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What i Made: A Very Little Black Dress

You know what is great about New Years Eve and Day? For the most part, everything and everyone stops. Except for restaurants, CVS, and a few other stores, all businesses are closed. Even the internet and blogs go quiet as people recover and recoup for the previous night and year. For those who adopt a new year’s resolution, the day and night before is their chance to indulge in the one thing (or many things) they’re never going to do again. Well, I kind of had the same type of splurge moment. My goal this year is to become a better seamstress – to get into projects more by researching the fabric, improving on techniques involved, etc. – but on the first day of 2014, I made very little black dress, in one day, based on an image I found on Pinterest. Beat that, Lauren!


About six years ago and while I was a student at SCAD, I made a dress based off of a Balenciaga design. It was a simple silhouette, but the difficulty came from the bust darting and shaping of the skirt. The bust darts came from the CF seam and the skirt was one piece that wrapped around the waist and back on itself (I used irregular darting to get the shape of the half peplum). That was one hell of  pattern to draft/drape! The fabric was a wool cashmere – divine! Well, I barely had a yard and a half of the fabric laying in my stash since, which I finally used up with this dress.

A to-be-blogged about project (coming soon!) is Simplicity 7456 and I used the top pattern of the outfit for this dress. I sewed the front and backs together, tried it on, and then traced the CF opening. I then top applied the lace, cut out the fabric from behind, and then serged the opening edges (the lace edges were left raw). The armhole and neckline are finished with lace binding that was first applied to the wrong side, and then flipped to the right side and stitched down with raw edges exposed. I had very little fabric to work with, so the bottom of the dress was finished with an overlock (I didn’t have any fabric that would make a good facing, considering the heaviness of the wool/cashmere). Oh, and this dress is short, very short! Thirty five inches to be exact. Dress or tunic? That’s on how I am feeling!

Wearable? Well, it’s certainly not bra friendly. Whether it’s an everyday piece or not, I freaking love this dress. Just like you don’t regret the one too many drinks you consumed on December 31st, I do not regret whipping this up in a day. Thank you Pinterest!

Thank you to The Loom, a local warehouse made up of lofts, artist studios, and office space for small businesses for allowing Bekuh and I to come in on a very cold saturday to stretch our creativity. They view the building as a frame and all the individual tenants as its fibers. Combined, they weave together to become part of a greater hole, just like an actual loom. We had a blast outfitting the giant space to our liking and we even had company – a band practiced below us, so we had constant entertainment. We will be going back to use the space again! Click on the post footer below to learn more about The Loom.very_little_black_dress_2


  1. Reply

    Carlee McTavish

    Very cute! Though I personally, would not be daring enough to wear it braless!

  2. Reply


    Lovely dress Maddie! The pinterest inspiration link is broken though. Xo

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Thanks for letting me know. I updated the link.

  3. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    Noooo I hate when things are closed on holidays. Mainly because I often have to work. Though LA is pretty good on something being open.

  4. Reply


    It’s gorgeous, the lace binding on the neck and armholes really makes the dress. Funnily I am making a LBD for my friend next month so I will be on the lookout for a suitable pattern (she liked something quite fitted Audrey Hepburn style!)

  5. Reply


    Lovely dress. The lace is placed beautifully!

  6. Reply


    The dress is smashing. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Reply


    Completely stunning! It looks like it took way more than a day.

  8. Reply

    Heather Lou

    SUUUPER cute! Feels kinda Balenciaga to me. Maybe not the best thing to wear to work, haha, but the perfect thing for cocktails!

  9. Reply


    Wow, so well done, this just looks perfect on you! What an excellent place to shoot photos… Hope you wear this to some elegant parties!

  10. Reply

    Pauline alice

    So pretty and I have to say very sexy! It’s really beautiful and as a big Balenciaga fan, I love it! (maybe a lace skin colour bra would work?)

  11. Reply


    This dress is just DIVINE!I love everything about it!Especially the front opening!Just amazing!

  12. Reply


    What a fabulous dress!!! It looks AMAZING on you. And, as always, I’m in love with the styling of the photo shoot.

  13. Reply

    erin goh

    It’s a very pretty dress. Wear it and feel happy all day!

  14. Reply


    Beautiful dress, Maddie! I love the lace binding especially.

  15. Reply

    Carrie Elias

    Maddie, this is beyond perfect! You look amazing…..Will you be selling the pattern?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Ha! First I have a book to complete! Then I’ll think about patterns. One step at a time…

  16. Reply



  17. Reply


    Sexy!! Love the lace!

  18. Reply

    Amanda Russell

    I love your creativity and the ability you have to make your visions come to life – you really know your style & what works for you; this dress is all that ^__^

  19. Reply


    I love it, simply perfect little black dress!

  20. Reply

    Helen McFadyen

    This is beautiful. I love it.

  21. Reply

    emily marie

    Super gorgeous, Maddie! I love how you made this simple shape sexy. And with leftovers! I bet a little double-sided tape would go a long way with this one. 😉

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Double sided tape is going to come in real handy when I wear this. It worked for Jennifer Lopez in her Versace gown and it will work for me!

  22. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    Check the dance supply catalogs they make bras that are made entirely of swimsuit lining and virtual invisible.

  23. Reply


    Beautiful! And sexy 😉

  24. Reply

    Jennifer Phillips

    so beautiful!

  25. Reply

    Dana Gray

    Wow, this is stunning! That lace is to die for. I love that you balanced a very short hemline with lots of volume. It looks so chic!

  26. Reply

    Nikki | The Ginger Diaries

    I spotted this one on Instagram and already thought you looked so beautiful in it! And the location is really great too! I can’t believe that Balenciaga design you linked too was the first dress you made. It looks amaaazing! xo

  27. Reply

    Elizabeth Pearson

    I love this dress more than the Pinterest image. Also, for those of us who can get away with no bra – go for it! I don’t love that I can’t fit into any bras, but I do love that no one notices that sometimes I’m not wearing one. IBTC – Bethany

  28. Reply


    This is so cute! I love a super short length on a swingy dress, especially with opaque tights. It’s daring, but not over the top. The lace is a really nice touch!

  29. Reply


    this is absolutely gorgeous!! <3

  30. Reply


    I can’t believe you went to scad!!! Did you go to Atlanta or Savannah? I’d really like to go someday.

    • Reply


      I went to Savannah and loved it! I was only there a year, but it was a great experience. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

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