Sway Dress, a simple LBD – Papercut Patterns

Recently I sent Katie at Papercut Patterns an email because I was searching (unsuccessfully) for a copy of the Pleated Pants pattern and noticed that it was sold out online.

Katie let me know that it was indeed out of print (*sobs* she who hesitates is patternless). Then she told me she had a new trouser pattern coming out and would I be interested in trying it… well… yes!

Sway Dress by Papercut Patterns

Sway Dress

I know this is not even nearly a pair of trousers… Katie sent me a few patterns and I was swayed by the Sway Dress immediately. I know. I get distracted easily. #squirrel

Why? It’s a very simple dress and often I’m drawn to patterns with details or unusual shapes (hello Drape Drape). However it is something that I could see myself wearing in a solid or a floral. Dressed up and dressed down. While I wear a lot of fitted sheath dresses to work, so I tend to prefer softer, loosely fitted styles when I’m not at work. I guess I just feel more relaxed in them.

Swingin' in the Sway

Swingin’ in the Sway

While I had planned to make this is a floral, when I stumbled across this strange micro-pleated woven fabric in Spotlight it just seemed perfect… and on a bargain table!

I chose not to create a self-fabric belt – mainly because of the pleats in the fabric. I felt having the pleats run one way down my body and then another way across my waist would have been distracting. So I’ve used a black satin ribbon instead. This fabric does not fray at all so I let the dress hang for 24 hours and then re-cut the hem so it was straight (it did drop all over the place). Yes you read that right – no hem on this LBD.

I don’t like these photos. I’m just so tired at the moment. Everything feels a little blah and I had horrid hair after a morning at the beach – seaspray is not my hair’s friend. That’s life though – and we are here for the dress not me LOL. If I don’t blog now – who knows when I’ll do some more photos!

Sway Dress - back

Sway Dress – back neckline. Not a great picture but this is just to show the shape of the back neck (you can wear the dress either way)


I used black tricot for the facings, interfaced with a light tricot interfacing. Yes I said facings… and like my Top with Epaulettes I think this is a superior way to finish this particular dress rather than bias binding.

As the dress is sleeveless, the facing is attached using one of those Houdini methods… you know those type of sewing steps when if you haven’t done it before, you read the instructions, google, re-read the instructions… take a deep breath and then sew. If you have sewn a button-up shirt using the yoke burrito method (as seen here on the Grainline blog)… then I think you will master this technique easily. While the yoke is different, you do rolled the dress over to one side and then wrap the shoulder around the dress – I know, sounds weird but works perfectly. While I could demonstrate this on my blog, there are plenty of bloggers who have already done so – so check out Poppykettle for starters. My lovely friend Marjorie in Brisbane also emailed me a tutorial as well – so this was easy – just needed a little sewing faith.


Rather than making self-fabric belt loops I created thread loops. I had not made these before… however thread loops are SERIOUSLY the simplest thing to create. I cut six lengths of Gutermann thread (just my normal thread) I tied a knot at one end. Then I set my machine to a zig-zag stitch with the width at 3 and length at 1. I held the threads behind and in front of my machine foot with a light tension and away I went. Yes, it’s that easy.

sewing thread loops

my first self-made thread loops

I found this tutorial on Coletterie very helpful.


It’s such a simple dress, four pattern pieces. Sometimes that’s just what I love to wear the most – very simple clothes that fit (loosely) and flatter – that’s enough more days than not. This is one of those dresses where you can let the fabric sing. Now I want one in a floral (of course). You can bet there will be exactly that in my summer wardrobe this year.

An amazingly quick and gratifying make. I love the neckline and you can wear it either way. I love the V-neck, it’s not too deep or too wide.

This dress has a front and back centre seam. I did think about eliminating them – however with this fabric you can’t see the seams so I chose to leave them.

I love Papercut Patterns. I’ve actually got quite a collection, I just haven’t had a chance to sew them all, except the Saiph Tunic and the Bellatrix Blazer.

The patterns come in a sturdy cardboard package, the pattern photo can be removed from the package… where you will discover all the measurements and fabric requirements. These really do look and feel like excellent value for money – the sort of pattern you keep and display on your shelf. Check them out here.

