HelenHelen's Makes12 Comments

Patchwork Sway Dress

Nothing beats the heat like a gorgeous, flowy dress, right?  This is by far my new favourite thing to throw on.  Comfortable and chic, who could ask for more?  This is the Papercut Patterns Sway Dress, a gift to me from my sister.  Thanks, Tracy!

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's ClosetPapercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet

The Sway dress has been a popular pattern in the indie sewing scene for some time now.  I am always swooning over new versions of this dress, and I am so happy to finally have my own!  I made view A and I added the pockets, because, well, pockets!  I also made the waist tie so I could tie it if I wanted too, even though that is intended for the longer length.  I think I will make the longer length next time, but I like the short look for hot days and think it will look great with tights and boots in the cooler months. 

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet

This is a very simple pattern, and could be replicated using a basic bodice block pretty easily,  The style is called a ‘trapeze’ because of the way it swings.  Check out this tutorial on making a trapeze dress to give it a go. One of my favourite things about this pattern design is that is is reversible!  No bust darts are needed because of the tent shape, and the pockets are in-seam, so it can be worn either way!  I really like it both ways, but for the photos I decided to wear the V in the back.

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet

The effortless bohemian vibe of this dress is all due to this gorgeous viscose poplin print.  This fabric is from Blackbird Fabrics and was a steal of a deal at $5.75 a 1/2 meter!  I wish I had bought more because it is so lovely and soft. The drape is perfect for this style of dress, it looks great both with and without the waist tie.  I was photobombed during this shoot, I guess that is what I get for taking pictures right in front of people’s apartments!  I laughed so hard when I finally noticed what they had been doing – can you spot it? 

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet Papercut Patterns Sway Dress by Helen's Closet

Sometimes I think twice about buying patterns because of the simple shapes, do you?  I am grateful to have received this pattern as a gift, because I was on the fence but am so pleased with this make.  The printed version of Papercut Patterns are SO nice!  All made from recycled materials and a true joy to unpack and use.  It really made the experience fun and I will definitely be ordering from them again in the future. 

Final Stats

Pattern: Papercut Patterns Sway Dress

Fabric: Blackbird Fabrics Viscose Poplin

Alterations: None

Notes for next time: Make it a couple inches longer at least, raise up the pocket placement, possibly raise the armscye depth.

About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

12 Comments on “Patchwork Sway Dress”

  1. Very nice! I was thinking exactly the same about the basic design of this dress and how easy it is to replicate it. The photobombing is hilarious indeed!

  2. I just recently made this pattern and I love it!! In a nice flowy fabric, it just feels so lovely to wear. That patchwork fabric was the perfect choice, it looks really lovely on you! I’m much too lazy to “draft” anything, so I almost always buy even the simplest patterns.

    1. haha, I know what you mean. It is always nice to work with the paper patterns and experience the packaging and design as well, as a design nerd I totally love that part 🙂

  3. It’s lovely! The fabric really does make it. I sort of want this pattern but as you say could definitely be self-drafted easily.

  4. Oh I really like it! I have been checking this dress out for the past couple months. It is so simple and pretty! I agree with you, sometimes I can’t justify buying a simple pattern, but then when I get lazy it makes all the difference to have a pattern that is already drafted and tested. Is the dress cut on bias? And how are the neckline and armholes finished? I assume it is a bias tape. I just want to know everything before I buy the pattern! 🙂

    1. The dress is cut on the grain, and the armholes and neck are finished with a facing, no bias binding. After making so many projects recently that required armhole and neck bias binding, it was a relief to do a facing instead! This dress would look great on you, but I also know you’ve got the skills to draft one too!

      1. Oh that’s awesome! That makes it a lot easier and required less fabric 🙂 I actually prefer the bias binding. It’s definitely me, I find I always get stuck in facings and being a very clumsy person I am they will always stick out somewhere on me. Guaranteed. No matter how well I attach them and tack them on 🙂
        Thank you for the vote of confidence! I may try to do that, or I may just get lazy and buy the pattern… haha

        1. I hear you, facings can be cumbersome and peak out no matter what you do to make them lie flat. In this case it is not a big deal, since the fabric is so busy 🙂 I am coming around the bias binding, the more I do it the easier it gets and the nicer it looks 🙂

  5. Pingback: Sew Fashionable 06/20/16 - SewsNBows

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *