DIY spring ready houndstooth dress

DIY spring ready houndstooth dress
Unfortunately living in the Northeastern part of the US requires a summer and winter wardrobe, so lately I’ve been on a quest to maximize that concept by making dresses and skirts with removable and expandable hemlines and linings.  The idea of packing all my winter clothes away for the summer just really doesn’t sit well with me.  While thinking of a concept for this dress, I kept thinking spring but considering January is in full swing that wasn’t going to work, so I came up with a way to transition this dress nicely into spring with it’s removable sleeves.  The fabric I used was this wool blend houndstooth left over from this skirt.  The pattern used for this dress was this Butterick 5948 view D shirt pattern with the following alterations:Added 8″ to the hem
Added a 9″ invisible zipper
Added a 2″ hem band
Added a 2″ crescent seam at the neck
Cut the sleeve 10″ from the top, added 8″ to the width of the sleeve, interfaced the sleeve and add pleating to create a puffy sleeve
Add 3″ to the bottom of the sleeve, sew the sleeve together adding elastic at the top of the sleeve.






Clutch- Botegga Veneta
Cuff- Lanvin & AV Max
Boots-GivenchyShop the look




  1. January 27, 2014 / 6:39 am

    Clever! I love those sleeves and the shape of that top.

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:06 am

      Thank you Debbie

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:07 am

      Thank you

  2. Anonymous
    January 27, 2014 / 10:50 am

    Great idea! There is a Burda Style dress, light weight dress with jersey sleeves I have had my eye on. Making the sleeves detachable would make it so much more useful.

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:10 am

      Will definitely let you wear it through multiple seasons.

  3. Tiffany from Chicago
    January 27, 2014 / 2:06 pm

    Gorgeous as usual!

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:11 am

      Thank you Tiffany

  4. Anonymous
    January 27, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    You talent is really undeniable thank you for sharing what you do.

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:11 am

      Thank you so much

  5. January 27, 2014 / 2:21 pm

    That material is gorgeous. Great job!

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:11 am

      Thank you Denise

  6. January 27, 2014 / 3:53 pm

    You are so innovative! Such an inspiration.

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:12 am

      Thank you Jenell

  7. January 27, 2014 / 4:19 pm

    Excellent. I believe it makes a big difference with the material you use and the machine you see with. This dress along with your other works are amazing. What kind if machine do you own. Does this fabric have any stretch?

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:15 am

      Thank you! nice material is really important and makes the difference in something looking home made or not. This fabric does not have any stretch to it. I use a Janome DC2013

  8. January 27, 2014 / 6:29 pm

    Adorable dress! The sleeves are genius!

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:15 am

      Thank you Erica

    • January 28, 2014 / 3:16 am

      Thank you Melissa

  9. G
    January 28, 2014 / 1:39 pm

    Like how you turned the pattern into something completely different.

  10. January 29, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    I was just daydreaming about adding sleeves like these to a dress a wanted to make… Couldn't really "see" it until now. Thanks. This is my first time commenting. I love your style and your genius!

  11. February 9, 2014 / 7:21 pm

    I just started sewing last year, and am, so far, unable to see the broad ranging potential of a simple pattern. In this case, I have the pattern you used, and made it twice. Each time, it turned out boxy and unattractive, so I vowed not to use it again. Your amazing, creative amendments to this very basic pattern have opened my eyes, and I am seeing potential that I new saw before. What a wonderful gift! Thank you for sharing your creative process through your blog.

  12. March 6, 2014 / 3:00 pm

    Removable Sleeves – BRILLIANT!!!

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