I purchased The Staple Dress pattern two months ago after seeing #thestapledress show up in photos on Instagram. I had made a dress back in 2009 and then another in 2011. I consider myself to have great piecing skills for patchwork, but I don't have much experience with garment sewing.
Everyone made it seem like this was a fun & simple to make dress.... they were right!!
When I purchased the pattern it was only available in PDF format. I printed off the pieces, taped them together, cut them out and dove right in.
My first staple dress.
My 2nd staple dress.
Here are my tips & tricks that I have found helpful along the way.
1. Start with finding fabric you really like. I choose to work with mostly Chambray & Knit in solid or almost solid colors. While I love big bold prints for my clothes, I know that isn't really my style for apparel.
These are all apparel fabrics from Robert Kaufman
A few good online shops for apparel fabrics.
2. Wash your fabrics. Yes... pre-wash. In general I don't pre-wash my quilting fabrics, but since you are making a garment you want to pre-wash... trust me.
Sadly I skipped the pre-wash step here and was super excited (and rushing) to make this dress before Quilt Market. Needless to say after washing... it isn't a Maxi anymore and is tight in many places. (Note: The pattern doesn't include information on how to make it a Maxi. To make this one I lengthened the pattern at the "shorten & lengthen line" until the pattern piece was approximately the same length as a maxi dress I already owned.
3. Figure out what size you are and make the appropriate pattern pieces. I took my measurements & determined that I didn't fit into one size column. This is typical & luckily the Staple Dress is easy to adjust. My measurements were S Bust - M Waist - M Hip. I started by cutting the pattern to a Medium and then gradually cutting towards the Small line between the waist and bust area.
With patchwork I usually cut fabric with a rotary cutter. For this project I used my Cover Ultimate Shears. They are amazing for this project.
4. Read the pattern thoroughly. April does a great job at showing step by step photos & giving you options with your dress. I've made a variety & will show you them below.
The main choices you have to make...
Straight hem vs. Drop hem
Pockets vs. No pockets
5. I used Wonder Clips vs. pins whenever I could.
6. This pattern is pretty simple & straight forward. The most "difficult" part is probably sewing with elastic thread, deciding where to add the shirring, and how many lines to add. Sewing with elastic thread isn't hard, it just is very different from sewing with regular thread. I added 3 lines of shirring to most of my dresses.
The Staple Dress can be worn with or without a belt, but I liked having a reason to get some awesome new belts from Anthropologie.
Straight hem, no elastic shirring, no pockets. Note: Without the shirring this dress can only be worn with a belt.
Fabric = Laguna Cotton Jersey by Robert Kaufman
Straight hem, pockets
Fabric = Indigo Chambray 4.5 by Robert Kaufman
Straight hem, no pockets
Fabric = Indigo Chambray 4.5 by Robert Kaufman
Drop hem, no pockets
Fabric = Laguna Jersey Heather by Robert Kaufman
Side by side fabric comparison for you. I didn't have the last dress finished while I wrote this blog post... but hopefully by the time you read this it is!
Ready for the giveaway??
One lucky reader will win a printed copy of The Staple Dress!
1. Leave ONE comment to enter. Make sure your contact info is in your profile or that you leave it in the comment.
2. In your comment tell us what fabric you would use for your dress, which hem, and pockets or no pockets.
I would make a dress from pink voile with a drop hem & no pockets.
3. Comment entries must be left on this blog, www.jaybirdquilts.com, to be valid. Comments sent via E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media will not be counted.
4. Simple as that!!
Winner will be selected by
© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/
I'd love to have this pattern!
I have a butifuil soft mint green knit that would make me happy happy to make up... I would want to make it a maxi length with the drop hem... no pockets and I have just the belt to wear with it
I've already made one from a Kaffe Fassett rayon and really want one in chambray. It'll probably be straight hem, and definitely pockets. I love that you can use French seams and get a really tidy finish without them, but then there's nowhere to put my lip balm and kleenex!
