Cottagecore Dresses: A Style We Could Wear Everyday
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What is Cottagecore?
So, you’ve probably seen and heard the term “cottagecore” being thrown around a lot recently, especially in the fashion world. If you’ve been lacking in the trends recently, we got the 4-1-1 for you! Cottagecore is an aesthetic based on a romanticized rural countryside lifestyle. It involves getting in touch with nature and the world around you without the distractions of phones and social media. It even includes the concepts of fairies and witches!
There are so many elements from the cottagecore aesthetic that you have probably implanted in your life in the past few months without even realizing it. Things such as using dried or fresh flowers and plants as part of house décor, leaning more toward a neutral and warm-toned color pallet, and even trying to create your own sourdough starter. One of the more common trends is the cottagecore fashion. If you were interested in trying it out, but have no idea where to look, we got you covered with some of our favorite cottagecore dresses and fashion pieces!
As for the fashion aspect of the cottagecore aesthetic, it includes dresses that have floral patterns, ruching, and ruffles. They can come in various lengths, depending on the style, but the most popular are the midi dresses. They are so versatile that you can wear cottagecore dresses for a picnic with friends or even dress up for a wedding.
One of the most popular cottagecore styled dresses we’ve seen is an A-line maxi dress with a gathered top and puff sleeves. You can find this style of dress on Etsy and Amazon for under $40.
Tiered Skirt Dresses
Another cottagecore dress style features a tiered skirt. It comes in a variety of different styles, colors, patterns, and lengths. A popular style is the mini dress with poofy sleeves. You can wear it casually with a long sleeve floral pattern like this one we found from Lulus. This $78 dress comes in black or red.
If you were looking for something a bit more affordable, we have a few more options for you. First up is this $25 dress from Target. It is a short, puff-sleeved, tiered skirt dress that features an open back. This dress comes in a colorful yellow with a floral pattern, perfect for summer, as well as a classic all-black.
Next is Shein, which has a similar style dress in a simple sage green color for only $9.
The tiered skirt also comes in maxi dresses. The first style is from Lulus and is on sale for $25! This dress has short, flutter sleeves with three little bows tying up the front. It comes in a blush pink or light orange color. Best of all, it has pockets!
If you were looking for something a bit simpler this summer, Target has a dress for $34.00. Along with the tiered maxi skirt, it has spaghetti straps and comes in white, red, and a blue tie-dye color.
Last, Shein is back with the deals. Their dress has a square neck with super short ruffled sleeves that lead into an open tie back. This dress is only $20, and it comes in nine different colors!
Since Cottagecore is based off the 19th Century, we are bound to see some vintage-style dresses. These whimsical dresses from cottagecore.com feature the classic cottagecore puff sleeve along with an ankle-length. The prices are between $26 and $90, depending on the style. Each dress has its own unique vintage touch to them.
This first dress will make you feel like a fairy. It is made of stunning lilac chiffon and is inspired by Monet Art, which is seen through its floral pattern. It also has a front lace corset bodice to bring the vintage look together.
Next, we have a super simple and classic dress. It features a square neck with puff sleeves in a green plaid pattern. The perfect dress for going out in the garden to pick flowers or planning a casual picnic for lunch.
The last dress we chose from this website screams vintage cottage core. It is a long, off-white dress with a red floral pattern. It features a double-layer lace collar, as well as four buttons leading up to it. If you’re looking to go all-out cottagecore, this dress is for you.
Now that you have your cottagecore dress, you’re going to need some shoes to tie your fashion statement together, and we have the perfect ones for you. Strappy sandals are the way to go.
These first ones are a bit pricey, but they are so cute we just had to share them with you! Kate Spade’s Sprinkles Strappy Sandals are currently on sale for $139. They come in a nude and black with cute little flowers laced up the straps matching the floral cottagecore aesthetic.
If you’re looking for sandals that are a bit more affordable, Aerie has a strappy sandal that is on sale for $11.98. It comes in brown or grey, and the straps have a cute braided texture.
