The Avid Seamstress

The Avid Seamstress Sheath Dress

Regular price £18.50 GBP
Sale price £18.50 GBP Regular price £18.50

We print out the A0 pattern sheets, but you’ll need to download the digital instructions, as we don’t print these. The PDF files will be emailed immediately after purchase, and the printed A0 pattern sheets will be dispatched next working day.

(What is Copyshop?)
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Buy the Sheath Dress sewing pattern from The Avid Seamstress. This classic dress features a rounded neckline, grown-on sleeves and subtle shaping. Choose between a sash belt or an elasticated waist, and in-seam or patch pockets. Add a button and loop closure or simply pull on. With so many options, the Sheath Dress is the ideal base to create your ultimate dress.

This sewing pattern is available to buy in the following formats:

– PAPER (next working day dispatch on orders and FREE UK delivery over £50)

– PDF (available to download immediately after purchase). What is a PDF?

– PDF pattern + Printed A0 copy shop (We print out the A0 pattern sheets, but you’ll need to download the digital instructions, as we don’t print these. The PDF files will be emailed immediately after purchase, and the A0 pattern sheets will be dispatched next working day). What is Copy Shop?

Suggested fabrics: Light to medium weight woven fabrics: cotton, cotton lawn, poplin, corduroy, chambray, denim, linen, tencel, and moleskin.

Fabric requirements: Allow extra fabric if pattern matching.

Dress with sash belt: 145 cm (57") wide fabric: Non-directional, 1.8 - 2.5 m // Directional, 2.35 - 2.5 m.

Dress with elasticated waist: 145 cm (57") wide fabric: Non-directional: 1.8 - 2.5 m // Directional, 2.2 - 2.5 m.

Sizing: UK 6 – 22 (approx. UK 6/8 – 22/24, based on our standardised size chart). Please also check the designer’s size chart and finished garment measurements.

Notions: 0.5 m of lightweight iron-on interfacing; small to medium size button for button and loop closure option; elastic for elasticated waist option, max. 25 mm wide, 1 m for sizes 6-16 or 1.2 m for sizes 18-22.

PDF pattern includes: Instructions; A4/US letter print-at-home pattern (40 pages); A0 copy shop pattern (2 sheets) // Layers: Yes // Projector file: No.

If you’re looking for more maker inspiration, check out the latest sewing pattern reviews from the sewing community. We also have a sewing blog to keep you up to date with all the news from the world of sewing.


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Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Mel Forrest
It's growing on me...!

I really didn't love this dress when I finished it, but it's definitely growing on me! It's a pretty straightforward sew and would suit any seamstress that has made a few garments and can insert an invisible zip.

I used some gorgeous petrol blue viscose with cute cream and mustard spots for my dress. This was a bargain bolt end, but I only had about 1.3m - by making the shorter sleeved version, omitting the pockets, piecing the casing and completely ignoring the suggested cutting layout - I just managed to squeeze it all in!

After trying on the gorgeous sheath dress that Patsy made in a straight size 2, which fitted me beautifully, I opted to make the same size. I don't know where I went wrong, but when I came to try my dress on it barely fit around my hips. Luckily, by unpicking the side seams (which was not a good idea on a delicate viscose) and sewing them at 1/4", my dress now accommodates my bottom!

The other change I made was to create a rouleau loop and button fastening at the neckline instead of inserting a zip. I can actually fit the dress on and off without undoing this, so there's potential to leave out a fastening altogether.

The instructions were generally good, but I really didn't like the way the casing was formed and the elastic was inserted. I'm absolutely not the kind of seamstress that makes the insides of my garments as pretty as the outsides, but the way the side seam ends up with the elastic poking out and the casing unfinished is just too untidy, even for me!

I definitely want to revisit this pattern as it's a flattering, wearable dress that's so perfect for work and with a bit of tidying up on the inside it could be perfect!

Confusing instructions

I love the finish dress enough that I want to make another, but I must say the instructions to attach the elastic casing are very confusing. I have been in touch with The Avid Seamstress and they have since clarified it somewhat but the way they chose to do it results in an inferior finish, in my opinion.
The dress itself is lovely and well drafted. I really love this silhouette and it looks very sophisticated - so unlike me. ?
I made a size 2, which is their UK10 equivalent, and it fits me perfectly. Keep your measurements in mind though, as the dress is quite fitted around the hips so there isn't a lot of ease there. I briefly considered sizing down but I'm glad I didn't or it would have been too tight. For that reason, I omitted the pockets. I though they'd cause unnecessary bulk around the hips.
The dress is supposed to have a centre back zip but I swapped mine out for a button and loop closure instead.
I'm really pleased with the finished dress. It's so comfortable yet stylish. It looks like I've made an effort when I really didn't. ?

You can find more photos and details on my blog:

The Sheath Dress Pattern Review

I feel very put together in this dress and yet it is is so simple to sew up. I'd say its beginner friendly definitely but advise checking your hip against the finished garments - the style is such that while it has the ease of a pullover style, the fit is close on the hip. More pictures on Saturday Night Stitch -

The Sheath Dress

I really love this dress! I chose a size 3, which is a UK size 12 and it fits me perfectly. The dress is quite loose fitting and has an elasticated waist. I have never made a similar dress before and I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t like the elastic on my waist but turns out it is a lovely feature and adds a nice shaping to the whole garment.
he instructions were amazing and very easy to follow, with detailed explainations for every step and every technique. This is one of the reasons I think this pattern is perfect for beginners!
You can see more photos and read my detailed review on my blog: