Calvin Klein Slip Dress

I can't do a review of this dress over at patternreview, because I don't actually know the pattern number. I traced it off 14! years ago and stored it in this envelope.

My Mum had bought the pattern to make one of my sisters a dress for their graduation. I was home for the summer between finishing uni and starting my first professional job. I didn't own many clothes then, but I did set off for Melbourne with 2 of these dresses in my suitcase... obviously not really suited to the Melbourne climate, but I did wear them to a few summer share-house parties.

I also wore one of them on a dinner date with my boyfriend, who had landed a job in my hometown. I managed to pop one of the straps before dinner (hmmm???) and we pinned it back on with one of those safety pins in the hotel sewing kits (his Mum had armed him with hotel sewing kits and vitamin tablets when he left home). After we had been seated a few minutes in the restaurant, the waitress went and got some candlesticks to put on our table...I don't know if it was because we were clearly lovebirds, or because not many couples came to this restaurant, or because my strap was pinned to my dress, but I was very embarrassed.

Fourteen years and three children later, I am still eating dinner with the same bloke, and the pattern still fits!

This is my favourite sort of sewing...simple patterns in gorgeous fabrics. I chose this pattern because it doesn't have bust darts, which made putting the overlay fabric on top easier. There is some bust shaping through the centre front seam and some easing in the side seams. I also like this pattern because, although it is a slip dress, it is not cut on the bias (good for pear shapes). The main fabric is a Liberty batiste and the overlay is from my drawer of scraps. The only change that I made to the pattern was to raise the back 2cm so that it covered my bra band. I also put a stay on the back, to tuck into my bra band, similar to this decollete stay.

late edit: LM has found the pattern number and a picture for me. It was Vogue 2900


  1. Gorgeous dress! Even more so because of the story behind it! :)

  2. is this the pattern
    Vogue 2900? I had this pattern when I was about 18. Loved it?

  3. It's a beautiful dress and an even better story! :)

    I'm looking forward to reading, 14 years from now!, about how the dress still fits and you and your bloke are still enjoying dinner by candlelight together! :)

  4. Thanks LM, that is the pattern. I remember being disappointed that I couldn't make the bra-cup version...nothing to fill those cups!

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  6. Great story. Cute slip dress. Some things are just priceless! or don't really go out of style.

  7. Love the dress, and I loved the 1990s. I can't wait for the full 90s revival, can you?

  8. What a lovely story.

    I remember that pattern being in the catalogues when we started Tessuti back around the early 90's and it was a popular one too - still looks good 14 years later as obviously you do!

    I also agree with you that simple fabrics in lovely fabrics work out the best.