Darlene vintage style dress – Free PDF sewing pattern

Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern

Who loves the elegant, sophisticated styles of the 50s? I believe many of us are obsessed with the romantic fit and flare designs of the mid 20 century clothing. A few days ago I ran into this photo and I immediately fell in love with the elegant neckline design that I decided to recreate it.

Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern

I did not have any image of the whole design so I had to improvise the back and lower part of the dress, and I think it will be best as a midi length and a lower back neckline. And here it comes, the Darlene vintage style dress!

Let’s have a look at the details of this lovely item in 3D simulation:

Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern
Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern
Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern
Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern
Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern
Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern
Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern

As usual, my pattern is made in 10 sizes from XXS to 5XL so you may find a suitable size for yourself. If you are not sure which size suits you, take a look at the measurement table before doing anything here: SIZE GUIDE.

The pattern is made using layered PDF, please check for your desired size before printing so you won’t waste your paper. I have included a first page with many details about sizing and printing, so please first read the first page and make sure you know what size you need! If you still do not know how to print a layered PDF, please check for the printing instruction in this post: PRINTING GUIDE.

My patterns are now made in both A4/Letter paper and A0 paper format so you can print at home or at any print shop!

For home printers, you can print this using your home printer and either A4 or Letter paper. I calculated the printing area so that you will be able to use either type of paper to print the pattern out perfectly. Always print the first page first and check with the test square if you are printing at the right scale before you print out the whole pattern – avoid waste of ink and waste of paper, save the earth!

Some PC may print smaller than actual size even when you choose 100% scale – I don’t know why this problem exist, but my HP laptop cannot print true to size. I have to scale up to 103% to get the right size. You may need to check with your PC to see if it prints true to size, if not, scale up a bit. I was informed by a reader that you can also print the pdf as image to get the right scale, however I never tested it on my computer.


You will need

  • Fabric of your choice. This pattern is intended for woven fabric.
  • Lining fabric. This design is best made with fully lined bodice, but you can omit it and choose to use facing, or bias binding to finish the neckline and armholes.
  • Invisible zipper, about 20 inch (50cm) long.
  • Scissors, pencil or fabric marker, ruler, pins
  • Sewing machine/Serger or needle and thread
  • Printed pattern

How much fabric do you need for this piece of garment? To be precise, you may need to check how much fabric you need before buying. It will depend on the selected pattern size, the width, and design of the fabric you plan to use. Just to be sure, print all the paper patterns and lay them out at the width of fabric you plan to use (usually from 90 to 150 centimeters or 35 to 60 inches). Measure how much fabric you will need. Don’t forget to account for pieces that need to be cut multiple times and pieces that are cut on the fold.

Cutting instruction:

After printing out and taping all the pattern pages together, you will get something similar to this:

Darlene vintage style dress - Free PDF sewing pattern

You will see that there are 2 sets of lines on each pattern piece. The inner lines are sewing line (and you sew along these lines), and the outer lines are cutting lines (you cut the fabric along these lines, remember the folding lines where you have to fold the fabric before cutting). The distance between sewing line and cutting line is seam allowance, and it varies from point to point. For example, the side seam allowance is about 1/2 inch (1.2cm), and seam allowance at hemline is 1 inch (2.5cm). This is the reason why I do not remove the sewing lines from the pattern. Please use it as a guide to know how much seam allowance you need to give at each seam.

The fabric will be cut into following pieces:

  • Front Bodice: cut 1 self fabric + 1 lining fabric on the fold
  • Back Bodice: cut 2 self fabric + 2 lining fabric
  • Shoulder strap: cut 2
  • Front Skirt: cut 1 on the fold
  • Back Skirt: cut 2
  • Inseam Pocket: cut 4

Place the pattern pieces on the fabric, pin the pattern pieces to the fabric to secure them in place. Using sharp scissors, carefully cut out the fabric pieces along the outer lines of the pattern. Take your time to ensure precise and clean cuts, as this will affect the fit and overall appearance of your garment.

Make sure to mark all notches and other design features such as darts, pleats, draw marks etc. from the pattern pieces onto your fabric. When sewing the garment, pay attention to notches, they must match up.

Sewing instruction:

1. Serge/zig zag stitch the raw edge to prevent fabric from unraveling.

2. Fold and sew all the darts on Front Bodice and Back Bodice (both self and lining).

3. Place Front Bodice and Back Bodice right side facing, sew the side seams. Do this with both self fabric and lining fabric.

4. Sew two parallel lines ¼ and 1/3 inch from the top edge of the Front Skirt using longest stitch length. Pull to gather fabric to match the bottom edge of the Front Bodice. Also gather the Back Skirt pieces to match the Back Bodice.

5. Add the side seam pocket (you can skip this if you don’t want pockets). This is a tutorial on How to add an side seam pocket. Sew the Front Skirt and Back Skirt together.

6. Pin the Skirt to the Bodice (self fabric) right side facing. Sew to attach to get the Main Garment.

7. Attach invisible zipper to the center back of the Main Garment. This is a tutorial on How to attach invisible zipper. Finish the center back hem.

8. Fold the Shoulder Strap and sew to create a spaghetti strap. This is a tutorial on How to make spaghetti straps/drawstrings.

9. Lay the Main Garment flat, right side facing up. Pin the Shoulder Straps to the top edge of the garment, make sure they do not twist. Baste to hold them in place. Lay the Bodice Lining right side facing down, match the center point and side seams, pin and sew to attach the Bodice Lining to the Main Garment.

10. Turn the fabric over, clip the seam allowance at the curves, staystitch the seam allowance on to the Bodice Lining. Finish the invisible zipper with lining. This post shows several ways to finish invisible zippers on garment with lining.

11. Fold the seam allowance on the Bodice Lining. Pin it to the main garment, hiding the waist seam allowance. Hand stitch or use stitch in the ditch technique to finish the lining.

12. Hem the dress.

And here is the download link:



To download just click on the link above and choose “Save link as”. The PDF file will be downloaded to your device. An advertisement may pop up, just close it and continue with your download. In case some ads attempt to make you enter your personal info, just ignore and close it. I do NOT require any kind of information to download my pattern files.

Happy sewing! And don’t forget to share your project on my Facebook page: Tiana’s Closet Sewing Patterns or tag me on Instagram #tianasclosetsewingpatterns, I will be thrilled to see the garment in real life!

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