Sew Over It – Penny Dress Review

As we all know, it’s no secret that I’m a big Sew Over It fan.

When the Penny dress was released by Sew Over It, it was around the time that I’d decided that I loved shirt dresses in a big way. Sophia Rosemary, a fashion blogger whose style I’m all over had posted this picture of this shirt: beauty outfit

I crushed on this whole outfit if I’m honest, but I really think that it was the shirt’s collar that did it for me. That’s what made me stop scrolling! I love how it’s vaguely vintage, without a collar stand so that it lays open in an effortlessly cool way, shows some chest so that it looks more relaxed and looking put together all at the same time. Truly a fashion marvel.

A few weeks after I’d first seen this photo (by which time, I’d looked at it probably about 100 times) the Penny dress by Sew Over It came out – with the exact same collar!

Suffice it to say, I was really quite beside myself with excitement, which I realise is a bit laughable, but I thought being honest with you would work better than trying to play it cool and pretend that I was blasé about my dreams coming true.

Making the Penny Dress

The fabric that I used for the dress is Lady McElroy Pebble Mosaic cotton lawn from Doughty’s which I thought would be a really good addition to my wardrobe because it’s quite grown up and sophisticated looking, but still retains the essential (essential to me, anyway) bit of jazziness in the print.


The fabric is a gorgeous quality cotton lawn, and worked wonderfully for the Penny dress. The gathering that goes on around the waistline when the elastic is added is quite intense, so a lightweight fabric like cotton lawn is a must in my opinion! This version of the dress isn’t the warmest, so I’ve been using some of my tricks from my How To Wear Your Summer Clothes (Pretty Much) All Year Round post when I’ve been wearing it the past few days. After all, you simply can’t finish a dress and not wear it right away, can you?


The elasticated waist bumps up the comfort level by about a thousand, as well as making the dress even easier to make – it’s easy to get on over your head because of its stretchiness and the top button just hits the bust point – which means you an avoid sewing buttonholes! I didn’t do buttonholes on my dress and have no trouble getting it on, so it really is the simplest possible shirt dress around, as well as one of the prettiest.



I’m a very big fan of the grown-on sleeves – one less (usually quite fiddly) pattern piece actually takes off quite a surprising amount of time from the making process! I do think that the sleeve would look a little bit more elegant in a drapier fabric than cotton, because the little sleeve juts out slightly in the fabric that I used. I don’t mind it at all though, just something for me to think about for my next one! I do want to use more rayons next year, so the Penny dress will definitely be a pattern that goes on the viscose list!


I didn’t have any problems with the pattern at all – half thanks to the wonderfully co-operative fabric, I  think! One that I’ll definitely use again in the future, undoubtedly in a plethora of versions and different hacks – so make sure to follow the blog so that you can check up on whether I get around to making it in a rayon next year!