Home » DIY bell sleeve dress with a pop of color

DIY bell sleeve dress with a pop of color

DIY bell sleeve dress with a pop of color

Making your own clothes give you the ability to create a wardrobe with just about every piece of clothing you can dream of, and you save thousands of dollars while doing it.  So if I want to add endless black wool dresses to my closet, I don’t think twice.   Over the summer I was browsing one of my favorite blogs and spotted this Roksanda  dress and loved every simple aspect of the dress.  Typically when I spot something I’m inspired by, I’m not so literal but this simple gorgeous dress needed very little tweaking to make it my own.

I used this medium weight wool suiting that’s the perfect stash builder.  Not only is it perfect for dresses, but equally perfect for fitted pants.  It sews, cuts and irons with ease.

The pop of color on the sleeves is from my leftover silk Rag and Bone umber 

The pattern used was McCalls M5927 for the bodice with the following alterations:

-Add 1 1/2″ to the height of the neck front
-Add 1″ to the height of the neck back
-Removed 17″ from the length of the sleeves

-Added a 7″x32″ pleated bell sleeve, lined in silk

The skirt used was vintage Simplicity 6573 with the following alterations

-Removed the waistband and added to the bodice

Shop the look



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  1. celeste
    December 11, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, of course!! I love love your style.

  2. Timesa
    December 11, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    I love this especially the pop of color! .~Timesa

  3. December 12, 2016 / 8:39 am

    stunning, beautiful weighted fabric, and adore that sleeve lining

    • Nikki
      December 14, 2016 / 11:31 pm

      Thank you, This is a great quality wool at such a great price.

  4. December 12, 2016 / 8:40 am

    ps – I just checked the link and I prefer the balance on yours! your neckline and sleeves are v elegant

    • Nikki
      December 14, 2016 / 11:31 pm

      Thank you

  5. December 12, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    Love it!! This is going on my sewing list!!

  6. Jen
    December 12, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    Gorgeous! I love your style, I love timeless pieces. Question, how many yards do you order for this dress, avg pencil skirt or avg. pants?

  7. Nikki
    December 13, 2016 / 12:44 am

    Frankly, I much prefer your version over the Roksanda original. You chose a bodice and skirt that flow smoothly, and complement your figure beautifully. Very well done.

    • Nikki
      December 14, 2016 / 11:29 pm

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

  8. D'Arcy
    December 15, 2016 / 11:50 am

    Just beautiful! Your craftsmanship is very inspiring. And your dress looks so much better than the $2000 (CAD) roksanda dress pictured below (and their model just looks like a sad skinny homeless girl), Great job…love the satin lined sleeves.

    • Nikki
      December 16, 2016 / 11:56 pm

      lol thank you so much D’Arcy the sad skinny homeless girl(lmao)

  9. Rita
    December 16, 2016 / 6:21 pm


    How many pleats did you put into the sleeves? and how wide were your pleats? Also, did you pleat the lining or just make a sort of cone of lining to be inserted into the bell portion of the sleeve?


    • Nikki
      December 16, 2016 / 11:54 pm

      The pleats were 2″ wide which produced 7 pleats, and yes I pleated the lining as well.

      • Rita
        December 17, 2016 / 3:57 pm

        Thank you. Always Love your vision.