Wardrobe Basics – Camel 2 Piece Dress

When I was growing up, I remember my mom making me and my older sister two piece dresses consisting of a simple pull over shell and gathered skirt. This outfit was inspired by those memories. Now that I am a busy working mom of 3, I can see why she sewed us pieces like these……. because they are so quick and easy!

In addition to being quick and easy, pieces like these can be easily styled and mixed with other wardrobe pieces.

I used Butterick 5211 to make the pullover top and I self drafted the pleated Midi skirt.  I am in the process of coming up with my own pattern for a pleated skirt.  This is my first prototype.  Once I have it perfected, I will post a tutorial.

Pattern Alterations/Modifications

I used view A to make my top.  I cut a size 10. I initially cut the pattern at the line for shortening/lengthening the waist.  Once I had the pieces put together, I removed an additional 5 inches from the bottom .   The top is pullover so no zipper required!


One of the many ways that I plan to wear this outfit is shown above.  The pieces are so basic that there are several possibilities.

Next Up On The Blog: Kimono Jacket (Made By Me)







Charcoal Gray Maxi



Hey There,
My husband and I just recently celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary.  I wanted to make a dress to wear that I could dress up for the occasion but also wear dressed down for other occasions.

Even though its winter, I didn’t want to make anything long sleeve because  I figured that short sleeve or sleeveless would be the most versatile because it could be layered for cooler months and worn as is in warmer months.

I decided to use a Charcoal Gray colored Men’s wool suiting blend for my dress.  It drapes and holds pleats beautifully.  It is light to medium weight and was very comfortable to wear in 39 degree here.  I imagine that I should be able to wear this dress at least 3 seasons.

This dress was made by combining the bodice of Project Runway Simplicity 1610 with the Skirt of  Mimi G. Simplicity 1159 (pleated instead of gathers). I fell in love with the bodice of Simplicity 1610 but I wanted hidden pockets so I used the skirt from Simplicity 1159.  At first I tried the gathers, but they were not that flattering on me, so I free styled some pleats.

I absolutely love the final product.  This dress is a blank canvas and  can be dressed up or dressed down.

Pattern Alterations/Modifications

Short Waist – I have a short waist so I removed 1 inch from the bodice.  Because of this adjustment I should have added an additional inch to the skirt, but I didn’t realize it until I had already cut out the skirt.  I ended up putting in a very narrow hem on the bottom to compensate the lost inch.

I also cut the skirt front on the fold instead of cutting two separate pieces per the written instructions.

As mentioned earlier, I added pleats instead of gathers.  The pleats were more flattering to my thicker midsection.


  • To add a little more drama and fullness to the skirt, I added an easy self-made tulle petticoat .  I also wore flats so that the skirt would graze the floor.
  • I layered two black/silver Statement necklaces and threw on a pair of matching earrings.
  • As a topper I wore a black & gray tartan short over coat. (not shown)