Runway to Reality Look 1 – Sheath Dress

June 21, 2016By Diana MaliqiGarment, Sewing 5 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

Look one from our collaboration with BurdaStyle is a new twist on the classic Sheath dress. For 16 easy to follow-along steps, click here for the free downloadable Runway to Reality Look Book.

The classic shaped Sheath dress has been worn through the ages. Some may be uncomfortable at the thought of a tight silhouetted dress hugging our bodies. Let’s face it, this type of dress seeks a little bit of confidence. While this silhouette highlights our best features, it also emphasizes our areas of opportunity. This is the type of dress that makes me question my meals beforehand and may I confess, suck in my tummy when posing for pictures!

Let’s discuss these ‘areas of opportunity.’ All bodies are not created the same (thankfully!), but the mass media certainly pressures us to think they should be. We are constantly reminded that body size 0-2 is ideal and anything above does not fit these unattainable ‘standards of beauty’. It’s time to widen our definitions and reclaim our notions of beauty.

look-book-look-01Dove, one of Unilever’s largest beauty brands has done extensive research to further explore women’s portrayal of beauty in order to widen this definition.

In their global study, The Real Truth about Beauty: Revisited, Dove collected data from 3,200 women ages 16-64 from all over the world. Almost half of all women (47%) rate their body weight as “too high” a trend that increases with age. Overall these women are significantly less satisfied with their body weight and almost half of all women (48%) strongly agreed with the statement that “When I feel less beautiful, I feel worse about myself in general.” This is interesting data as it shows the correlation between self-image, self-esteem and happiness.

Now back to the Sheath Dress. I bring up this study so I can reiterate the fact that we are too hard on ourselves. I too cringed at the thought of a slim silhouetted dress and automatically thought about what I wouldn’t be able to eat before I wore this. However, this particular sheath dress works on many body types.

The woven shoe laces are a nice way to break up the shapeless silhouette and will help those who don’t have defined curves. It’s also very versatile and could be a great transitional piece from day into night, sneakers or stilettos. For those that feel too exposed, adding a blazer or a sweater makes it the perfect combination. Because you’ll be making it yourself, you’ll be able to select your perfect color as a great addition to your wardrobe for summer.

Are you listening ladies? I’m particularly speaking to those women who are not 100% confident with their bodies. How do we challenge these standards of beauty? Let’s start by going out of our comfort zones and showing off our curves of all shapes and sizes! This is where sewing skills really come in handy as you can custom make a dress to your exact measurements. Before you know it, shopping in department stores could be a thing of the past!

Brother would love to see YOUR Sheath dress. Be sure to share photos with us on social media by tagging us at #Brothersews and telling us how this dress makes you feel. Let’s have a Sheath dress takeover and celebrate our bodies. Download the BurdaStyle x Brother Runway to Reality Look Book for more details and start sewing. I can’t wait to see your confident faces in this dress!

The Dove report is packed with insightful information about what beauty means to women today, if you haven’t read it already, take a minute to do so!

Download the BurdaStyle x Brother Runway to Reality Look Book


  • What a fabulous blog post Diana! Such a pretty dress. And yes . . . you are SEW right . . . this is a wonderful, classic style that can be very flattering to the female curves. When you sew it yourself you can choose complimentary colors and you can adjust for a well fitting silhouette as well! Thanks for the pep talk. Indeed no body is perfect. However, sewing for yourself is a confidence builder in and of itself!!!

  • My stable of sheath dresses is very diverse despite being made from just two patterns. I use the same two patterns for tunics to wear with leggings and for blouses. I did spend several sewing sessions on getting a good fit but so well worth it. I feel so much better about my day when I wear a well fitting garment and rather smug when I have made it myself.
    Thank you very much for a great article – hope lots of beginners to dressmaking reads it and gives a sheath dress a go.

  • I want to learn how to sew. My Mother has always been a seamstress. But my lack of enthusiasm I didn’t learn how. I actually have two sewing machines a new one and an old one of my Grandmothers I think it’s a 1916 model.

    • Follow along as our Sew Specialists share all sorts of tips and tutorials! Thanks for stopping by Stitching Sewcial, Michelle!

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