brainstorming your dress with a design sheet: free download

Here’s a little tip to get you started designing and making your own dresses using our Building Block Dress book.

Oliver + S Building Block Dress

When I’m designing a new pattern I start by doing a lot of drawing and sketching, and I rarely use my first sketch as the final design. It really helps to put a lot of ideas down on paper initially, and then refine them as you go along. You might like a particular pocket from one sketch, but maybe works better with a different neckline and skirt than the one you initially drew. Perhaps you want to focus your design on one element, like curves. Curved princess seams, a scalloped hem, and rounded pocket shapes. You can play with your ideas until you find one that you like best.

Over the years, I’ve filled crazy numbers of sketchbooks with my designs, and I thought it might be helpful for you to have a format where you can design and draw and refine your ideas as well, before you turn to the worksheet in the book to start working out the details of your final design.

A few of Liesl’s design sketches using the downloadable design worksheet.

So we’ve put together a design sheet to help you. You can download it in both a horizontal format and a vertical format. Print as many copies as you want.

Maybe your children and husband want to be designers, too! Everyone can get in on the action this way, and you can use the dotted lines of the dress outline to help you with your drawing and designs.




  1. My daughter uses the color sheets posted in the forums (by Lotta?) all the time for sewing requests. She’s already poured over the book a couple times and wants me to print copies of the design sheet for her to add to her notebook. The book has been in my house for less than a week and we are already having so much fun with it!

  2. Thank you for this. My book is not expected to arrive until Friday. This is a fun way to get started. I love the scalloped necklines.

  3. Kamill Knudsen

    Thank you so much!!! I received my book!! Love it!! Started a dress already and I’m so happy with it so far. Just waiting to be added to the fb page…. Thank you

  4. Fiona

    Thank you; so much easier to have these sheets to copy rather than trying to photocopy from my book – which i hope will arrive, eventually. Only paid for slow mail, and plenty of other work to do, in the meantime.

  5. Bonnie

    thank you so much for this website it helped me brainstorm so much

Post a comment