Anna Maria + Denyse = A Cute Little Dress

Evening Empire Dress Bodice

I didn’t waste any time, did I? Just in time for **snow!?!** this Sunday, I finished the Evening Empire Dress by Anna Maria Horner. I just love how it turned out! The red fabric is Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Diamond Mine Pomegranate. It’s actually a much softer color in real life – the camera/flash don’t do it justice. I added a bit of Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt. Don’t the 2 fabrics look like they were made for each other?

Evening Empire Dress Full

There is only one thing I would have done differently and it wasn’t a problem with the pattern, but my own doing. I made a size larger in the skirt portion because I was convinced I needed to per my measurements. Well, since the fabric is gathered, I certainly didn’t need to size the skirt up and it just makes the dress fuller in the gathering area. So next time I’ll do everything the same size.

Overall the pattern was easy to follow and my invisible zipper even ended up, well, invisible! GASP! I did sew the bodice in scrap fabric first to make sure I knew what I was doing with the good stuff. I would suggest also doing that as it helped answer some of my questions and then I just blew though it with the final fabric.

Evening Empire Dress Skirt

If I am lucky and the kids let me shower sometime soon (and the weather warms up), I may post a picture of the dress actually on me! But trust me, it fits great (I’m wearing it as I type!) And my 3 year old told me “mommy, your dress is beautiful! I wish I had a dress like that and we could match.” 🙂

ETA: Some people asked about the lining. You’ll want to line it and the pattern actually includes the lining directions. I had left over red fabric and used that and it’s perfect. So, for an XS top and S bottom, I ordered 3 yards of the voile and had left over even after lining it. I saw someone else online suggest lining with a less expensive voile (Robert Kauffman I think). I haven’t looked for it online, but I’m assuming it exists. 🙂

ETA again! 🙂 Ok, here I am modeling it with and without the cardigan. Be kind! LOL
Anna Maria Horner's Evening Empire Dress

Anna Maria Horner's Evening Empire Dress


  1. 8

    Ellen says

    I love the fabric combinations-Good eye you have. Curious, with using voile, did you line the dress? I have been wondering this about voile.

    • 9


      You definitely will want to line it if you are making it for an adult. I was lucky and had enough left over to do the skirt lining in the same fabric. Others suggested using a less expensive voile (robert kauffman I think?)

  2. 11


    Sweet dress! I have a little daughter too who I think I will try making a dress for … so next you will make a dress for your daughter, and then will you have to make one for her doll? 😉

  3. 12

    Alexis says

    It’s LOVELY! I can’t wait for my pattern to come so that I can give it a try as well. I was curious about lining it too. Did you line it? If so, any pointers? 🙂 Thanks!

  4. 18

    Belinda says

    What interfacing did you use for the bodice? I’m having trouble finding a light enough woven fusible as the pattern suggests and am wondering if a non woven would work.

    • 19


      Hmmm, I don’t remember exactly what it was because I just happened to have some. But it would be whatever they sell by the yard at JoAnns because I think that’s the only place I’ve ever bought interfacing.

  5. 21

    Aly says


    I just bought this pattern and need a little help with the bodice. I’m quite new at sewing but I am forcing myself to tackle this. I don’t quite understand how the sides match up with the middle and how you’re supposed to sew the curve. I know it’s probably hard to explain, but I would love any help you can give me.


    PS I love the fabric combo!

    • 22


      I would first try it out on some scrap fabric or muslin. I need to remember what I did….but I think I started at the top of the seam and pinned it like crazy. It seems like the straight fabric and the curved fabric couldn’t possible sew together, but it does. Just pin it a ton all the way down and then sew with the 5/8″ seam. It creates the bust portion of the bodice.

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