This dress is inspired by a fun flirty design by Giambatista Valli. I had a crush on it the moment I saw his collection and decided that I will make a pattern for this, although I am well over the age to wear such youthful looking outfit.
This dress features deep U neck line, empire waist and ruffle hem. It is not a difficult one to make – you know I love making simple things for beginners!
Let’s look at it in different prints and colors:
As usual, my pattern is made in 10 sizes from XXS to 5XL, so you will find yourself a suitable size. You can also lengthen or shorten the hemline to get your desired length – you can even make a maxi skirt from this pattern.
The pattern is made using layered PDF, please check for your desired size before printing so you won’t waste your paper. I have included a first page with many details about sizing and printing, so please first read the first page and make sure you know what size you need! If you still do not know how to print a layered PDF, please check for the printing instruction in this post: PRINTING GUIDE.
You can print this using your home printer and A4/Letter paper. I calculated the printing area so that you will be able to use either type of paper to print the pattern out perfectly. Always print the first page first and check with the test square if you are printing at the right scale before you print out the whole pattern – avoid waste of ink and waste of paper, save the earth!
Some PC may print smaller than actual size even when you choose 100% scale – I don’t know why this problem exist, but my HP laptop cannot print true to size. I have to scale up to 103% to get the right size. You may need to check with your PC to see if it prints true to size, if not, scale up a bit.
You will need
- Fabric of your choice – it must have at least 30% stretch
- Invisible zipper
- Scissors, pencil or fabric marker, ruler, pins
- Sewing machine/Serger or needle and thread
- Printed pattern
What fabric can be used for this project? This design is made for stretch fabric ONLY. Choose a fabric with at least 30% stretch. How to know the stretch of fabric? Just grab a piece of the fabric you like, measure it cross grain (from selvage to selvage), stretch it and measure again. The length after stretching must at least equal 130% of the length before stretching.
How much fabric do you need for this piece of garment? To be precise, you may need to check how much fabric you need before buying. It will depend on the selected pattern size, the width, and design of the fabric you plan to use. Just to be sure, print all the paper patterns and lay them out at the width of fabric you plan to use (usually from 90 to 150 centimeters or 35 to 60 inches). Measure how much fabric you will need. Don’t forget to account for pieces that need to be cut multiple times and pieces that are cut on the fold.
For this pattern, you will need to use a sewing machine that has the function to sew stretch fabric (zig zag stitch for example), or use a serger which is designed to sew stretch fabric nicely.
After printing out and taping all the pattern pages together, you will get something similar to this image:
You will see that there are 2 sets of lines on each pattern size. The inner lines are sewing line (and you sew along these lines), and the outer lines are cutting lines (you cut the fabric along these lines, remember the folding lines where you have to fold the fabric before cutting). The distance between sewing line and cutting line is seam allowance, and it varies from point to point. For example, the side seam allowance is about 1/2 inch (1.2cm), and seam allowance at hemline is 1 inch (2.5cm). This is the reason why I do not remove the sewing lines from the pattern. Please use it as a guide to know how much seam allowance you need to give at each seam.
Fabric will be cut into following pieces:
- Front Bodice: cut 1 piece on the fold
- Back Bodice: cut 2 pieces
- Front Waist Piece: cut 1 piece on the fold
- Back Waist Piece: cut 2 pieces
- Front Skirt: cut 1 piece on the fold
- Back Skirt: cut 2 pieces
- Skirt Ruffle: cut 2 pieces on the fold
- Neckline Binding: cut 1 piece
- Armhole Binding: cut 2 pieces
Because you are using stretch fabric, the bindings are cut cross grain (from selvage to selvage). The length of the binding tape may vary and depend on the stretchiness of the fabric, so you will have to work out on the actual length needed when binding the openings.
Make sure to mark all notches and other design features such as darts, pleats etc. from the pattern pieces onto your fabric. When sewing the garment, pay attention to notches, they must match up.
1. Serge/zig zag stitch the raw edge to prevent fabric from unraveling.
2. Place 2 Back Skirt pieces right side facing. Sew about 1 inch (2.5cm) from the lower edge of the piece toward the waist.
3. Sew two parallel lines using longest stitch length 1/8 and ¼ inch from the top edge of the Skirt Ruffle. Pull the lower thread to gather the fabric to match the length of the lower edge of the Front Skirt and Back Skirt.
4. Place the Skirt Ruffle and Front Skirt right side facing, pin and sew to join. Repeat with the other Skirt Ruffle and Back Skirt. You get the Lower Dress pieces.
5. Place Front Waist Piece and Front Bodice right side facing, pin and sew to join. Do the same with Back Bodice and Back Waist Pieces. You get the Upper Dress pieces.
6. Place the Upper Dress piece and Lower Dress piece right side facing. Pin and sew to join – you get the Front Dress and Back Dress.
7. Place Front Dress and Back Dress right side facing, matching all the seams line at the side of the dress. Pin and sew to the shoulder seams and side seams.
8. Attach invisible zipper to the back of the dress.
9. Use binding to finish neckline and armholes.
10. Hem the skirt.
Although this dress comes in many pieces, it is quite easy to make. The only thing you need is be careful with the horizontal seams – they should match up with each other at the side seam. If they are mismatched, the whole dress will turn out cheap-looking.
And here is the download link:
Happy sewing! And don’t forget to share your project on my Facebook page: Tiana’s Closet Sewing Patterns