Akram's Ideas

Black & White Dress {Buttrick B4443}

For Halloween, I wanted to make a costume that I could use as an everyday dress too. I ended up with this Black & White dress.

I started this project by taking a peek inside my fabric closet. Low and behold I found the prefect fabric, it was a white cotton with a mix of screen printed and embroidered black flowers on it. I had gotten just about 2 yards at an antique store some time ago and had been saving it for the right project. 

Black and White Flower Fabric
Black and White Flower Fabric

Since I had such a limited amount of the fabric I had to find a pattern that would work with it. I also figured if I ran short a bit I could use some black cotton fabric I had lying around, as a good contrasting piece. I finally decided to go with Buttrick pattern B4443. The pattern was  for a simple sleeveless dress. I’m not one to wear sleeveless dress, but since I figure I could always pair the dress with a jacket or cardigan.

Butterick B4443
Butterick B4443, I choose to use version B.

As for the pattern I went with version B, since I knew I’d need some contrast fabric anyways. I was also a bit short on the skirt length so, I ended up  cutting a bottom band out of black for the bottom of the skirt as well. 

Here's the completed dress
Here’s the completed dress

Although I followed the pattern, and measured it to fit my bust size, there was one thing I didn’t account for. This was a sleeveless dress, and held up mainly by the bust, so while I measured the pattern to myself with the bra I had on at the time, it wasn’t the strap-less bra, which I actually wore with the dress. Seams I measured the pattern with a slightly more padded bar, but since the strap-less bra wasn’t as padded, the bust was way too loose. When I got to work I actually had to safety-pin the sides of the dress to keep it from falling off. Good thing I wore a jacket with it.

In the end the dress, was causing me so many fits, on Halloween, I ended up changing mid day. However, that weekend I did have some time to go back and readjust the dress. I did the side seems along the bust and it seemed to fix any prior issues. I also had a bit of time to go back and add the accessories including the black belt and fabric flower. 

Here's are some of the details of my Black and White Dress
Here’s are some of the details of my Black and White Dress

The pattern had you pin a store-bought flower to the belt. However, I had just enough fabric left over I was able to create a flower of my own.

To create the flower I basically just cut the fabric into long strips, on was 2″ wide, 3″ wide and 4″ wide. Then I sewed each strip in half lengthwise using a gathering stitch. Then I gathered the strips as much as possible. Next starting with the smallest strip I began to roll the strip, using a hot glue gun to hold it in place. When I got to the end, I began to roll the 3″ strip around it, in the same manner. Finally I repeated this for the 4″ strip as well. After all the strips were rolled and glued together, I glued a piece of fabric on the back and the pin. 

Here I've pined my fabric flower to my sweater

I finally got to wear the my new black & white dress, without any problems, this weekend on date with my hubby. He suggested I wear my hair with a side ponytail and then he snapped a few pictures of me in it, saying I needed to practice on my posing. 

Me posing for the camera
Me posing for the camera



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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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