Salme Olsen Dress


I was on a little bit of a roll making dresses during May. Elastic-waisted dress in particular. The pattern is a free release from Salme Patterns, called the Olsen Dress. Surprisingly, there aren’t too many reviews of this dress on the interwebs, despite it being free. Hopefully this post will help someone out there who wants to make it!

This dress is super simple. It’s basically a scoop-neck tank (with the scoop in the front and the back), extended to a dress with an elasticated waist. It’s very easy to make, but requires a little bit of time if you make your own bias tape.


I have a bias tape maker, but I ended up doing it this old fashioned way this time–by folding and ironing, folding and ironing, and once more, folding and ironing. Attaching the bias binding to the neckline and armholes was the longest part of the dressmaking process.


The fabric for this dress is a sheer floral print that I picked up as a remnant from Hancock’s going out of business sale. It frays like crazy, so I used french seams for all of the seams except at the waist, where I used my serger.


I made size 2, the smallest size that comes with the pattern. I picked the size based on my bust measurement, even though my waist measurement falls a few sizes larger. I figured the elastic would be forgiving enough. It turns out that the waist is even a little loose. This is easy enough to fix–just shorten the elastic, but it’s something to keep in mind if I make this dress again.

The dress is designed to be midi length. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many people that can pull off the midi style. Whenever I try, I feel short and frumpy. The good news is that when you make your own clothes, you can make them as short or long as you like. I ended up shortening this dress by about 7 inches.


All in all, this dress was nice and easy to make, and I got a lot of practice at applying bias binding in a slippery fabric. I don’t think it’s the most flattering on me, though, and its sheerness means I need to wear a slip with it, which decreases its comfort factor. I’m not sure how much wear it will get, but I’m still glad I gave the pattern a try. If I make it again, I’ll make sure to make it in a fabric that can stand up on its own.

Pattern: Salme Olsen Dress in size 2
Notions: 1/4″ elastic
Fabric:  2 yards of sheer floral fabric from Hancock Fabrics
Cost: $ 6.92 fabric + $ 1.99 elastic + thread from stash  = $8.91
Time: 6 hours


3 thoughts on “Salme Olsen Dress

    • The back and front necklines are basically identical, which is a fun feature. Once I made it up, I couldn’t tell the difference between the front and the back, so I never know if I’m wearing it backwards or not!


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