I love this dress! (And, you look so cute in them!) I don't do apparel sewing, but I think I'd give this one a try! o:)
Oh my word, love this giveaway, have been thinking about purchasing this pattern myself as I had read just how easy it was.....I'd make my first dress with a blue chambray fabric with a straight knee length hem and no pockets.....then once I'd mastered that I think I'd make one with pockets in a nice jersey I have been saving for 'just' the right project :)
Your dresses look really cute on you Julie! I would chose a cotton jersey for the drape of the fabric...not sure what color I would pick. I would also do a straight hem and pockets. Thanks for having this give away!
I am not sure what fabric I would use, but I love your chevron printed one! I would likely use a heather grey, or perhaps a black, just for versatility. I would also make it a maxi length, and with no pockets, and a straight hem. Or that's the look I like best, but I suppose I'd have to see!
Julie, you look great in this dress! I have a lot of fabric my sister brought home from Kenya, and I'd like to use it to make dresses for her and myself. (No, not twin dresses! And we live across the US from each other, so I think we're safe from wearing them at the same & place!)
I like the idea of the maxi - as I like my dresses longer (when I wear them...) - probably no pockets (bulky enough in the middle as I am) - and probably a soft jersey - if i can find what I like in ORANGE! ;-)
I would use a cotton jersey in a salmon orange/pink color with a straight hem and pockets. Jessieschutt(@)gmail(.)com.
I'd probably use a straight hem, some sort of jersey fabric, and definitely pockets!!
I would use a Robert Kaufman fabric, not sure on colour yet, no pockets, drop hem :)
I would make it out of the Chambray Strawberry with pockets and the drop hem....
Straight hem, with pockets, blue jersey.
Very cute! Thanks for the chance to win.
I'd definitely make straight hem with pockets, and either a chambray or quilting cotton from Art Gallery. Thanks!
I would make my dress in a beautiful cotton floral with a straight hem and no pockets (don't need the extra bulk on these hips! LOL).
I would most definitely use Jersey and I love the dropped hem with pockets.
I just bought the pattern and it came in the mail yesterday! So excited to try this out. I'm making mine in Tula Pink Voile...the hexagon print Prince Charming. I'm going to add pockets and a straight hem. Thanks for the inspiration. I love all of your dresses. So cute!
I have some grey knit with a slight pattern that would make up beautifully with this pattern... straight hem w/pockets :o)
Have a great day.
I'd use some knit fabric I have already that I've been looking for a pattern for. I love the comfort and coolness of knit and that it doesn't get wrinkled looking
i loved your post what a great way to see the dress and the options. I would do Jersey, pockets, straight hem. Thanks!
I love the idea of a jersey knit solid, maybe navy, drop hem, no shirring with pockets!
I'd like this dress in jersey knit with a dropped hem and pockets!
Love this dress in Indigo Chambray 4.5 by Robert Kaufman, straight hem and definitely pockets!!
I would make a dress in blue, with a straight hem and pockets.
Thanks for the great photos and the chance.
I want to try the chambray union! And try elastic thread for shirring - I've been scared off patterns using that before. I'd make it in that with a straight hem and no pockets.
Straight hem, no pockets (for a first try) and I love that heather pepper fabric - have never sewn jersey before, but there is a first for everyone.
This pattern is very cute! I'll make it with a straight hem, no pockets and I really like the interweave chambray strawberry fabric!
I would make one in a floral voile with a drop waiste.
I love this dress! Especially that it can be lengthened (I am tall and everything is always so short). I'm new to sewing so I don't know what kind of fabric I would use, but something soft and flowy!
Little letter by Nani Iro in tan with straight hem no pockets
AMH field study coordinates in midnight voile straight hem pockets ( would I need a lining?)
Robert Kidman voile in willow pockets drop hem
Other fabrics of beauty--Tina Givens Pagoda Lullabye Tutty, Joel Dewbury Heirloom Ornate Floral
Spolgar89 at gmail dot com
I would make a dress from Denim Chambray in Indigo with a straight hem & no pockets. I thinks my daughter would love it. It's simple but still stylish.
I think I'd make this with a straight hem, no pockets, and in a fun print. Something like Rashida's Koi print would be cute, I think.
