Square neckline dress

It was a pretty unexpected decision to make this dress. I had planned jackets, vests, and yet here it is a new dress, which is lovely and, I’m sure, will be worn often this spring! What happened recently was me falling into utter confusion about all of those fabrics in my stash and the season soon about to change. After my last project I was in a bit of a limbo. Winter was slowly drawing to a close, whether or not this was proved by actual weather outside. But I lingered along somewhat lacking inspiration for spring styles. At the same time, all those wool fabrics were looking at me with reproach that yet one more winter has passed, and they continue sitting on the shelf. This beautiful blue pure wool suiting was bought two years ago, and I struggled all along in figuring out what to do with it. There were jacket plans, pants plans, eventually couple of weeks ago I turned everything upside down and decided to make a light woolen dress for early spring out of it. And so here it is!

I had bought 2 meters of this fabric, and it meant that it could either be a jacket, or pants and probably a vest, or just pants. But I’m still too intimidated by pants, so could not harness enough self-conviction to start pants project. And then I decided that this simple square neck dress pattern might work quite well for this fabric. Actually, I had planned to use black wool for this dress design and make a winter dress, but hey – the winter is (hopefully soon) over, so a bit of color is more than welcome!

After cutting paper pattern blocks I realized that few adjustments will be needed. First, the original dress did not have pockets, and I absolutely needed pockets 🙂 Then, I decided to raise the neck opening up by 2 cm to make the dress not as revealing. It was a very clever decision, as it appeared later. Sleeves had to be widened a bit. I have this unexpected challenge lately. Since I’ve started regular work out sessions, my biceps have increased a bit. My arms look nice, that’s not a problem, the problem is that if I sew something that has pretty narrow sleeves, extra attention is needed not to make a garment that would be too tight around arms and uncomfortable. So this time around after measuring sleeve circumference I also had to conclude that initial sleeves would be too narrow for me. All in all I added only 1-1.5 cm of width really, but that makes sleeves so much more comfortable. Finally I wanted the dress to be a bit longer than in the original design, so I added approximately 3.5 cm of additional length to it.

All of these amendments were done to paper pattern blocks before cutting into fabric. This dress consists of only few pieces, so cutting it was easy and quick. First I applied a bit of interfacing tape to the neckline, shoulders, zipper installation line, pocket openings and armholes. I started by installing pockets. You know how they tell you to snip into one seam allowance in order to press side seams flat after attaching pockets? Well, I hate that cut seam allowance! And it is really very recently that I have learnt a bit smarter way to install pockets and still be able to press those seams flat. It makes for beautiful pockets, I think! 🙂

Next I joined together shoulders and created back seam. For a short while I was debating with myself that perhaps there was no need to install a zipper, especially that I did not have a well matching invisible zipper. The neck opening of this dress is quite large and the dress itself is wide enough, I even basted back seam closed and still was able to put the dress on. However, when sleeves were installed, it might have actually been a bit more difficult to put the dress on and, more importantly, take it off. So finally I decided to install a zipper. To do that, it had to be purchased first, so I of course spent extra time to go to the store for something as small as zipper. Granted, I purchased few other small things, but still – time was spent.

The zipper got in and I was ready to install the lining. Making the lining was easy – it was basically stitching front and back together. More of a challenge was to neatly stitch that square neckline. I had to fiddle with it quite a bit and then press carefully, but all in all I’m quite glad how the neckline turned out. The neckline is understitched – I believe it is an important step in the process to make sure the lining would not be peeking out.

Next were the sleeves. The lining of this dress is installed only for the main body of the dress and not sleeves. I tacked the main fabric and lining together at armholes and thus prepared the dress for sleeves installation. After basting sleeves in I had to conclude that the dress was not feeling all that comfortable. My shoulders are narrow, so usually I do not have any problem in garment being tight around shoulders. But this time that was exactly the case. Moreover, since the neck opening is pretty large, by moving hands around I was pulling neckline to sides, and that was a clear indication that upper part of the dress was too tight. To remediate the problem at least somewhat I ended up installing sleeves with minimum 0.5 cm seam allowance. This allowed me to win a centimeter of chest width, and that helped quite a bit.

The last thing to take care of was hemming the sleeves and making a proper hem for the dress. I hand-stitched all hems using invisible stitch to make for a clean finish. And with that my new blue dress was all complete!

For this dress I used some 1.2 meters of this beautiful blue wool, the fabric is called Superfine twill worsted Prussian blue. Lining is called Old blue eyes polka dot and it is acetate and viscose blend (51% / 49%). Both fabrics were bought from Fabworks Mill Shop two autumns ago. Pattern used here is Becky dress by Vikisews patterns and I had to adjust it quite a bit. Notions used were: a bit of interfacing tape for few seams, invisible zipper, and coordinating thread (Gutermann no. 310). This dress cost me 25 Eur (here, reaping benefits of having shopped before Brexit and before insane inflation kicked in). It was made in February, 2023.

Initially I was planning to style this dress with short white socks and my so very much loved black flat shoes. That’s how the dress was styled on the pattern site. But when I actually purchased those socks and tried the style on, I felt that it was simply not for me. So instead I bought these somewhat fun tights and love this style so much better!

Since there was some 0.8 meters of fabric still left, I’ve decided to make a vest out of it for spring. Vests this season seam to be everywhere – you aren’t supposed to start this spring without a vest! 🙂 I’ve never owned a vest, so here we go – it’ll be something new again. Really looking forward to seeing how it will turn out and of course will share the story of my spring vest project as soon as I’m done with it.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I’ll see you next time!


Published by giedrestyle

This is a sewing blog. I am weekend sewist who enjoys creating a unique and one of a kind wardrobe.

6 thoughts on “Square neckline dress

    1. Thank you so much, Elle! 💙 I am glad you liked it. That pocket installation conundrum bothered me quite a bit, and now as I know how to nicely install pockets, I can’t quite understand why this method is not shown in all those instructions.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Diane! ❤️ I made it to be an office outfit, so this styling is really what will work, I think. Might wanna try it on with blue tights – just for the sake of argument 😀


  1. I have only recently come across your blog, Giedre, and love seeing what you make and especially the construction details. I have been avoiding making in-seam pockets for the very reason you mention – that snipped seam. Is your method something you can link to, or something you would be willing to share. Please continue to share your lovely creations!


    1. Thank you so very much for your kind words, Judith! ❤️ I am so glad you find my posts useful. As for the pocket installation method, I’ve devised it myself actually. It is pretty simple and I’ll try to explain here. Hopefully, you’ll relate to that when you look at the picture of the pocket in this post.
      So there are two things really. First, you have to use the same seam allowance (in this case it was 1 cm) for both – attaching pocket pieces to sides and joining front and back together with a side seam. Then, you wanna stitch the side seam in two stages: 1) the actual side seam above and below the pocket but not the actual pocket, and then 2) you will join two pocket pieces in a continuous seam. In doing that you need to pull just stitched side seam allowances to the side and not stitch through them – you’ll see in the picture where this seam starts and stops. This will allow you to press side seam flat nicely. Hope, this helps, and you’ll enjoy installing in-seam pockets! 🎈


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: