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The Bistro Dress by Liesl + Co

The Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Allegra needed a dress.  A black, formal orchestra dress.  And I was intimidated by the thought of sewing one for her.  But both she and Mr. Skirt Fixation insisted I could do this, so I bought the fabric, and then I was committed.  Before cutting into the material, we decided to make a muslin, just to check the fit, since many of the other dresses would have a similar look, we definitely didn’t want Allegra’s to look “homemade!”  After going through the patterns we own, the closest we could come was a shift dress which I thought I could alter enough to make do.  To make a long story short, the muslin turned out horrible, and I was back to square one.

The Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

I queried the folks on the Oliver + S forums for help.  The Bistro Dress looked like it would work, but I didn’t have time for another muslin and it would need a few adjustments, like adding length and dropping the belt, belt loops, and collar.  After hearing their favorable thoughts, I went ahead and purchased The Bistro Dress, figuring if it didn’t work, I’d still end up with one fabulous pattern I’d had my eye on for a while anyway!

The Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The only alteration I had to do to the pattern was to add length and width to the bottom to allow for a cellist to play her instrument and to match the shape of the other dresses.  In fact, to make the pattern, I used Allegra’s old dress, the one Aria now wears to figure out the right width, length and place to start widening.

The Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

I started drafting the pattern wider at the hips and took it down to ankle length.  The only other adjustment I made was to make the waist darts longer.

The Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Both Allegra and I are very pleased with how The Bistro Dress turned out as a full length formal dress for her concert.

The Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Please excuse the blurry photos, but I did capture a few of Allegra on stage.  Aria is there too!


The Bistro Dress is a Liesl + Co. pattern, and Liesl Gibson makes the Oliver + S patterns too.  As with all Oliver + S patterns, the Bistro dress was a dream to sew.  The directions were easy to follow, and the results are so professional looking.

The Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Allegra and I took some extra photos at home to show how nicely the Bistro Dress fits her.  We will be making this pattern again, but hopefully not for another black formal orchestra dress anytime soon!

The Bistro Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

8 thoughts on “The Bistro Dress by Liesl + Co

  1. It looks lovely on her! You did a great job with the modifications.

  2. Gorgeous dress! All your hard work paid off. Your girls look like stars and I bet the concert was fabulous!

  3. She looks very smart. Not homemade at all. Instead she has a ‘bespoke’ dress that looks better than what it seems others were wearing.
    Well done! Aria is going to wish Allegra grows out of it soon!
    Sandy in the UK

  4. Beautifully done!! Allegra, you look gorgeous. Very classy musician!
    This is such a nice pattern (I love the changes you made) and fits her very well.

  5. I really like the changes you made. The length and fullness make a simple dress more elegant. Allegra, you have beautiful hair!

  6. The whole making of the dress reminds me of the trepidation that I went through making Audrey’s first black concert orechestra dress in the 90’s! Good job…. hmmm, I should dig out the old photo albums & find Audrey modeling hers… 🙂

  7. […] year, I made the Liesl & Co. Bistro Dress for Allegra.  At her request, I modified the shape and length of it to make a black formal orchestra dress as […]

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