I have some Robert Kaufman Dot Chambray that would be quite perfect for this project! I'd HAVE to have pockets, and I'm undecided about hems. I've never tried a high-low hem, but that means maybe I should try!
Would love to use RK denim Thanks for the offer
I'd make a drop hem with pockets out of some Tula Pink fabric. Maybe the hexie print.
Thanks for the chance!
I think I will make them in a cotton lawn with hem pockets
I'd love to make one in jersey knit in a fun summertime print or maybe voile, yes to pockets and I think I'd like to try the drop hem. Such a comfy looking pattern!
Thanks for the chance! I'd use jersey, straight hem, with pockets!
I would use the chambray, straight hem and definitely add pockets. Love that you showed so many options. Thanks for the giveaway.
I'd use linen, drop hem, and pockets. Can't live without pockets!
I need a green dress for a casual event - I'd use jersey knit, drop hem, no pockets. Thanks for the giveaway! Love all the belts you used with your dresses too!
I want to make a dress with a voile from one of Anna Maria Horner's lines. Its gotta have a straight hem and pockets. Thanks for the giveaway.
I would make mine from some blue voile, maybe with a floral print. Drop hem and definitely pockets :) thanks!!
Adorable and versatile pattern. Would love it in linen (OK, I like to iron!) with pockets and a straight hem. Cute, cute, cute!
I've been thinking about making this dress for ages, have some cheerful cotton floral that would be perfect. I'd add the pockets - so useful, and go for the straight hem. firstname.lastname@example.org
I have looked at this pattern time and time again. I would use a gray jersey, definitely pockets, and straight hem!
I would use a cotton jersey, drop hem, and definitely pockets!
Love your dresses! They look so beautiful on you too. Keep up the great work on garment sewing! I would make the dress in a pink jersey knit with a straight hem, pockets and maxi length. I'm not sure if I would belt mine in as my waist area is not that well defined and narrow. It's well defined and wide! LOL
Have a quilty day!
I need a dress for a casual wedding in September. Maybe a navy print jersey would be perfect.
I would like to make a staple dress out of the not yet released koi voile by rashida Coleman-hale. Straight hem, no pockets. Lovely.
I would make it in a soft jersey, straight hem, with pockets. Thanks for the opportunity to win!=)
I would make a dress from chambray with a drop hem & yes, pockets!
This dress looks so comfy! I think I would choose apple green knit, with pockets, and straight hem. Not a fan of the drop hem style.
Fun! I would make it out of chambray I think and no pockets and a straight hem. :)
I love your dresses!
I'd make one form knit, but like your chambray fabrics! thanks for the giveaway!
i would love a dress with denim chambray, with pockets...straight hem! thanks for a chance.
So very cute dress many ways to wear it. My dress would be made out of whatever fabric I can find with old one it and it would have a drop hem and no pockets :) thank you email@example.com
What a great little dress for kicking around in. I'd make the straight hem with pockets. Not sure about fabric...probably a jersey.
I'd love to try this dress in a jersey fabric as haven't sewn with jersey before and likes how it hangs. Straight hem with pockets - love pockets! firstname.lastname@example.org
Love ALL your hints and different kinds of fabrics. I would choose a grey or heather jersey fabric WITH pockets(can't teach w/out pockets) and wear it w/leggings, then also a fall looking fabric for school. Thanks for the giveaway! Marlae
I have been seeing this dress all over the blogs, so cute! Looks really fun to make. I think I would make the straight hem, shirring waist, no pocket version first out of cotton jersey. Would look so cute with a cardigan and boots in the cooler months. What a fun give away. Thanks!
I would make a chevron knit - coral, straight hem, one pocket dress.
Oh my goodness... I haven't sewn garments for years but used to make everything I wore! Love this dress and the variations.
My choice would be something in a purple cotton jersey, definitely would add the pockets and the shirring and the first one would have the straight hem. I really like that you made one longer. Since I am tall, I look goofy in dresses that are too short and am sure everyone is getting tired of seeing me wear my jeans skirt!
I would love to try this pattern in a comfy knit like you did. You look adorable!
I'd go for pockets (love pockets!) and straight hem in a blue and white zig zag jersey I have in the stash. Really love the idea of the maxi as well, I hope your shrunken one is salvageable!