Another sandal style is the Barely There sandal. These sandals typically have a baby heel, strappy front, and open back. Shein has a pair for $26 and it comes in 19 different colors, making it easy to find a pair to match your dress. Another place you can find these sandals is at Banana Republic for $25. Theirs is a sandal rather than a heel and comes in red, as well as two snakeskin colors. These sandals are so cute and simple, making them the perfect addition to your cottagecore outfit.
Cottagecore is an up-and-coming aesthetic that will bring nature out of you. Its rural, 19th-century style will have us all feeling like we’re in a movie. This fashion trend is versatile yet unique, making it easy for you to wear and style while also making a statement.
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DIY cottagecore aesthetic
Want to achieve the cottagecore aesthetic from the comfort of your home (or cottage if you’re super lucky)? Then never fear, we’re here to teach you what cottagecore is and how you can get some vintage decor and clothing into your life. If you’re interested in the other crafts trending in 2021 alongside cottagecore check out our 21 craft trends blog post.
What is cottagecore?
Birthed from social media platforms Instagram and Tik Tok, cottagecore is about slow living, rural settings and cosy country homes. The British countryside often crops up in cottagecore (think Cameron Diaz in The Holiday cottage) with villages which keep their traditional methods providing the aesthetic dream. Cottagecore can influence every aspect of your life, from what you wear, to your home decor and even what you eat! You don’t even have to live in a cottage to achieve the ultimate cottagecore fantasy, all you need is vintage dresses, a peaceful lifestyle and a trip to some blackberry bushes.
The thing we love most about cottagecore is crafting and sustainability is at the heart of it. It’s about using natural materials and making everything you need with your hands. Whether that’s knitting some socks beside a cosy fire or sewing your own flowing dress, cottagecore fits right in with our mission here at Gathered.
24 DIY cottagecore decor and fashion ideas
Embroidery strawberry jam covers
Cottagecore really embraces natural fruits and nothing screams the British countryside lifestyle more than making strawberry jam. Put on your prettiest dress, pick some strawberries and make yourself some sugary jam. To make your fresh jam extra cute Mollie Johanson has created adorable seed stitch strawberries which you can turn into your very own pot toppers.
Press your own flowers
Preserve your favourite florals forever with a flower press. There’s plenty over on Etsy and we love this kit by The Curious Bear which comes with everything you need. Head out into the garden or the countryside and pick your favourite wildflowers ready to press when you get home.
Quilt your own blankets and bedding
Quilting is a craft steeped in British history and was the original way to create heirlooms which would be passed down from generation to generation. Quilting was and continues to be, really popular and has the perfect cottagecore aesthetic. This gorgeous earthy-toned sawtooth star quilt is the ideal project to stitch in front of the fire.
Knit your own bandana
What’s more cottagecore than a handmade knitted bandana? It’s cute and practical as it’ll keep your hair from your face while you’re working in the garden. This knitting pattern is by Tays Knits and Crannies and is really affordable so get your needles out!
Keep your needles neat
Make all your cottagecore, Bridgerton dreams come true by sewing your own Cathedral Window pin cushion. Laura Pritchard created this beautiful cushion from scrap fabric so we suggest raiding your nearest charity shop for some vintage fabrics!
Cottagecore journalling extras
Every cottagecore fan needs a journal to jot their thoughts and stationery to write to their loved ones with. This gorgeous cottagecore stationery set includes 44 vintage-inspired items including wax seals, vintage/antique yellowed Novel and poetry pages and cute washi tape.
Cross stitch your dream mini cottage
Cross stitch is another craft that fits perfectly with cottagecore. It’s a slow, mindful craft that creates gorgeous results which can be framed or attached to cards and pillows. Cross stitch your own cottagecore dream with Lesley Teare’s free country cottage cross stitch pattern.
Whether you’ve come across cottagecore on Tik Tok, Instagram or just Google you’re bound to have seen it’s heavily associated with toadstools. Their magical forset fairy vibe goes perfectly with the cottagecore aesthetic and this needle felt kit by Zuzu And Me will allow you to make your own.
Sew your own corset
If you want to go full-on Victorian cottagecore then why not stitch your own corset? You can order most of the materials you’ll need online and with a little patience, you’ll be able to whip one up that will last you a lifetime. We teach you how to sew a corset right here on Gathered so you can live out your ball fantasies.
