Linen Button-Down Pleated Dress Tutorial

Linen Button-Down Pleated Dress Tutorial

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Looking for a project to enrich your sewing skills? This cute little dress has it all: interfaced neckline, button down front, sleeve cuffs, pleats and inseam pockets. In this tutorial we are going to show you how to sew all of it using linen fabric, which is a pure pleasure to wear and to work with. And if you are already a pro at all the listed techniques, this is a sweet little dress to make for yourself, as a gift to your friend, or to size down to make for a little girl. Enjoy!

Materials 

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2.5 yards of IL042 904 FS Premier Finish 100% linen

Matching sewing thread, fusible interfacing (medium weight), 10 small buttons

Tools

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Pattern paper, scissors, fabric marker, pins, ruler, measuring tape, seam ripper, chalk, needle, buttonhole foot, sewing machine

Time

5-6 hours

Difficulty

Intermediate

Pattern

You can access the dress pattern by following this link HERE and the printable pocket pattern can be found HERE. Remember to add seam allowances as indicated in the pattern.

NEW! FOR A FULLY PRINTABLE PDF PATTERN SIZES US 4-6 TO 20-22 CLICK HERE.

The diagram shows the pattern for US size 6-8 (UK size 10-12). If you need help grading your pattern, please follow this tutorial.

Steps

Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.

Before we can actually start sewing, we need to serge/zigzag some of the raw edges to make our sewing process easier and to prevent the fabric from fraying in the future. Serge or zigzag all the side seams (bodice and skirt), the shoulder seams and the pocket panels and set all these pieces aside for now.

1. Let’s start with the neckline facing. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your neckline facing pieces. Pin your facing pieces along the shoulders with right sides together and stitch at a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance.

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2. Press the seams open.

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3. Serge or zigzag the bottom edge of your facing to make sure that your fabric doesn’t fray in the future.

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Before attaching the facing onto the dress, you need to assemble the front and the back pieces of the bodice together.

4. Start by pinning the shoulder seams right sides together.

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5. Sew at a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance and remember to backstitch at both ends.

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6. Press the seams open.

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7. Place the right side of the facing on top of the right side of your garment matching up the shoulder seams and pin. Use plenty of pins to get the facing seated in the neckline as much as possible.

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8. Stitch the facing onto the neckline at a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance. Trim the seams to 1/4”, make a few notches around the curves to release the tension.

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9. The next step is to pull the facing to the wrong side of your dress. Pin the fold making sure that the seam isn’t showing on the right side and press it.

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10. Topstitch the entire neckline as close to the seam as possible. It will help to prevent the facing from popping back out and lay flat on the inside. Don’t worry about the side raw edges, they will later be enclosed under the button band.

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11. Pin the side seams of the bodice right sides together.

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12. Sew at a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance and press the seams open.

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13. It’s time to sew the sleeve cuffs. HERE’s a step-by-step tutorial which explains how to do it. Note that the cuffs seam allowances are already included in the pattern.

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Set your bodice aside for now and let’s concentrate on the skirt and the pockets.

14. Let’s start with the pockets. Pin the pocket panels right sides together.

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15. Stitch along the pinned edges but leave 3/8” (1 cm) on both ends unstitched. It’ll make it easier to pin the pockets onto the skirt.

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16. On the serged/zigzagged side seams of the front skirt panels, measure 2” from the waist line and make a mark. This mark is the beginning of your pockets.

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17. With the wrong side of the front skirt panel facing you and the pocket’s wrong sides facing outwards, take the top pocket panel and match it to the mark you’ve made. Pin the top pocket panel to the skirt panel (right sides together) making sure the bottom panel of the pocket is not caught. Repeat for the second pocket. Make sure your pockets are facing the right way: the rounded edge should be looking down towards the bottom of your skirt.

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18. Sew the pinned edges together (only the pocket) at a 3/8 in (1cm) seam allowance backstitching at both ends.

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19. Pin the side seams of the skirt right sides together. When you come to the pocket, pin the other pocket panel to the other dress panel (right side to right side).

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20. Stitch the second pocket panel to the dress.

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21. Now sew the side seams together up to the pocket opening and then from the other end of the opening down to the bottom hem of the skirt. Remember to backstitch.

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22. Press the seams open and carefully press the pocket seams to create two neat folds.

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23. Finish the bottom hem by folding the fabric twice (3/8” to 1/2″) to the wrong side. Make sure both front panels are aligned. Press and pin.

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24. Stitch as close to the inner edge as possible. Give the entire hem a good press.

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25. The time has come to attach the skirt to the bodice. Start by aligning and pinning the side seams at the waist.

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26. Pleat your skirt to the width of your bodice. Create 3 evenly-sized and evenly-spaced pleats on the front and 6 on the back and pin them directly to the bodice. Right side to right side.

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27. Stitch the skirt to the bodice at a 3/8in (1cm) seam allowance.

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28. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and serge or zigzag the raw edges together.

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29. Working from the right side, press the seam flat folding the serged/zigzagged edge down towards the skirt.

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Your dress is finally assembled and the last thing to do is to attach the button band, sew the buttonholes and place the buttons.

30. Take your button band strip and turn two long raw edges 3/8” (1 cm) towards the wrong side. Then fold it in half lengthwise.

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31. Tuck one of the shorter raw edges in and refold again lengthwise.

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Repeat for the second strip of fabric.

32. Pin the button bands to the dress. Insert the dress’s raw edge only 1/4” into the button band, not completely.

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33. Set your machine to a longer straight stitch (# 4-5) since you have a lot of layers to stitch through and attach the band to the dress.

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34. Since we cut longer strips of fabric than needed (to make sure we have enough fabric in the end), cut any excess of fabric when you come to the other end and close the raw edge as you did in step #32. Stitch over.