I've never made a dress before but would do the dropped hem and perhaps use a solid fabric for the body and maybe another fabric for the sleeves? I'm not a matchy matchy person so who knows! Thanks for the giveaway ;c)
I would make it in a lightweight linen, no pockets, straight hem ... and I'm thinking a little shorter for a tunic length to wear over slim ankle pants for summer.
I would like to make this with blue jersey, pockets and straight hem. Love it!
I'd dig into my stash for this and the first ofany would be with a linen/cotton bond knit in oatmeal heather with a floral print, straight hem, shirred waist without pockets. It's perfect for our hot So Cal weather. Next would be a long line of gorgeous cottons in whimsical prints.
I would make one with knit fabric- I love the fabric you used. Straight hem with pockets (for the first) I love your maxi- would have to try that second!
I would make the staple dress from any Amy Butler Soul Blossoms Rayon Challis with a straight hem and no pockets.
Yo girlie...great dresses and love the fabric choices!
Hmmmm....I think a nice charcoal grey knit with a little black stripe, pockets and definitely a dropped hem to hide the back of my old knees...thinking about it...fronts aren't great either so I would make it a wee bit longer!:)
I would make this dress in a red soft knit, straight hem, no pockets.
I would love to make this dress with some pretty Liberty lawn. :)
I'd love to win this pattern, I've been wanting to try it and dreaded printing it out and taping it all together!
I would make this in Indigo with pickets and a straight hem. I love the simplicity of the pattern
Wanda in Va
I have a nice stripe that I'd love to use, with a straight hem and pockets.
You sold me! I just have to make one ❤
I would love to make this in many different fabrics, but I think I would start with a striped knit... since there are no sleeves to match stripes on! I would make a straight hem for sure and yes to pockets!
I have not sewn a dress before, only quilts, but would like to give it a try. Looks like a cute and comfy dress. I would choose a blue print with pockets probably :)
I would love this dress in a navy blue with a drop hem and pockets.
They all look great! I would have to copy you and choose some sort of textured solid (maybe grey or navy linen?)
I would have to add pockets, and might try the drop hem. Coincidentally, in the past hour I have read posts about using elastic thread for smocking and making French seams around pockets, so I'd have to try both techniques! (I'm a bit obsessed with French seams in tote bags and pouches, but haven't really done any garment seeing yet)
I will be making a jersey version with a straight hem and no pockets. Such a great pattern!
oh, goodness!!! i would make one with some yardage of nani iro i had been saving for another schoolhouse tunic!! i would do a straight hemline and no pockets. i love yours in both the jersey and the chambray!!
I have some purple knit I'm dying to use. I'd make the short straight hem with pockets!
I'd use the dark chambray, with pockets and straight hem. Thanks for the chance!
Ha! I'd make one in muslin 1st for practice, no pockets, dropped hem. Then maybe one in the chambray next!
I would use a stripey coral knit I have in my stash with the drop hem and no pockets. All of your versions look great, and I agree prewashing is so important! I prewash my knits 3 times before I sew with them because I have found they keep shrinking for a bit :) You can reach me at info (at) cutcutsew (dot) com
I would like to make this dress in Laguna Jersey Heather, Pepper Color, with pockets and drop hem -- and then I would like to make all the rest #!}
The Jersey gives a nice drape! I would make the dress in Jersey, straight hem, no shirring, pockets and Navy.
I'd sew the straight hem with pockets out of a blue or aqua knit. Looks so comfy! And you and I have the same machine!
I'd love to make a dress in Navy color - the Laguna Cotton Jersey looks perfect. I'd do the drop hem and add pockets. All the dresses you made look fabulous & super comfy. Thanks for a chance to win! :)
I would like to try it with some liberty lawn (maybe not the first go round though!), with the straight hem and pockets :)
I need a real simple dress for summer. This looks like it would fit the bill. I would make it with pockets - gotta have 'em.
I love the maxi version. I would get some voile from a local store in Santa Cruz for this project....love all the versions you made!
I want to try making one out of a patterned voile I have, definitely with pockets, and a straight hem. This looks like the kind of pattern that I would want to experiment with and make several!
