3 Pointy-Hem dresses

For The Monthly Stitch’s third birthday I have made 3 pointy-hemmed dresses.

This is my first post on The Monthly Stitch although I regularly read what other people have been making.  I think this challenge was perfect for me because I really wanted to make two of Simplicity 5363 costume pattern so making a third version was relatively easy. I had been hankering after making this particular pattern for ages but I want it to be wearable not just a costume. I love handkerchief hems and so I decided first to make my muslin/ costume for a festival dress from my recycled sari fabric which I had bought several years ago from a thrift shop.  The only change from the pattern design was to put the channel for the neckline elastic on the edge to eliminate having a neck frill. That is for the red and the blue dresses.

The pattern is easy to put together although to be truly honest I gave the instructions a quick read and the just did it my way. I did use the pre-marked channels for the elastic and the front and back skirt panels and front and back bodice panels are slightly different lengths so you do need to join the right way up. When I changed the pattern for the black dress (see later) I moved the skirt around so it is actually slightly longer one side to the other. It does not notice but if you are a real stickler for perfection it would be easy to correct this. I did not bother.

The second dress is in blue leopard spot fabric from IKEA and is 100% cotton. The third is in satin backed material that is quite heavy and I have no idea what the fibre content is.

When we moved into our current house, we sold the last house complete with curtains which meant we did not have any for this house so bought three second-hand Saris which we used for temporary curtainsand I still had two of the three saris in my airing cupboard. They are probably polyester rather than silk. I went to a festival a couple of months ago  and of course at most festivals recycled sari clothing is everywhere which got me thinking. I had to use bothof my saris for this since the pattern takes a lots of fabric since the skirt is actually circular despite being a handkerchief hemmed skirt.


It has turned out very wearable despite being a costume pattern and made from scrap fabric. I made use of the borders on the sleeve edges but had to just go with it when it came to the skirt parts. The bodice has mirror embroidery which you cannot really see in the photos. The red and blue dresses are really nice to wear. In both I folded the edge of the neck over to form a channel rather than make a frill. I would say I am not really a frilly type of person but I do love my black dress and it IS frilly! I used 1 inch wide elastic for the neckline and under bust but thinner elastic for the sleeves in all cases.  The necklines stay where I want them by using the slightly thicker elastic. I have previously made similar tops but had problems keeping them either on or off my shoulders as I wanted. These work. Interestingly I prefer the red dress worn on the shoulders but both the others off the shoulders. Each dress has different sleeves as well. The top is gathered on the red dress just above the elbow but the edge I made use of the border print and left loose mediaeval style. Then for the blue dress I elasticated both the edge and above the elbow. For the black dress I did frills because of having the lace edging. So to do this I put the elastic channel where the pattern says to do so.  I left out the above elbow elastic as well for the black dress.


Dress number 3, I wanted to make so I can wear it this Autumn /Winter. The fabric is satin one side which I used for the inside of the dress and matt the other side. You can see the satin on the pointy hem bits which gives a nice effect. The fabric was very creased but I did not iron before cutting so was a bit worried about how it would all work out. Recently, have managed to melt some really nice fabric so I was not risking this. Once I finished the dress which was over a week ago and hung it up nearly all the creases miraculously hung out so its now almost crease free.


For this dress I altered the skirt. On the first two dresses I followed the pattern and the side seams join up to the bodice side seams giving two front points either side of centre front and centre back, but on this one I moved the pattern around so that the skirt point ends centre front and centre back with two side points.  This black dress also has a seperate petticoat of unlined black lace. Its simply the same skirt pattern with 1 inch wide elastic sewn around the waistline. Since the dresses are high waisted this petticoat hangs quite a bit lower than the rest of the points but it looks really nice and gives an extra interesting layer I really like. It has no lace frill either which the dress does and that seems to near enough compensate for the slightly longer length due to the movement of the waistline on this piece back to natural waist. It also makes the dress a bit longer. I overlocked the edges of teh lace petticoat. Depending on how I put the petticoat on I can either line up the points with the dress or better still have them in between the dress points. Hopefuly that will make sense. Unfortunately it is hard to see on the photos.

I used wide stretch lace all around the hem and sleeves as well as the neckline to make a frill. I also used the wide lace as a channel for the elastic so this version the channels are on the outside whereas the other two they are all inside the dresses.I also missed out the straps/ belts that are meant to zig zag down to the waist. The first two dresses have these.

I am very pleased with all 3 dresses but especially with the black dress which I can quite honestly say is the nicest dress I have made or owned for around 20 years. I love it! I cannot wait to go somewhere to wear it since its wasted wearing this for every-day life. I suspect I will wear this over Christmas.

I realised whilst writing this that you cannot see my satin backed pointy hems or the lace petticoat so I took some new pictures.



  • The pattern is very easy- Simplicity 5363 costume pattern
  • I used polyester silk, cotton and an unknown but heavy weight material with two good sides.
  • Changes include moving the side seams to CB and CF on the black dress, changing the neck elastic for both red and blue dresses to the edge and also the sleeve on the blue dress has edge channels for elastic.
  • The Black dress has a stretch lace edging.
  • Added an extra seperate petticoat of black lace to the black dress.


5 thoughts on “3 Pointy-Hem dresses

  1. Great dresses, especially the black lace. You get some interesting shapes using Simplicity costume patterns don’t u. I’ve made a couple of Victorian style jackets as I love the nipped in waists & flared hems


  2. Love the black dress, I can see why it is your favourite. What a great idea to use a costume pattern – I’d never thought about the possibilities there. They tend to be dramatic, but toned down a bit, they can work well.


    • Thank you. I have several costume patterns. They are often cheaper than a similar pattern that is listed in the “normal ” clothing sections. It is worth having a look at the line drawings because you can decide if its possible to use them then.

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