Dressmaking, Featured, How To
Dressmaking : Kate Middleton’s Royal Blue Zara Dress

Dressmaking : Kate Middleton’s Royal Blue Zara Dress

Kate Middleton, the talk of the country, can’t put a foot wrong when it comes to fashion.

For her first day as a Princess she choose to wear high street brand Zara, also worn by her sister Pippa and most recently the PM’s wife – the fashion label of the sophisticated ladies.

Kate Middleton wearing a blue Zara dress

Naturally, when I heard the royal blue dress was from Zara I jumped straight on the website (as did my sister I later found!) to find it was sold out in all sizes.

End of that then. But no I thought, this is just a simple under dress with a pleated bit of float stitched on top. Simple I thought, I’ll make one!

Here goes the story…


How To : Make Kate’s Blue Dress

The actual dress -

Blue Zara Dress

Nicole’s beaufrog dress -

Nicoles beaufrog royal blue kate middleton dress



3 meters of Royal Georgette Polyester = £6.45 Sewing Machine
1.5 meters of lightweight cotton = £4 Mannequin
1 cute blue button = 11p Pattern making book / pattern
Blue thread = £1.15 Iron and ironing board
Lot’s and lot’s of pins!

First of I had to understand the structure of the dress and plan the base. I used the bible that is Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear by Winifred Aldrich to create the pattern for a simple dress.

This book allows to create the basic pattern for almost anything, it’s all about learning the basic block then adapting it for your design.

making the pattern for the dress

Traditionally a dressmaker would create the pattern on tissue paper but I created this one on the computer  (in Illustrator) then printed it out across A4 paper and taped it together.

From this pattern, you can then create your basic underdress, tweaking the darts, shoulder, neckline and length on the mannequin.

making the under dress

Creating the pleats was the trickiest part of the make. I created 1 inch wide pleats on the sewing machine then ironed in the pleats while pinned down on the ironing board. Lot’s of effort went into creating them but I knew the dress just would not compete without perfect pleats.

sewing the pleats

I then attached the pleated material to the under dress sewing wrong sides together. The shoulders of the under dress had to be unpicked then re-sewn with the pleating. On the back of the dress there is a cute little button with a loop to secure it.

close up of the back of the dress

close up on the hem and the waist

Finally, a hem was placed on the under and over skirt. Creating the hem allowed the dress to be more fluid and floaty.

the front and back of the dress

The finished royal blue kate dress

Teamed with a smart blazer and belt, I have a dress good enough for a Princess!

final dress

So there you go, that’s my interpretation of the Kate dress.

Hope you enjoyed watching this come to life and look out for my follow up post where you’ll see the dress actually modelled.

Nicole @ beaufrog

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  1. Tinky

    May 10, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Wow! This is outstanding, I have just found your blog and love it! What a lovely idea to create a dress. Nicole you are very talented, can you recommend any good fabric websites?


    • Nicole

      May 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks! The material for this dress was from Abakhans in Preston (Manchester store is good too). I on mission to find a UK equivalent of Mood…it’s gotta be out there somewhere!


  2. Laura Williamson

    May 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    you are a legend!


    • Nicole

      May 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      Well, if you say so! ;) Thanks dude


  3. Isabel

    May 12, 2011 at 3:43 am

    very cool! but im a very bad sewer. lol


    • Nicole

      May 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Oh well, maybe there’s a need for some beaufrog sewing tutorials then? Ha, thanks :)


  4. Heather @ Interior Groupie

    May 14, 2011 at 12:53 am

    WOW – this is quite the successful project! Are you selling it?? ;) You did a terrific job.


    • Nicole

      May 17, 2011 at 11:56 pm

      Not for sale, I’m keeping it for myself :) thanks


  5. Anne

    May 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Nicole this is brilliant! Found the fabric website but what type of fabric is it? Would also like to make it in black as well as blue. Thanks xx


    • Nicole

      May 17, 2011 at 11:58 pm

      Hi Anne, Georgette was the type of material I used, I’d love to see your version when completed!


  6. Anne

    May 16, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Oops seen it at the top of the page! Will have another look!


  7. momochii

    May 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it


  8. Alexis

    June 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I love it. You’re so creative. I just started picking up sewing. I hope to make this one of these day. I was wondering did you sew the pleated material on the sides to the undress. It doesn’t look like it, so I’m thinking that you cut out patterns of the pleated material and just attached it along the arms and neck area to the undress. Sorry, if this a really dumb questions.


    • Nicole

      June 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, it’s just attached around the neck line, shoulders and arms. I’m planning on running a stitched line around the waist to keep the pleats in line, it would be hidden by the belt. I literally pleated a lot of material then hung it on the mannequin and planned where to attach. You should give it a go!


  9. Kate and Mary

    August 14, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Wow, what a great job you have done. Congrats. It’s perfect.


  10. [...] Dufflebag Flat Bottomed Zippered Pouch Fabric Storage Basket Reusable Grocery Bag Weekender Bag Kate Middleton Blue Zara Dress Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Green Laptops: Going [...]


  11. [...] this blog for it’s brilliant photography and brilliant fashion tips – check out her Make Kate’s Dress [...]


  12. [...] working on a few pleating projects (including the pleated Kate dress) I started to wonder how I could make the pleating process easier. Measuring those pleats, pinning [...]


  13. [...] close with a look at the remarkable talents of a WKW reader, the amazingly gifted Nicole from Beaufrog.  Nicole made her very own version of that Zara dress worn by Kate the day after her marriage, [...]


  14. fa

    June 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    hi, what`was the software you used to draft patterns?


    • Nicole

      July 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Hi, i used Adobe Illustrator as you can adjust the lengths and thicknesses of the lines really easily. I’d definitely recommend a vector graphics package for this kind of thing.


  15. Gemma

    February 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm


    This is THE dress I want for my sisters wedding. I’m the only bridesmaid. Would you consider making another for the right price?? I can’t sew for the life of me. Please message me if this is an option. Thank you.


    • Nicole

      February 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Fantastic, I’ll drop you an email


  16. Bel Newby

    June 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

    the dress is lovely but couldn't help thinking that a roll hem wouldn't have been so bulky and would have made the bottom of the dress even more floaty.


    • Nicole

      July 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      I agree, wasn’t quite what I wanted. You live and learn :)


  17. Nikica Vuletic

    September 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    It’s a beautiful dress.
    I just didn’t understand this part when you attach pleated material to the under dress.
    Did you cut the pattern of the under dress on the pleated material and than attach them or…?
    Can you explain it a little bit.
    Thank you


  18. visnja

    November 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    if u wanted the same dress as the zara design, than u should have folded the pleats from the both sides (meaning one pleat folded from two, not just one, sides), and also iron them just a little bit under the waist line. then it would also be easier to make a hemline look neater
    im sorry, i dont want to be a smartass :), and maybe you have already realized all this. your dress is really nice, and thank you for all the great tutorials!
    p.s. sorry for my bad english :)


  19. visnja

    November 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    and yes, i have one question :)
    what happens with the pleats when u wash the dress? do the stay pleated?


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