Keep your fresh eggs cosy
What’s a more cottagecore breakfast than fresh eggs and warm buttery toast? To keep those eggs toasty why not make them a super cute cross stitch cosy? These little chicken cross stitch patterns are by Jenny Barton and she’ll show you how to stitch them and then turn them into egg cosies. They will look perfect in your country kitchen.
Knit your own Fair Ilse vest patterns
Floaty dresses and big skirts are cottagecore’s summer vibe but if it gets a little chiller then the handmade knits are calling! We’ve got everything from knitted jumpers, tops and vests here on Gathered but it’s this baby pink and spring green knitted top that is truly cottagecore fashion. Follow Rosee Woodland’s free Fair Isle tank top knitting pattern to make yours.
Embroider your own cottagecore home decor
Embroidery is a beautiful, mindful craft and embraces the slow living cottagecore lifestyle. Stitch your own autumnal beauty with Jessie Doughty’s Give Thanks hoop. Stitch this ready for when the leaves fall outside your cottage then hang on your walls for some handmade decor.
Craft your own tulle skirt
Cottagecore fashion is all about floaty clothes and this tulle skirt is the floatiest of them all. Portia Lawrie shows you how you can turn old curtains into a pleated midi skirt that has the ultimate twirl factor. Follow her easy tulle skirt refashion for the free tutorial.
How to make your own cosy socks
Is there anything cosier than the image of you knitting a pair of socks in front of a fire while it’s snowing outside? No, we don’t think there is. Grab your yarn and follow Rhian Drinkwater’s tutorial which will teach you how to design your own socks.
Whether it’s for a garden tea party or Christmas decor, bunting is a simple, affordable way to make any room look vintage and adorable. Raid those charity shops for your perfect cottagecore fabric then use our how to make bunting tutorial right here on Gathered to sew your own. You can easily hand sew these too so no sewing machine needed!
Delicate crochet coasters
These lovely little flower coasters are exactly what your cottagecore room needs. You could string them up into bunting, turn them into a hairpiece or just place them under your vintage teacups. Yvonne Eijkenduijn shows you how to crochet these lacy beauties with her free crochet coaster pattern.
Turn old clothes into cottagecore fashion
ULTIMATE COTTAGECORE DREAM DRESS: VINTAGE SIMPLICITY 9259
There were a few moments while sewing this dress that I wondered: Is it too saccarine? too nightgown? But after some instrospection, I realized I’m not sure if those limits exist in my closet. I love that styling can turn up or down the sweetness level, and I know I’ll wear this cotton confection with everything from bare feet to boots.
I was in a bad mood before I started this dress, so I gave myself permission to make something floofy. Gathering and embellishment cheers me up. I like to give myself an assignment to keep things engaging, so for this one, I challenged myself to use as many trims from my stash as possible.
The pattern is vintage, so just one size per envelope, and I used my usual size 12. The gal on the far left (dress 1) caught my eye as I flipped through my patterns. I just love that sleeve! And the trim on view 2 confirmed this was the pattern to try.
The pattern tissue is heavy and includes every seam line, markings for anywhere you need to clip, stay stitching, etc. The pattern also includes a bolero to layer over your dress. The tissue was neatly cut out by the previous owner with a few markings in blue chalk on the tissue. That always delights me!
I wanted to use a fabric similar to the one on the envelope, and I had just the right fabric on hand. It’s a sheer cotton with some denser woven stripes, and a little tossed flower design. I cut my fabric on the cross grain due to the direction of the woven stripe. For underlining, I used a super sheer, light & crisp cotton batiste. I used sew-in interfacing to be true to the pattern, and it worked quite nicely.
As for trims, I had plenty, and picked up a few more vintagey, cottony options from Daytona Trimming. I can’t resist!
Pattern is dated 1971 and the instructions are typical of that era. They are quite charming: for seam finishing you are told to pink edges, interfacing is assumed to be sew-in, and if you have a zig-zag only machine, "stitch seams with a narrow zig-zag". Current sewing patterns would have you do many of the same things with fewer steps, but I decided to follow the instructions.
