Wiggle Dress Patterns

Today, we're taking a look at the classic wiggle dress pattern, as featured on The Great British Sewing Bee. If you're inspired by this style, you can download the Loretta Dress from Simple Sew for free! If you'd prefer a printed pattern, visit Simple Sew Patterns to order yours today.

Download your pattern here!

What is a wiggle dress?

Also known as a pencil dress, the Wikipedia entry says the definition of a wiggle dress is "A dress whose hem is narrower than the hips, causing the wearer to walk in short strides with legs close together, producing as way or wiggle of the hips".

We're not sure that description really does this dress style justice, the right wiggle dress is about enhancing and celebrating your curves - it's a dress that looks good on women of all sizes, the key is emphasising the hour-glass figure.

The classic wiggle dress often has sleeves which adds to the timeless and classy look of this dress style, perfect for the office or for a special occasion dress and great for those women who prefer to cover up their upper arms. It's a very 'grown-up' dress style that gives you masses of options for day or evening wear. Michelle Obama looks great in a wiggle dress!

wiggle dress sewing patterns michelle obama

Is a wiggle dress easy to sew?

There are so many great wiggle dress patterns that you are bound to find a pattern that suits your skill level with a little searching. The Simple Sew Loretta Wiggle Dress is designed to be easy to fit and to sew - lots of Love Sewing readers have made beautiful versions!

wiggle dress sewing patterns

Many patterns give you the option of sleeves, and a skirt that flares from the knee. If you're a beginner, tackle the basic bodice and skirt before you attempt to add details. One very important task before you cut into the beautiful fabric you have chosen for your new wiggle dress pattern is to create a toile, a practice dress that will enable you to adjust the pattern for a perfect fit (and save you wasting your more expensive fabric) - Just like Stacie from blog Notions of a Dressmaker did...

How do I get a good fit in a wiggle dress?

One of the reasons we love sewing our own clothes is to get the perfect fit! Wiggle dresses are often easy to adjust because you're not working with too many complex pattern pieces. Check out Claire-Louise Hardie's guide to getting the perfect fit in our Beginner's Guide to Dressmaking. Fabric also plays a part. If you choose a fabric with a little stretch, you can make your dress fit with a small amount of negative ease so that it clings to all your curves!

Download the free Alexa dress for a vintage style or try the Jeanette dress for a comfy jersey version.