Anne's Puffed Sleeves | The Finished Product!!

"It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable." - Anne Shirley

Hello, dear readers! After months of planning and three weeks of snail-paced sewing - it's finally here: Anne's Puffed Sleeved Gown of Torture. I'm kidding - slightly - but it was such a relief to throw this in my costume closet after the final stitch was sewn. Thank goodness. Ironically, the next day I started sewing another dress for a Civil War Ball - but that's a different story.

  • Five yards of sky blue cotton - JoAnn Fabrics (appox. $15 thanks to sales and coupons)
  • Cheap fake chiffon - Wal Mart ($0 - I stole it from an old ballet costume)
  • Lace - from my fabric stash
  • An old white sheet - thrift store ($2.50)
  • An 18" zipper ($3)
  • Butterick Pattern B5970 - JoAnn Fabrics ($1 on sale!)
  • McCalls Pattern M4548 - Goodwill ($0.50)
Thrift stores are your friends: Sheets are super handy for lining any dress - plus, they're positively cheap and comfy. I used the chiffon + leftover lining for the sash.

The Bodice
I used view B in the Butterick pattern. I omitted the boning (uncomfortable!) and added an extra 5/8" on the back panels to allow for a zipper. After the dress was finished, I hand-sewed a wide ruffle from the leftover cotton fabric to "frame" the lace yoke.

The Sleeves
The lower sleeves were from view A of the Butterick pattern but I drafted the ginormous sleeve puff based on this tutorial here. I was extremely disappointed to discover the sleeves had to be almost entirely hand-sewn. It took me a good long afternoon for those wretched sleeves! The sleeve instructions were impossibly complicated on the pattern, so I ignored all the sleeve facings and just finished them off with some handy-dandy bias tape.

The Skirt & Sash
I used the McCall pattern for the skirt - shortening it almost by half and leaving an opening for the zipper. The sash was a copy of an old bridesmaid's sash that I discovered while rummaging in our dress-up box.


  1. You did an amazing job on Anne's most coveted dress - in fact all of the costumes you've sewn for the play look amazing!

    Great job, Bethany!

  2. Oh my word!! It looks exactly like the dress in the movies. Great job! :)

  3. Wow! You did a great job!

  4. I have no idea what the instructions mean because I don't sew. But the dress is super pretty. I think you should sell these or be a costume designer.

  5. This dress is so well done! Fantastic job.

  6. @ Kendra - I don't know what sewing instructions mean either. That's why half the time I lose the instructions and just make it up as a go along. A highly horrible idea. :)

  7. *jaw drops*

    You are the perfect Anne. THE PERFECT ANNE.

  8. This. This is awesome. I always envied Anne's puffed sleeved dress growing up. ...Okay, yeah, I still do. ;) You did an amazing job!

  9. Oh wow! You did an awesome job! It looks so much like the one in the movies!!!

  10. Love how the blue dress complements your beautiful red hair! :)

  11. Wishing big here, but would you be willing to sell or rent this dress? Our homeschool group is doing this musical this spring and I'm looking for this dress!

    1. @ Sara - Hey! I have a lot of really sappy emotional ties to my costumes (even though I have a love-hate relationship with them) and I really can't see myself parting with them. :( I know there's not a lot of options online costume wise (eep!) but I'm thinking maybe some BIG ugly 1980s/90s dresses might have some poofy sleeves that would *maybe* suite Anne's taste?


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Maira Gall