Christmas & New Years Eve are right around the corner, so I thought I’d share another holiday outfit: my DIY little black fit and flare dress with a bow!

A Festive Look

Wearing black isn’t always the most festive thing because people wear it for pretty much any occasion. I think the reason people opt for black because it’s comfortable and low key as opposed to something that stands out like a red or white dress. But that doesn’t mean a black dress should be a plain one!

With this DIY, the flared skirt is what gives it life and makes it dressier, but the bow is the icing on the cake here…it’s like final touches on a present! It’s the perfect combination of ‘stand out’ and ‘understated’ simply because it’s black.

Thought Process

What started off as a pretty simple black dress that could probably be worn to the mall, quickly turned into this fancy number. You see, I made this for my aunt’s 60th birthday party with no bow and no flared skirt. But after seeing how casual and plain it looked, I knew it wasn’t good enough, so I decided to add a bow to it. But then I realized the bow looked fancier than the dress…it looked more luxurious and richer compared to the flat falling skirt that had no life to it.

Needless to say, I was irritated. Did I waste my time on this dress? Should I toss it and buy something instead?? I had only given myself 1 day to make it! Bah…Then I remembered to ask myself a better and more positive question: How I can I make this dress work?

And just like that, I remembered this gathered skirt with tulle. Turns out, it made the perfect petticoat, giving the dress a really nice, full skirt and leaving me with this beauty of a dress…!

The Pattern

This fit and flare dress is a mashup of two different patterns, a self drafted bow, a necktie scarf and a petticoat.

  • Bodice: Simplicity #1827 – This is my go-to bodice pattern. I made the neckline about 1.5″ deeper.
  • Skirt: McCall’s Stitch N Save #3287 – Another one of my go-to skirt patterns, shortened to 19″
  • Bow: I made this bow in less than 20 minutes. It’s a simple rectangle with iron-on interfacing on both pieces of fabric keep it extra stiff and in shape. I cinched it together with this necktie scarf I made (which was made using the same material) and used it to wrap around my waist.
  • Petticoat: A self drafted gathered skirt with tulle.
From ‘Just Okay’ to Something Special

What I love about this dress is that I managed to make something special after it initially turned out “just okay”. It can get pretty annoying when you spend the time working on something for it to turn out…”just okay”, so to end up with with an adorable LBD is a pretty cool test of my creativity.

Sewing isn’t always a seamless operation…it can be frustrating and feel like a total waste of time and energy. But I’ve learned to slow down and not rush through the sewing process because then mistakes will be made! I try my best to treat it as meditation and to think positive along the way. Not-so-surprisingly, that’s when my pieces almost always end up well done! It also allows me to come up with solutions that make me feel excited to keep going when I get stuck, which keeps the love for this little hobby of mine going!

Final Thoughts

I’m a big fan of this fit and flare dress and I want to make it again, but in a different colour and fabric. Just like everyone else, I like to wear black too because sometimes I want to wear something simple and other times I want just to blend in with the crowd. But no matter what the case is, I always like to have cool details going on and I think I did just that here! #Win

What about your LBDs? How do you make them? Do you like the plain and simple – nothing wrong with that classic look! Or do you like to add fun details to them? Leave a comment below and let me know!




Shoes: TopShop
Photos by Dushan Tharmal

Fit and Flare Dress with a Bow by Sweet Shard


  1. Your dress is beautiful – thoughts of the ’50s and ’60’s danced through my head seeing this beauty on you! Cinched, emphasized waist but short and perky skirt is perfect in black. The colour doesn’t distract from the shapes you obviously went to some effort to create. Gorgeous!!

    • Sharadha Reply

      Thank you so much! Yes I was thinking 50s & 60s as I started to see it come together! I appreciate your support! 😀

  2. Sharadha – this dress is beautiful and your pictures on line look great!

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