my sister). We both liked the subtle waist shape and I loved that it didn’t require any closure – very quick to make! I also used the men’s cargo shorts pattern as a base to make a pair of lounging pants for my son. And finally, I made the shift dress (presented as the silk woven tee hack), but it was not a big success due to a poor fabric choice. Anyway, I plan to use this one again next summer as a base to make a low waist dress with a semi-circle skirt. I haven’t try the kimono yet. How about a kilt for Mark?

      2. I’ve got both the shift and the sleeveless shell in my sights for next summer. Kilt for Mark? Hmm, and perhaps the elephant suit for Archie??!

  4. You made it! You are such a sewing dynamo. I really like this and might just have to make a drapey dress myself now you’ve given it the thumbs up. We’ll just have to make sure we’re not wearing the same outfit next time we meet up!

    1. thank you Jean. I’ve just checked the Hedy dress and yes, almost identical! I think the Hedy has a bit more drape in the sides though?

    1. It’s worth a rethink Jenny. I also didn’t like the one in the book – but was attracted by the pockets (!) but in a softer fabric than they use and without the pockets, I think it works.

    1. I like the idea of an obi belt. I tried all the possible belt combinations and felt it looked better without. I might try an obi. I have made the slouchy cardigan before, but am going to try the shift and shell top, and the kimono. There are a few things in this book that I quite like…
      PS I went and had a look at your dress and it’s gorgeous. I think it’s so much better without the pockets.

  5. I really love your version! This is my favourite pattern from the book, but my one wasn’t a great success (though I wore it loads), and I think the pockets might have had something to do with it. I will try it again in a firmer fabric, and with sleeves. My version doesn’t have the sleeves and I had to give it a miss this winter.

  6. looks great on you Sue. I like your longer sleeves and it looks so comfortable as well as stylish. Thanks for alerting me to a free pattern. I’ve yet to try a cocoon shape, I really like the silhouette though I suspect it may be one for tall folk.

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