I have no idea what fabric I would use for my 1st one, but I would love to make one with a Kansas Troubles type fabric to wear this fall with boots! I would do the straight hem, no pockets, & belt it!
I'd use an Essex cotton/linen and make the drop hem, pockets version.
I would love to make this dress in a voile, with a drop hem and pockets. Thank you so much for the chance up win!!
I'd love to make this in a rayon batik print, with a straight hem and pockets. Thanks so much for introducing this fun dress!
I have a length of raspberry hemp knit fabric that's screaming for this pattern. It would be perfect with a drop hem and pockets!
I'd use a solid knit fabric with straight hem and pockets. Because pockets are the best!
I think I'd try a navy knit, with a straight hem and no pockets. Thanks for the giveaway!
tannis_z at excite dot com
Cotton Jersey, drop hem, with pockets!
pinkscissorsdesign @gmail .com
The first dress I will create with this pattern will be out of a batik in purples & blues, it will have pockets[where else can I hide my keys and chocolates? :) ]
sowingstitches [at]gmail [dot] com
I think I would go for the straight hem. Definitely pockets! I would make it with a viscose knit fabric. Thanks, Julie and April!
I'm not real familiar with garment sewing. I would use a knit of some kind (don't know the differences), probably purple or blue, straight hem, and no pockets and definitely a fun belt.
Ohhhhh I would love to make a staple from some gorgeous Liberty of London Tana Lawn with a dropped hemline and no pockets
Wow! I Love all of your versions!!! :)
I would make this in a maxi - I've tried it in voile and rayon and love it!
I think I would make this jersey, with pockets, shirring, and a drop hem. It is so cute!
I would make this with grey jersey, a straight hem & pockets, and then again with a fun & bright patterned voile or Cotten print, straight hem and pockets!
I would make this dress out of a jersey cotton probably in navy or maybe red! I would make it with pockets and probably a dropped hem since I don't have anything with a dropped hem and it looks so cute!
It's lovely and simple. If I win a pattern, I'd make it in several different fabrics. I'd try a light aqua cotton print first in the pocketless, straight length version. Then I'd use a light weight denim or chambray with the same features. I would add a wide stretchy belt in a contrasting color.
I would make a dress from green linen with a straight hem and pockets.
lag110 at mchsi dot com
The jersey material just drapes so beautifully. I would probably use black for the color as that is what I wear to work. And POCKETS!! Can never get enough clothes (especially dresses) with pockets.
I'm excited to make this dress, thinking an Anna Maria Horner print with a drop hem and no pockets.
I would try Kaufman's Denim Deluxe in Herringbone straight hem with pockets. Clothing kind of scares me, but you make this look so cute and sound sort of doable!
I would try a jersey knit. I never considered it until I read your article/blog about it!
I would make a dress for my daughter and also teach her how to make more for herself. I'd make it without pockets and a straight hem.
I have a friend going thru chemo right now, so I'm sure she'd like a snazzy voile dress with matchy headscarf! She's a straight hem kind of girl, probably no pockets.
That's it I'm sold - definitely want to make a purple one...and a chambray one...and hmmm...let me see!
I would make a drop hem with pockets...super cute. I don't know with what fabric though...
I would love to try one in Chambray with a straight hem and pockets. Thanks!
I would make this dress using Moda Essential Dots in Christmas Red, maybe with drop hem and definitely with pockets! Thanks for the oppotunity.
I would make this in a jersey with straight hem...I have been looking at April's pattern for sometime...daydreaming again.
I would use any cotton jersey my daughter picks out, and use a drop hem. She already has a dress with a drop hem and it looks so cute on her. Not sure about pockets.
kakingsbury at verizon dot net
They are all very nice. I think I would do the Straight hem with no pockets in the cotton Jersey first.
I would make the staple dress in a light weight denim and get a bright orange rope type belt for it! Its lovely - and your various versions are perfect for you.
I would use a chevron print in red for one dress. Then maybe a solid light denim. The pattern is so cute and I like the fabrics you chose. I would choose a straight hem with pockets.
