Handmade Wardrobe / Inspiration

A cinched waist Sudley dress and the end of silk hoarding

Megan Nielsen Sudley dress with a cinched waist

I’ve wanted to make an elastic cinched waist Sudley dress for quite some time, and I finally did it! Even better, I used silk I’ve been hoarding for years – double win!

This was actually really simple – I cut the Sudley bodice to be in between the cropped length and the full blouse length as I wanted it to sit at my waist with a bit of volume. Then I sewed the entire dress as per the instructions. The bodice I left unlined, and finished the neckline and keyhole with bias facings. The skirt is lined because it was a tad too see-through – but I simply cut two skirts and sewed them as one piece. In the end, I used a long scrap to make an elastic casing at the waistline seam and inserted elastic. Voila. Super easy.

Megan Nielsen Sudley dress with a cinched waist

I really need to do this again, I love how it turned out!! Some of our pattern testers also made their own fabric belts, and that’s another idea I’d like to try out myself.

Now as to the fabric – this is lovely silk from Potters Textiles in Perth, that I have been hoarding for years. As per usual I loved it so much I couldn’t bring myself to cut it. Every project felt like a waste. And I’m glad for that, as it meant I could use it for this dress. It somehow seems to walk the thin line between casual and more dressy – which works so well for me. Anything that can handle the school run and date night is a winner!

What do you think? Would you try a Sudley with an elastic waist?

Megan Nielsen Sudley dress with a cinched waist
Megan Nielsen Sudley dress with a cinched waist

[Make this look]

Dress: Megan Nielsen Sudley // get the pattern + similar fabric
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens


Here’s the full list of Sudley posts and tutorials:

Here are a couple of posts you also might find useful:

Don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNsudley and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!


Don't have the pattern?

Order Sudley today in sizes 0-20 and Curve sizes 14-30

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Debra Dacosta
Debra Dacosta
7 years ago

I love how this dress turned pretty. I just started sewing clothes. I made one simple dress. Is there a rating on how difficult your patterns are? I don’t want to get discouraged if the pattern is to hard for me. Enjoying your blog..Deb

7 years ago

It looks so good on you!

7 years ago

It looks really great. Excellent idea and it looks very flattering on you.

Akram Taghavi-Burris
7 years ago

The dress is lovely. So is that amazing silk. Very nice.

7 years ago

Love this!

Okay, so this is a really dumb question, but…how do you attach all of the bits? Do you attach the bodice and skirt and just put the casing on top?