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. Reply


    March 17, 2010

    Your dress looks fantastic!! I’m waiting on my pattern, and I’ll be starting on my version as well.

  2. Reply


    March 17, 2010

    beautiful dress! i love that your daughter wants a matching one. 🙂

  3. Reply

    Jen S.

    March 17, 2010

    It’s gorgeous! What a great idea to add the blue bouquet to the voile! Sooooo sweet that your daughter wants to match you!

  4. Reply


    March 17, 2010

    Just beautiful – what a perfect combination of fabrics! Can’t wait to see the pics of you wearing it!

  5. Reply


    March 17, 2010

    Cute, cute, cute! Love to see it on!

  6. Reply


    March 17, 2010

    Looks fab! Love the fabrics together!

  7. Reply


    March 18, 2010

    Gorgeous!! So how soon will we be seeing a mini version of this on your little girl?

  8. Reply


    March 18, 2010

    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.

    • Reply


      March 18, 2010

      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?)

  9. Reply

    Anna Maria

    March 18, 2010

    YAY you! Gorgeous!!! xo,Anna

  10. Reply


    March 18, 2010

    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? 😉

  11. Reply


    March 18, 2010

    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!

  12. Reply


    March 18, 2010

    Love it! The bands of blue are lovely. I bought this pattern too, and can’t wait to get started on it.

  13. Reply


    March 19, 2010

    Both you and the dress are gorgeous! Love it. It makes me want to make one, although it wouldn’t look the same on me. 😉

  14. Reply

    Nina @Mama Roux

    March 21, 2010

    Really cute! The fabrics go great together!

  15. Reply


    March 22, 2010

    looks so great! following your blog now 🙂

    this is what i did with my voile!

    • Reply


      March 22, 2010

      That is so cute! Isn’t it the perfect fabric for dresses? I’m thinking of using some to make the Schoolhouse Tunic by Sew Liberated.

  16. Reply


    April 5, 2010

    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.

    • Reply


      April 5, 2010

      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.

  17. Reply


    April 9, 2010

    I love THIS!!!!

  18. Reply


    April 30, 2010


    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!

    • Reply


      April 30, 2010

      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.