I serged my seam allowances together with a 3 thread narrow overlock, used sew-in interfacing, and a straight stitch for all seams, because it’s 2020.
When using sheer fabrics, you are directed to underline the bodice, but the pattern calls the fabric "lining fabric" and refers to it as "lining" (what they want you to do is well illustrated, and it is what I have always understood is underlining). I considered actually lining, but the purpose of the underlining is to prevent the fabric in the darts from stacking up and being super visible on the finished garment. So, I followed along and underlined and used facings (in spite of my aversion to them).
My flat pattern adjustments were very straight forward. I prefer patterns from the 70s, because they fit me really well. For bodices, Simplicity brand works especially well for me - I do not need a narrow shoulder or hollow chest adjustment. In current patterns, I often require a significant shoulder adjustment.
So for this I simply lengthened the bodice 1" above the darts (thus also lowering the darts 1") - this is a typical adjustment for me. I am 5'8" and one of my extra inches seems to be there. From there, I tissue fit the bodice, and decided to lengthen the bodice an additional 1" by adding to the bottom of the bodice. This was more of a style change, I don't love a true Empire on me, I prefer the waist seam to hit closer to my natural waistline.
I used an invisible zipper, which vintage patterns never do, so I had to change the order of construction to accomodate that. It went in easy peasy with my invisible zipper foot (worth its weight in gold!). I cut the skirt pattern piece at the shorter line (where you are meant to attach the hem ruffle), and added 3” so it hits at my favorite midi length. So in total, I added 5” length to this dress.
Because my fabric is sheer, I underlined just as the pattern instructed me to. I regret that a little (but the regret is fading after wearing it), because it makes the dress feel vintage. Not sure how else to explain it! It looks and feels like an actual vintage dress, when I prefer to make something that feels more fresh.
I think if I had left the dress completely unlined - sheer - and worn it with a slip, it would have a more contemporary look and feel. Oh well, I am still happy with the result, and now know I’d like super sheer dress in my closet.
The fashion fabric and underlining fabric are both super light 100% cotton fabrics, yet together, they are warmer than I would have anticipated. I’ve decided this will be a plus for me, as I am annoyingly always cold. The sleeves are a single layer of fabric, and are wonderfully billowy and light. When I started sewing this, I thought it was one last summery hurrah before I started fall sewing. But I’m realizing now, with boots and a slouchy, chunky sweater, I’ll be wearing this into the colder months.
In the end, it’s more contemporary Victorian nap dress than straight up vintage nightgown. So I am happy with it! But I’m wearing it with combat boots or Converse, and that’s final!
I’d love to tell you I’m going to dive into sewing trousers and warm layers…. I do love sewing coats…. but making this dress was so calming! There might be another cottony gown inching its way to the front of my queue! How about you? Have you packed away the soft dresses? Or do you wear them year ‘round? XO, Martha
DIY a Dreamy Cottagecore Dress
There’s nothing better than letting fashion make you feel a little nostalgic. I was so inspired by the cottagecore clothing that I knew I just had to make a dress that would fit with the aesthetic. I decided to DIY the most dreamy dress and it turned out even better than I expected. If you are looking to connect with the cottagecore trend, this tutorial is definitely what you’ve been looking for! Choose your fabric, follow my steps, and get started on sewing an absolutely gorgeous, cottagecore inspired circle dress.
Tools and materials:
- Measuring tape
- Tailor's chalk/pencil
- Embroidered trim
- Sewing machine
To make this amazing cottagecore dress I chose to use this gorgeous, pink, floral, cotton fabric. When sewing your own dress, get creative with color and pattern, and pick a fabric that you love!
I started by cutting out the fabric, using my pattern pieces. For a look at all the pattern pieces, I used in this project, go to 0:48 in my video. The top bodice piece that had gathering also needed a base piece without gathering, so I pinned my gathered pattern piece down and cut a base from it.
Once I had all my pattern pieces cut out, I was ready to start sewing. I started with the base piece for my top and pinned folds in place to create two pleats. I hopped on over to my sewing machine and sewed the pleats. They definitely helped create a gorgeous fitted look for my cottagecore dress!
