Completed: Sew Over It Penny Dress

Hey there!

I got back from a glorious week in Montenegro this week. A very sunny week of lounging around, reading and doing very little. It was incredibly relaxing and enjoyable but I’ve begun to realise that I am just not very good at doing nothing.

I was so eager to get back to my sewing machine when I got home and start creating again. Hmm, perhaps I should go on a sewing holiday next year?

Anyway, I’m guessing you are here for the makes so let’s get on with it. This week I have been making a Sew Over It Penny Dress in a beautiful floral Liberty Tana Lawn that I bought in the sale. I absolutely can not resist a Liberty sale.

penny dress

This pattern is a PDF only pattern which was released a couple of months ago as part of Sew Over It’s PDF club. I am a member the PDF club, which means I was one of the first to see the pattern and could have got it at a discount price when it was first released.

For some reason it didn’t interest me one bit on release and I never bothered with it. It wasn’t until I saw a couple of beautiful versions on Instagram that I gave myself a hard kick and bought it… at full price. Bah.


Vintage buttons from my mum’s collection
This dress has such a lovely vintage shape with its circle skirt and shirt bodice details. Combined with my Liberty floral it reminds me of something my mum would have worn when she was younger.

The pattern is aimed at an adventurous beginner and I would agree with that. You’d want to have made a few garments before tackling it I guess. But then I have always found shirt collars to be a little bit tricky whereas I know plenty of others who have no issues with them.


penny 1.jpg

As with all Sew Over It patterns, the instructions are well written and have diagrams to help if something is not clear, so the construction of this was all very straightforward. That said, the instructions for the button placket had me turning the air blue. Turns out there is a crucial notch missing from the pattern piece. Sew Over It have now rectified this and all future downloads of the pattern have the elusive notch.

I’m really pleased with the finished dress. I managed to get it out of just 2 metres of fabric too, which was no mean feat. The pattern calls for 3.45 metres, FYI!

I didn’t have do any alterations to the bust, which is quite unusual for me, and cut a straight size 12. The only alteration I made was to shorten the skirt by 5cm because of my lack of fabric but I think I prefer this length anyway.

penny 2.jpg
Note to self: do not attempt to take photos of circle skirts in the wind
The only change I would make when I make it again, would be to lengthen the bodice so that the elastic sits on my natural waist. I originally planned to do this but I just didn’t have enough fabric.

I’m going to leave you with a few technical details, blatantly copied from other bloggers (Redwsews I am looking at you!). I’ll be doing this for all my makes from now on, partly to assist my appalling memory and also you might find it helpful.

Technical Details:

Pattern: Penny Dress by Sew Over It

My measurements: bust 37″, waist 30″, hip 39″

Size cut: 12

Fabric: 2m Liberty Tana Lawn plus interfacing

Adjustments made: Shortened skirt by 5cm

Future adjustments: Lengthen bodice

Make again: Yes. I ‘m going to make the tie waisted shirt variation too.






  1. Ha ha, glad to be of help, I totally copied the idea from Rhiannon (More Blue Fabric) for the same reasons!
    I love the dress; bought it as part of the pdf club, got fabric straight away but haven’t quite finished assembling the pdf yet, which might be a good thing if there’s a missing notch! Also glad to hear the fabric requirements are high, makes it a less expensive make.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Very helpful, thanks! It was quite a squeeze getting it out of 2m. I used every spare millimetre of fabric and there was no pattern matching going on! If I make it again I reckon I’ll get at least 2.5m.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. haha! The same thing happened to me with the PDF club. I got it in my email and was totally uninterested until I changed my mind and wanted to make one and then had to pay full price. Right now I am making my third Penny. I love yours! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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