The patterns are easy to trace and the instructions are thorough without being too wordy. You can cut up the pattern and cerate a booklet from the instruction section of the sheet – however I can’t bear to cut these lovely patterns up.


The Guise Pants (traced). I was initially a little hesitant about these – the back waist is elastic however I’ve seen some great reviews (Gingermakes and Jolies Bobines – and I am going to try them. In basic black. I’ve also cut out the Flutter Tunic .


Katie has offered a Papercut pattern as a giveaway – I’m a little tired this week so let’s do it with my next Papercut make! Watch this space.

Pattern: Sway Dress by Papercut Patterns, I made XXS cut to the longer hemline.
Fabric: Mystery woven from Spotlight (bargain table)
Shoes: Urban Soul (I do love these crazy shows but they have a history so I’m not overly fond of them… #itscomplicated – chosen by Miss 10 for these photos). I really need a pair of classic black patent heels… I got distracted last shoe shopping trip… it happens #squirrel

Note: Papercut Patterns provided this pattern for preview purposes. All opinions my own. No affiliate links in this post.

This post first appeared on http://www.sewbusylizzy.com

45 thoughts on “Sway Dress, a simple LBD – Papercut Patterns

  1. Are you still looking for the Pleated Pants pattern? They didn’t quite work on me, so if you want, you can have my copy. Just let me know!

    • I know, it’s disappointing when that happens. You may find a copy at one of The Fabric Stores, they are the only place that stocks them I think. Perhaps it will be released as a PDF one day.

  2. It’s so simple, I just can’t justify it… but I keep going back to this pattern! I love it! The pleated fabric is wonderful, this is really one of those patterns that makes fabric shine. I guess I’m going back to the site for further pondering…

    • I know. I thought that too – and I kept going back to it. I think the simple flared shape & neckline make it a winner. If it becomes a TNT then consider it an investment – and Papercut does produce such beautifully packaged & printed patterns. Just saying 😉

  3. Your LBD is lovely – – I love how the cut is made even more perfect by the way that cool fabric drapes. I agree – sometimes it’s the simple dresses/patterns that end up being the best! I’ve never tried a paper cut pattern – you are inspiring me….

    • The three patterns I’ve made have all been great. This collection is quite interesting as they all mix & match together – Katie deliberately designed it that way.
      I hesitated the first time I purchased a Papercut pattern. It seemed expensive but when postage is part of the deal & the quality is there it doesn’t seem like too much after all.

  4. I really loved your dress, and went to look at the pattern. I would have never bought it based on the version on the model.

    • Thanks Cari, I got smart & started seeing a naturopath. She’s been great, then days when I get tired I recover faster & feel a bit less like I’ve been hit by a truck. Should have done it years ago.

  5. I could really do with a LBD, keep getting distracted by colours and stuff though (maybe I’m a bit squirrelly like that!). I have some fabric, so I’ll have to follow your example…

  6. This pleated fabric is so interesting and looks lovely to wear. And thanks for the tip about making thread loops – I can’t believe it’s that easy! I’ve never sewn with a Papercut pattern (they’re so expensive!) but really like some of the designs.

    • The fabric is really nice to wear – bit of a surprise purchase.
      Papercut Patterns aren’t cheap but they are great quality. In Australia, the Big 4 patterns are expensive and we don’t have sales quite as often as the US.
      When I buy paper indie patterns, once I pay for postage the price is comparable to Papercut – whose price includes postage.
      I guess it just depends on how much you want a pattern and whether you can find something similar for less. I’m a bit of a sewing collector & I’m happy to pay for certain things.

    • I think because they are ‘micro’ pleats and quite random that it didn’t worry me too much so I just winged it. The added texture is quite friendly in that the seams are not very obvious.

  7. How pretty! I like the black texture and the simple shape. You could use any color ribbon belt to mix things up. I’ll have to check out Papercut Patterns.

  8. Pingback: Flutter Tunic, Papercut Patterns & Giveaway | Sew Busy Lizzy

  9. Pingback: Papercut Patterns, Guise Pants aka Does Lizzy Wear The Pants? | Sew Busy Lizzy

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