Next, I gathered the spread top piece. I absolutely love gathering! It creates such a beautiful effect and was exactly what I wanted for this dress!
Next, I connected the two top pieces by the neckline.
Once I had sewed the two pieces together, I opened up the fabric and added another stitch across the neckline.
I was finally ready to sew around the whole piece. I couldn’t believe how quickly the bodice was coming together!
I then pinned one of the lower bodice pieces onto the top. Once all the pins were in place, I sewed it on. I then made sure to sew the second lower bodice piece onto the other side of the fabric. I gave the bodice a top stitch where the top and bottom connected adding a beautiful clean finish!
It was time to move onto the back and I started by sewing the back darts. Once they were sewed I attached the pieces to the front bodice.
With the bodice put together and looking amazing, I could move on to the sleeves. I hemmed the bottom of the sleeves and pinned elastic onto both ends making sure they would create a slight gathering to get that perfect cottagecore style. I then sewed on the elastic using a zig-zag stitch.
I couldn’t wait to attach the sleeves to my bodice. I pinned them onto the armholes and sewed them in place.
My bodice was finally ready and I was so excited to put the rest of the dress together. For a quick guide on how to make a circle skirt see 4:51 in my video. With my measurements done and my markings and pinnings in place, I started cutting my new circle skirt to add to my amazing dress. I first cut out the smaller semi-circle and then moved on to cut the bigger one.
Next, I pinned the skirt onto the waistline of my gorgeous new bodice and sewed it on.
My dreamy cottagecore dress was almost finished but I needed to make a lining for the see-through fabric. I cut out the first piece and then pinned it to the fabric to trace a second piece for the lining. I sewed the sides of the pieces together to make the perfect lining for this dress.
I then pinned my lining onto the inside of my dress at the waistline and sewed it on.
It was time to add the finishing touches and close up the back of the dress. I hemmed the bottom and then moved on to pinning the zipper onto the back. I sewed the zipper on and made sure to also sew closed the bottom of the dress.
I then used grosgrain to finish the back neckline. This small detail definitely added to the cottagecore style.
For the finishing touches, I added this beautifully embroidered cotton trim as a pleated tier. I absolutely love how much this adds to the look of the dress. It just screams cottagecore!
I decided to cut a strip from the extra trim and add it to the bodice as well.
I just couldn’t get enough so I mixed in a criss-cross trim across the waistline. Lastly, I added a small silk bow I made from some ribbon to the front of the dress. The small finishing touches definitely created the dreamy style I had hoped for!
I am so in love with this cottagecore dress! What fabric would you use for this piece? Let me know in the comments below!
- Measuring tape
- Tailor's chalk
- Embroidered trim
- Sewing machine
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I was hoping for a warm summer and oh boy was I right! It was great to have this pinafore dress I made in June on those weeks with 30 degrees Celcius heat and more(that’s 86 degrees F for you Americans!). Luckily we have now a few days break during which we can get some stuff done until the heat comes back again. Linen is such a wonderful material in the summer.
The fabric I used was cotton-linen blend fabric by Atelier Brunette. I’m so happy that a local shop Salapakka in Helsinki carries these French fabrics as they have such nice colours. And it allowed me to go back two times to get more fabric as I greatly underestimated the amount of fabric I need!
Here is my video on how I made the dress:
As you may have seen in the video, I ended up modifying the pattern quite a lot. In fact, it might have been better to just draft my own pattern with the amount of trouble I went through with me changing the position of the waist and then having to both shorten the bib and add length in the form of the ruffle!
I also made the linen blouse to go underneath. That was a super-quick project and I used the free pattern by the Happiest Camper here. The only change I did to the pattern was to replace the elastic at the neckline with a drawstring which allows me to adjust the neckline size when I want.
There was enough fabric left over to make that nice little triangular scarf, too. That not only protects my scalp from sunburn but also helps on those days when I do not have time to get my hair washed and done neatly.
Thank you for reading and see you soon! Happy sewing!
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One evening (by prior arrangement with me) she left me with Vera on the sofa and crawled on her knees naked (stockings with elastic bands and shoes) to.