I want to make one out of the chambray with a straight hem and pockets.
I am sure I would make drop hem, with pockets dress out of a lovely jersey.
My dress would be strawberry chambray, straight hem with pockets. I think it would be lovely.
Chambray, Pockets (of course) and straight hem
I would made this dress in gray jersey knit with pockets and a straight hem. This would be the perfect "everything " dress with a cute belt to dress it up or down.
I'd make it in voile with a dropped hem and pockets!
Thanks for the giveaway, love the pattern!
That dress looks so comfy, although I don't know if I would be able to sew it (I've never sewed any clothes at all).
I would use a very cheap but nice fabric to make the first one that I'm sure would be full of mistakes and the second one I would make with some pretty AMH voile that I bought ages ago.
Terrific giveaway, thanks for the chance to win!
Love it! Straight hem, not sure what I'd do about pockets
Thanks for the places to shop for fabric---love your colors
I love your heather fabric so I would probably pick something like that. I would also add pockets assuming they were easy and certainly a straight hem (not sure what I think about drop hems on me). GREAT JOB!!
straight hem, yes for pockets and in sage green cotton knit... thanks for the tips!
You're dresses are so cute! I've debated trying this pattern but might give it a try. Not sure about the belt thing.
I would use a quilting weight cotton with a dropped hem and no pockets. At least for my first one. I can't believe you made so many!!!
I would love to make this dress in a floral cotton fabric, with pockets, and straight hem as I am on the shorter side.
I would use one of the fabrics you used. They all look so great! With pockets, straight hem.
I would use one of the fabrics you used. They all look so great! With pockets, straight hem.
I would make it in a knit with a hi/low hem and probably pockets if I could do it neatly.
I'd use an organic cotton jersey that I have, narrow red and white stripes. Straight hem and always, always pockets!
I would use a soft gray linen, straight hem, and definitely pockets.
I would make a navy cotton jersey with a straight hem and no pockets.
Thanks for the giveaway!
I would, of course, make more then one dress. Maxi, bright floral rayon with a cute belt. If I don't win the pattern, I surely will track it down and purchase. Love your fabric selections, so versatile, as you can dress up with a stunning belt. Love your quilts.
I would make a voile or lawn, straight hem, and pockets for sure!
I have ikat damask in navy voile just waiting for the perfect dress pattern....I think this is it! I would definitely go for the drop hem and pockets....a mom of 4 with no pockets is crazy :) mlower03 at yahoo dot com
i think I would choose the high-lo hem, no pockets, and maybe a solid knit fabric?!?
I love the fabrics you chose. They seem like perfect choices to add a fun belt to for a pop of color. Though, I would probably get something cheap because this would be my first homemade garment. The pockets seem like a great addition, but I might be too intimidated to do them on the first dress. I like the drop hem for a slightly more casual look.
I would love to make this one in a nice cotton voile, which I am obsessed with for summer!
I would make this with cotton jersey and without dropped hem and always with pockets!
I like how the knit fabric falls. Also, no pockets and the straight hem, and probably no shirring so it's even easier and I like belts!!
I have never sewn a dress before so I am not sure what fabric I should use, and I hand sew, so that would be a consideration too.. I would make it a maxi, with a drop hem and pockets. Thanks for the giveaway! vickise at gmail dot com
I'm thinking a light weight cotton, straight hem, and no pockets.
I would love this pattern!
I love the chambray material you used and I would do the straight line hem with pockets! EVERYTHING is better with pockets ;)
I want to make this in jersey, drop hem no pockets
Cute versions. I'd sew my first with some rayon w pockets and w the hi-lo hem. Thanks for the chance to win! nlczerw(at)gmail(dot)com
I would make this out of a cotton lawn, straight hem and would definitely add pockets. What a great summer dress!
I would use a drapey rayon in a colorful pattern.
Pockets for sure, straight hem. For my first dress I would use some Moda solids I have in a medium blue.
love all your dresses, you look so cool & comfy in them. I would use a jersey knit in navy for mine, drop hem & no pockets. thanks for the chance to win
I'd like to make this dress in voile with a straight hem and definitely with pockets. Your dresses look terrific!
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