Copying From The Shops: The Elasticated Waist Tunic Dress

As much as I love vintage sewing I don’t always feel comfortable wearing  fitted retro style dresses. I need a few casual dresses to spice up my wardrobe. I will be creating an everyday dress every week for the next month.
I love these simple tunic dresses with elastic or tie waists for everyday wear:

The styles above are examples of the simple tunic style and are available at ModCloth
This elasticated waist tunic  is very popular now and you will find this style in shops like Modcloth, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Anthroplogie. 
The tunic stye is also cute in a woven fabric as seen on this Anthropologie dress.
This style works for kids as well!
Easy care and comfy for the little ones.

Little girls dresses from JCrew
I made a dress that is very similar to this girls J Crew dress last summer!
 I made this striped dress from a seventies sewing pattern last summer. If I could just flare out the skirt a little it would be just perfect…
While this style would hardly be considered high fashion, it’s a very wearable look for busy moms like me. 
 This is the type of thing I like to wear to run errands in Southern California’s year round sunshine. It’s 77 degrees today!
( For those of you in eastern Europe right now, I pray the weather will warm up for you.)
  Spending 168$ on a dress  like the beige one from Anthropologie above is not something I’m interested in. Plus, I can’t stand cheap synthetic knits like you find at most mall shops.
One of my blogging inspirations this week was reading how Cation Designs created her own pattern for  this dress she made below:

If you would like to adapt a pattern to make your own tunic dress here are a few ideas:
Mccall’s 6112.
The skirt works but I think those sleeves are too voluminous. If you trimmed down the sleeves from the pattern you would have a look similar to the brown and green dip dyed dress Mod Cloth dress shown. Below is my trimmed down version.
This is my version of McCall’s 6112. I redrafted the top to be more fitted and created ties on the sleeves. I think I made it about an inch and a half too short. Since this photo I added a little band to the bottom, lengthening it a little.
This Burda pattern is close. This would work for recreating the beige Anthropologie dress.
I think this style above would also work! It looks similar to the red printed Modcloth dress.

Simplicity 2147
This Simplicity style would also work but you would have to adjust the pattern to create an elasticated waist. You would cut the dress pattern in two at the waist to add the elastic waistband. Or you could just add a casing to the inside and thread the elastic through.
Stay tuned to see what I come up with.
I will also be creating a tutorial if you would like to draft your own dress.
Stay tuned next week!
I just spent hours trying to figure out how to add a navigation bar under my header. If you would like to add one too, I would be happy to send you a link for a great tutorial on how to.
I was also hoping for some bloggy advice? I changed the font of my blog. I think it goes better with the Sew Country Chick style. But I wonder if you find it hard to read and what you think about fancier type fonts for blogs in general.If you have been here before do you prefer the old look? I would love it if you left a comment about it!

Pin It Photobucket

Share Button


  1. Victoria says

    I love the comfy T dresses. Amazing that such a simple dress would cost over $100, I guess I am in the wrong business. Just to note, I love the feel of the cotton-hemp blend Ts.

  2. Sassy T says

    Great blog. I love how comfy they look and feel. I will be making one in the future.

  3. HoffiCoffi says

    Lots of inspiration there to make a good day dress. I can see a fabric shop coming on! Also the font looks fine to me.

  4. says

    I think your font looks very nice, and I agree that it goes well with your blog title. If it were up to me, I’d use a left justified design rather than the current centered one, but you get to make that call! Anyway, love your blog!

  5. Vintage Girl says

    I love the easy look and feel for an everyday dress, but am wondering how to make the elastic look less bunchy. I made a few pull on skirts years ago and they added 20 pounds to my frame. What method do you use? I have seen pants that have elastic waist in them and you wouldn’t even know it. What is the best way to make this kind of dress so that you don’t feel like you are loss in the material? Just thinking out loud here. I love your dresses.

  6. Another Sewing Scientist says

    Yeah, I’ve been in a tunic dress mood lately too, so I appreciate the options you’ve shown here. I remember that stripey dress from last year (did you post it on The Sew Weekly or Burda?)

  7. charlotte says

    I am so with you, I love vintage and I am very inspired by it but it doesn’t suit my everyday. I started my own sew active project to make clothes that you can do anything in. I love the T shirt dresses, jersey is a favourite fabric to sew with. I will be keeping my eye out with what you have been making!
    PS the blog look fab.

    • Juliet says

      I am71. I took home ec in high school. No sewing since. Then I had two granddaughters (my first) last year. I bought an inexpensive sewing machine, got some “how to books” on Amazon (The first one was for children), collected patterns from thrift shops (my dentist gave me a huge box of vintage patterns) and collected material, buttons, and thread from friends who no longer need such–and from estate sales. If you can read a recipe, you can learn to read a pattern. Or, try making your own from your old clothing that you can deconstruct. Consider all your mistakes as learning experiences. I am on a fixed income and very “tight.” Soon I was making my own bias tape by the yard, clipping buttons and zippers from throwaway dresses, finding good material for repurposing right in my closets and, in the process, helping the arthritis in my hands, exercising my mind, challenging my creativity and loving every minute of my new hobby (except for ripping out seams.) So do it! I have made about 40 items I started 6 months ago. Do I have a natural talent? No, I am just stubborn! I would love to hear about your efforts.

      • says

        Hi Juliet,
        Your story is so inspiring! I hope you keep growing in your efforts and learning new skills! Sewing is so fun