The ‘Everything’ Dress

I have used this dress pattern, which I developed from several old patterns no longer available, for numerous shows (see photos). Sometimes I use “Silkessence” liner cloth for fancy dresses, but I’ve also used knits for “commoner” outfits. The dress is easy to make and can be adapted for all kinds of costumes. It is a simple, full-skirted gown with short, long, or drooping sleeves. Included below is the pattern in two sizes (fits girls 56” to 68” tall) and photos. For a small size, you need 6 yards of fabric; larger size, 7 yards. Add one yard if you’re making droop sleeves. Note: The pattern is intended for experienced sewers.


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Empress Line
  • Make a lower-cut neckline.
  • Make short sleeves, sew elastic on the cuffs to create a puff sleeve.
  • Sew elastic on the inside of the gown just below the breast only in the front, or you can gather the cloth just below the breast, adjusted to fit the actor.
  • Cut a piece of wide ribbon that fits around the actor just under the breast, leaving several inches of overlap.
  • Sew the ribbon to the outside of the cloth onto the front of the gown just below the breast, but do not sew the ribbon onto the back of the gown.
  • Sew velcro to the ends of the ribbon in the back in such a way that it can be pulled tight and fastened once the gown is on the actor.

“Mystery of the Midnight Dancers” 

  • Buy 9 to 12 feet of decorative rope per costume — measure girls first to estimate how much rope you will need.
  • Place the center of the rope under the breasts, wrap rope around to the back and then back to the front. Then cross the rope across the breasts and tie at the back of the neck.
  • Using a small safety pin, pin the rope together at the center of the breasts to keep it from slipping. This pin will have to be removed when changing out of the costume.
  • The short-sleeve version of the gown works best with a Greek or Roman costume. You can buy trim with Greek design to sew onto the sleeves and hems.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Medieval Belt
See pattern.

“The Sword in the Stone”

Different types of vests can be used with this gown. See photos of “Aladdin,” “Robin Hood” and “The Pied Piper.”


“Robin Hood and Maid Marian”

Men’s Versions
Make this gown knee-length and with short sleeves. With a rope belt, it can be used as a Greek/Roman tunic or as a medieval tunic along with leggings. See “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Pied Piper.”

“The Pied Piper”