I can see me making this up in hundreds of different materials and wearing it all summer long. I have made it here in very light weight fabrics. The orange centre panel is a light silky viscose, the side panel is grey marl t-shirting and the sleeve is a light polycotton in a tiny geometric grey and cream pattern.

I have also made this dress with the sleeves in a chiffon which looks GREAT and turns it into something altogether more glam. I have also done the side panels in soft silk for a little luxury twist.

It would work well made from any combination of jersey, light polycotton or viscose. I wouldn’t use pure cotton as it just sits a little stiffly – your fabric needs to have a bit of man made fibre or silk in it to drape properly. If your fabric is too stiff the dress just stands out a bit squarely.

There’s not a lot of fitting going on here, although there are hidden darts built into the bust with the panels. It’s very straight up and down – just an elongated t-shirt basically. But this simplicity is the perfect vehicle for three fabrics in one dress (which otherwise is pretty hard to carry off.)


(Thankyou Clare and Harriet for modelling – Harriet has grown up quite a bit since her modelling debut in the over-the-table-playhouse) It’s worth noting that the dress looks a bit shorter on Clare than it does on me, more of a tunic in fact, but she is over 6ft tall so you can see why.


This version is made in a really fabulous geometric patterned polyester that I bought from the Knitting & Stitching Show in London. The sleeves are just some scraps of black chiffon I had and the side panels are a charcoal grey linen (left over from the St Tropez Scoop Neck). My favourite finishing touch is the hot pink satin bias binding that I used to trim the sleeves. It picks out the pink in the pattern perfectly and adds a luxurious finish.


AND, for those of you who like this dress, there is also a top in really a similar style. Have a look at the Panel Tee post for more ideas.

(The Panel Dress is no longer available as a free PDF download – you can now buy it as a multisize paper or downloadable pattern. Sorry for any disappointment, but there are lots of other free patterns on the patterns tab so please have a browse.)

There are 45 comments for this article
  1. Pingback: Panel dress pattern - Sewing 4 Free
  2. Katie King at 1:10 pm

    can you share where you got that orange fabric?. It’s the perfect color and I can’t seem to find it anywhere!

    • Laura Casey at 7:07 am

      Hi, just a remnant I’m afraid. Don’t know where you are based but there is a huge and fabulous warehouse, Fabworks, in West Yorkshire – have a look on my where to buy fabric page. They still had it in when I went last week.

    • Laura Casey at 10:57 am

      I don’t have a pic of me wearing it I’m afraid. The panels can look a bit different depending on the fabric you use. Have a look at the Panel Tee to see some photos. It is essentially the same pattern but shorter. It does look very different because it’s made from a stiffer cotton fabric. The overall shape of the dress is just a rectangle with very little contouring to it.

  3. Lucy Daniel at 8:06 am

    Your Panel Dress, which size is the pattern is this? Im in search for sizes 6-8. AWESOME website. Thank you. XO

    • Laura Casey at 10:54 am

      Hi Lucy

      All the patterns are made in a UK size 12. For conversion to US sizes, see the making a pattern fit page. It also tells you how to change the patterns to fit your size. The panel dress is pretty easy to change as it just a basic rectangle shape. x

    • Laura Casey at 7:07 am

      Wow! This is gorgeous. It’s great to see something so modern and edgy. Would you mind if I used your pics on my newsletter? Would you me to reference you? And do you have any comments about the pattern or making it?

      • Izy Pineda at 4:47 am

        Sure you can use the pictures & my name. Thank you for the kind compliments. I build it by sewing the side panels from the hem base up to the shoulder seam & continued to the back base. I did top stitching for the neckline & hem base.

        Cheers & happy sewing!

  4. Pingback: DIY Sewing: 3 Colour T-shirt Dress – FREE PDF PATTERN | Golden Diamond
  5. Lauren at 3:55 pm

    Hi Laura,

    Thank you so much for providing free patterns and clear instructions, your site is wonderful. I’m only a beginner but you make sewing seem so simple.

    I made this dress and love it so much I blogged about it – I linked to your site and credited you, I hope that’s right. I posted some photos, my fabric is just plain, but I’m so inspired by Izy’s fabric, I can’t wait to make another one! You can check out my pics if you like:

    Thanks again!

    • Laura Casey at 7:39 pm

      This is fabulous Lauren. I love you colours – very subtle. I have left a comment on your blog too. Could I feature your make on my newsletter? I will link back to your blog of course!

    • Laura Casey at 6:53 am

      Hi, Sorry the Panel Dress must have slipped through the net. I thought I had converted them all! If you have a look on the pattern page again you will find it in both formats now. Sorry for the delay, Laura

    • Laura Casey at 8:21 pm

      Hi Nicole. If you are buying fabric, the sleeves need less than 1/4 of a metre, the side panels need about 0.3 of a metre and the back & front together need 1 metre. But obviously the sleeves and side fabrics are so small you can often use off cuts or scraps rather than buying. x

  6. Michele at 12:33 am

    I, too, was so disappointed to find this was no longer available. It is definitely worth paying for and I am happy to do so. Can you help? Thank you so much!

  7. Debi Bainter at 7:08 am

    Hi, Love,love this dress,but,am wondering if g-oing to
    do pattern in US Plus Womens size. I’m a bilateral amputee and due to other ills stay in BIG Tshirts most the time. Your dress is exactly like I need and was quite dismayed that unable to get the Free pattern. As I’m on disability here but want this as looks so easy for my 11 year old gran. She sews for me!!! And is doing a great job….Thanks so much!!!!!

    • Laura Casey at 8:02 pm

      Hi Debi, I am just completing the dress as a paper pattern. It comes in UK sizes 8-20 which are US 4 – 16. However if this isn’t suitable for you, you could always scale it up by adding the extra width onto the central panel

  8. Beck at 8:44 am

    Hi I was wondering if I can get this pattern from anyone who has already downloaded it or if there is another link I can use to purchase the pattern for myself, thanks.

  9. Jeanne at 2:33 pm

    Hi, please help me, somehow, I can’t buy you pattern. After giving my name and adress, and clicking on the Paypal button, there are no informations on the page to pay you. Would you please give me your IBAN, I can manage to pay you directly.
    Since I live in France (and i’m very impatient to sew your dress), the best for me would be a pdf ! via email.

    • Laura Casey at 9:04 pm

      Hi Jeanne, I’m sorry you were having problems with Paypal. I have changed it now and it should work fine. Please try again. I can email you a PDF in the morning once payment has gone though. Please let me know, if you prefer it formatted for A4 paper, American Letter paper or a single sheet for large format printer?
      Best regards

    • Laura Casey at 9:05 pm

      PS. I have changed the format so you do not need to enter your name and address. I will just use the one supplied by Paypal.

  10. Michele at 1:48 pm

    Hi Laura,
    Back in January, you so nicely emailed me, free of charge, the PDF download of this pattern, which I absolutely LOVE. I haven’t made it yet, but was browsing your website and noticed it is now available for purchase as a paper pattern. YAY!! I just bought it! Chances of it being made are so much greater if I don’t have to tape (just me being lazy.) Cannot thank you enough for being so kind as to email me the PDF free of charge and cannot wait to get my paper pattern.

    • Laura Casey at 2:36 pm

      That’s great Michele. You’re right, its a pain in the bum taping them together, and the resizing can be tricky too if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Lots of people said the same which is why I brought out the paper version. Not sure where you are based but it’s a bank holiday here today so it will be in the post tomorrow. Make sure you send me a pic when it’s done!

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