Repeat for the other side.

35. The last steps are to sew buttonholes and attach the buttons. Start by making your buttonholes following this tutorialHERE. The number and the spacing are really up to you. If you want your buttons closer, just leave smaller gaps between them. We decided to space our buttons 2,75” (7 cm) apart.

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36. Overlap the button bands and place a pin into the center of each buttonhole. This is where you’ll need to attach the buttons. Here’s a very easy tutorial on how to attach the buttons.

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Give it a good press and your new dress-up-or-down, chic, versatile dress is finally done!

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Check out our selection of linen and see which of our fabrics inspire you for this project. This dress will look great in any color!

49 comments


    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      The yardage is indicated in the “Materials” section. For sizes XS to M you’ll need to yards of fabric, for larger sizes and especially if you’d like a more gathered skirt – we recommend using 3 yards.

  1. Stacy D

    Hi, I have a quick question. When attaching the pockets, wouldn’t it be easier to just sew one piece of the pocket to the front and back then sew it continuously? I know you have a tutorial on how to sew pockets. I thought that might be a little easier, so I wouldn’t have to worry about catching the other side of the pocket. Would I just measure down 2″ on the front and back panel of the skirt part?

    Great patterns love the tutorials! Can’t wait for a printable pdf pattern for the whimsical linen bow dress.

    1. Rima Khusainova

      Hi Stacy! Yes, you can totally attach the pockets the way you’ve suggested. There are several ways to do it so choose the method you like 🙂 And yes, position the pocket panels 2″ from the waist.

  2. Laurie

    The pattern pieces indicate that a 3/8″ seam allowance is included, but the instructions say to remember to include seam allowances as indicated on the pattern. Not sure I am understanding correctly…. are there some pieces to which I add the seam allowance? I’ve gone back over the pattern and don’t see any but maybe I’m just not seeing them?


    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      Dear Laurie, sorry for the confusion. The printable PDF pattern does include all the seam allowances so no need to add anything else to it.

  3. Jessica

    Is there a more seamless way of creating the button placket? The straight lines of stitching at top of button placket don’t go so well with the neck interfacing stitching .

  4. Jessica

    Is it possible if I cut the dress a hair bigger around the bodice , that I can just add bust darts where I see the pulling and natural fold of the fabric? The FBA is frightening to me!


    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      Hi again! Just sent you a reply to your other comment which should make the FBA easier (and less frightening). But you could indeed eliminate the bulk by creating some bust darts where you see the pulling. My only concern here could be that it might alter the side line a little since you won’t be accounting some extra fabric for the dart jog. I think you should really try to do the FBA! It’s much easier than it looks!


    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      Dear Shirley, this dress is available in a fully printable pdf pattern in sizes US 4-6 TO 20-22 and is absolutely free! You can download it by following the link in the “pattern” section and print at home. As for the longer sleeves, you can easily alter the pattern yourself by adding some length to the sleeves. However, I would not recommend adding cuffs to long sleeves, just finish them with a rolled hem.

  5. Louise Loughrey

    Is there a PDF for the instructions? Love the pattern. I am losing weight and this is great being multi-sized. Thank you so much.


    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      thank you Lindsey! Mine are 1/2″ but you can use any size you want. Just increase/decrease the width of the button bands.

  6. vic

    Thanks so much for free, multi-size pattern! This so great that you would do this and will be a great pattern for using up some of the lovely linens I have. I love fabric store.com!

  7. Sharon

    The pattern is printing out as I type. I’m very eager to start on this one. Thanks so much for all the hard work putting together a multi-sized pattern!! Now, I just have to decide which piece of gorgeous linen I’ve been hoarding…..uh… SAVING to use for this pattern. 😉 Thanks again!

  8. Nancy

    Sizing DOWN would also be helpful. I’m a 4US. The last (and first) pattern I made, without grading up, was size HUGE.
    PLEASE!

  9. Lorraine Newman

    Thank you so very much for this pattern, and for sizing up! I love it, and I’ve been looking for a pattern exactly like this for ages! Thank you thank you thank you! Lorraine xxxx

  10. Kathy

    I have tried several times to download this pattern and all I can see is the original diagram but no pdf pattern with sizing and pieces. Could you help me with that?


    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      Hi Kathy! Sorry to hear you having troubles downloading the pattern. I just checked everything and everything seems to be working just fine. Have you tried to save it to your computer? Do you see the diagram when you open the link? Sorry for all these questions, just trying to understand what could be wrong…

  11. Claudia

    Wow, thank you so much for making your pattern in larger sizes !! And what is nice I can understand your directions too!!


    1. Author
      Rima Khusainova

      Thank you, Claudia! There are a lot of steps but all of them are really easy to follow. Let us know if you need help or have questions.

  12. Doris Roten

    My printer will not print these patterns as they need to be printed. I purchased 3 yards of linen and got the FREE pattern, but can not use it.Can I buy the pattern from you. I would like to buy some more of the linen, but until I can get the pattern I will not be ordering any more. The linen I purchased is very nice and of great quality.

  13. Deborah

    I just wish your patterns were available for plus size ladies. The average size is a US 16 not 6-8. I never have been able to successfully grade up to that from a tiny size. Other then that I love all the things I have seen here and wish I could make them for myself.

    1. AmyCat =^.^=

      I’m with you, Deborah… Size 6-8 is TINY. I’d love to see an occasional pattern here that’s made and modeled in a “plus” size. This dress would probably look nice on a larger figure, too.

    2. Masha Karpushina

      Deborah, thank you for your feedback. We are working on this. Hopefully soon, we will have digital patterns for some of the more popular items we have made. So watch this space. thank you!

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