May 31, 2016

Upton Dress inspiration & fabric suggestions

Fit and flare dresses are a classic for good reason! They’re fun to wear, can be day or evening depending on fabric choice and styling, and they look fantastic on lots of different types of body shapes. Today I’m rounding up some inspiration – and I have some fabric recommendations for making your Upton Dress.

Fit and Flare Inspiration

The Upton Dress is perfect for big prints (always my fave):


Sources: 1 // 2 // 3

Make your Upton with a cheery lightweight cotton and it’s a floaty summer dress, great for brunch on a balcony (oh, I can dream) or a trip to the park. These three are from ModCloth, which is a great inspiration for this style of dress (they have hundreds!).


Sources: 1 // 2 // 3

More day inspiration: florals, eyelet lace, or playing with stripes.

UptonCollage-2Sources: 1 // 2 // 3

Finally, use some more structured, glitzy or embellished fabric and you’ll have a dress that’s great for parties, weddings, the red carpet, or getting your MBE from the Queen (go Adele!):


Sources: 1 // 2 // 3

Fabric Ideas

A wide range of woven fabrics work for the Upton Dress, depending on the look you want. Crisper fabrics which are slightly heavier weight will give a structured, slightly formal look to the dress and give you maximum flare in the pleated skirt in particular. Softer fabrics like cotton lawn or double gauze have a softer look, and you can even go super luxe and use silk for a flowing, classy dress. The pattern has been drafted for non-stretch wovens, but you could also use wovens with a small amount of stretch (you may want to size down, depending on the degree of stretch). For the lining, I recommend using a cotton lawn, breathable lining fabric, or silk – it should be slightly lighter in weight than the outer dress shell.

Here are some selections from Cashmerette Patterns stockists.

First up, you can’t go wrong with a springy floral:

UptonFabricFree Spirit cotton // Portia stretch cotton sateen // Liberty tana lawn

The Upton dress works well for all scales of prints – I’m a particular fan of jaunty anchors!


Rayon gemstones // Kaufman anchor chambray // origami crane cotton

I love these fresh colours for spring – a solid colour Upton would be really versatile, too.


Loominous woven // Art Gallery cotton // Raspberry shot cotton

Finally, here’s a few black and whites to melt your heart:


Ikat cotton // Alexander Henry cotton // Batik cotton

The good news is that it’s easy to find suitable fabrics for the Upton Dress – you can even use quilting cotton – so the sky’s the limit! Let me know if you have any questions about which fabrics would or wouldn’t be suitable and I can’t wait to see what you use.

13 thoughts on “Upton Dress inspiration & fabric suggestions

  1. Thanks for posting these suggestions! I’m making a version of Upton for a wedding this summer, and I’m planning on using a black cotton eyelet for the main fabric. Do you think that plain quilting cotton would suffice for the lining?

    1. Sounds lovely! If possible, I’d recommend using a slightly lighter weight fabric like a cotton voile, batiste or lawn so that it stays reasonably soft and drapey. But quilting cotton would work in a pinch.

  2. Sandra says:

    Hi Jenny Gorgeous new dress. I’m in New Zealand, so it’s a bit cold at the moment for summer dresses. I’m thinking it could work as a pinafore style with a thin long sleeve t-shirt under it in winter. What do you think?

    1. That could work! Just size up a little bit to give yourself breathing room with a layer underneath.

  3. Heather Walters says:

    Hi can you tell me the width round the bottom of the pleated version I want to use a border fabric and I haven’t got the pattern yet I am waiting for the paper one tone available in uk . Thank you

    1. The bottom of the front View A (pleated) pattern piece is around 31″ (depending on size), and the finished full front skirt hem is 60″. Hope this helps!

  4. Angela says:

    I was thinking about getting this pattern, can the bodice of the dress be a different fabric then the skirt. We are go into Disney and have 2 yards of a vintage Minnie cotton fabric that I wanted to use for the skirt portion and a coordinating solid cotton for the bodice. Thank You

  5. Jessica says:

    Hello, I am wondering if a Silk Noil would be a good choice of fabric for an Upton. If so, what would be a good lining fabric to pair with it?

    1. Yes, that would work! You could use any of the linings recommended, but the more obvious thing would be to use a silk crepe de chine

  6. Monique S Trotter says:

    Hi I was wondering if foil scuba knit fabric would work for this dress?

  7. Stacia Schwartz says:

    I’m using a very cheap tightly woven lightweight cotton from India for the lining. I had already stocked up with the cloth for the muslin, but it should work well as the lining, too.

  8. Ann Giglio says:

    I am making an upton for a dressy wedding. I found a beautiful brocade I got at Mood for it. I bought some bemberg lining as was listed in the pattern. Should I line the skirt as well? I love the material and want to do the best I can for this dress. I saw Jenny wearing a beautiful Upton in brocade and was wondering if hers was lined.

    1. Ayelet says:

      Hi Ann, Jenny didn’t line the skirt of her brocade Upton. But you can definitely line yours if you prefer!

      -Ayelet at Cashmerette

Let me know what you think!