Looking for a perfect dress to host your New Year’s Eve party? Why not try our new pattern that is super easy to sew and a pleasure to wear! Made from our gorgeous IL051 884 Softened Medium Weight Linen in beautiful purple color, this dress will not only make you look fabulous, but will also get you many compliments on your sewing skills.
2,5 yards of IL051 884 Softened Medium Weight Linen
Matching sewing thread, contrasting sewing thread for gathering
Pattern paper, scissors, ruler, pins, chalk, pen, fabric marker, measuring tape, bias tape maker, sewing machine
Note that you’ll also need to make one long continuous strip of bias tape for the neckline and back ties. For detailed instructions on how to cut and make continuous bias tape please follow this tutorial.
This dress is extremely loose and will fit quite a range of sizes.
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, let this dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
1. Let’s start by making the bias tape. Cut one pretty long and continuous strip of fabric for the neckline and back ties and one short for the back slit opening. Follow this detailed tutorial that explains how to cut the fabric on bias and use your bias tape maker to make a continuous strip of bias tape.
2. Fold your bias tape in half lengthwise and press.
3. Apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your facing. Serge/zigzag the curved raw edges to prevent the fabric from fraying in the future. You can check our tutorial HERE for more detailed instructions.
4. Fold your facing in half to mark the center and pin it to the center back of your dress right sides together.
5. Topstitch the facing creating a curved shape as shown in the images below and cut in the middle down to the curve. Clip to (but not through) the stitched line.
6. Press the facing away from the garment.
7. Turn the facing to the wrong side and pin in place.
8. Edgestitch 1/4” from the fold. Don’t worry about the facing’s raw edges, they will later be enclosed under the neckline binding. Give it a good press and your back slit is finished.
9. Now pin your shoulder seams right sides together.
10. Sew at a 3/8’’ (1 cm) seam allowance. Serge or zigzag the raw edges together to prevent the fabric from fraying. Press the serged/zigzagged seam allowances up towards the back of your dress.
11. Bind the neckline and create the ties using a long strip of bias tape that you’ve just made. Slip your neckline edges into the fold of the bias tape and pin all around the neckline matching the center of the bias tape strip to the center front. Don’t trim the long tails, they will later become your ties.
The length of the ties is really up to you. Ours are 18” (46 cm) long.
12. Tuck in the ends of the bias tape towards the inside as shown in the picture below:
Now fold your end in half lengthwise in the continuity of the bias tape and pin.
13. Starting from one end of the bias tape tie, sew the bias tape closed making sure that you’re catching both the front and the back of the tape. Keep sewing across the neckline and then across the other end of the tie.
You’ll get a beautiful back tie neckline with a back slit opening.
Now that we’ve finished with the neckline, we can attach the sleeves.
14. Pin the sleeves to the armholes right sides together.
15. Sew at a 3/8’’ (1 cm) seam allowance. Serge or zigzag the raw edges together to prevent the fabric from fraying. Press the serged/zigzagged seam allowances up towards the sleeves.
16. Pin the sleeve and bodice side seams right sides together.
17. Sew the pinned edges all in one seam at a 3/8’’ (1 cm) seam allowance. Finish the raw edges with a serger or a zigzag stitch and press the seams flat folding the serged/zigzagged edges towards the back of your dress.
18. Following this simple tutorial, gather the sleeves and attach the cuffs.
We are done with the bodice so can finally sew the pockets, assemble and gather the skirt.
19. Following THIS tutorial, attach the inseam pockets and assemble the front and the back of the skirt together. Pin the pockets 7″ away from the waistline.
20. Finish the bottom of your dress with a simple rolled hem. Fold the bottom edge under first 3/8” (1 cm) then another 1,5″ (4 cm) and press. Pin the fold.
21. Working from the wrong side, topstitch as close to the inner fold as possible. Remember to backstitch and press the seams when you’re done.
22. Gather the skirt to the length of the bodice. HERE is a step-by-step tutorial on how to gather your fabric. Be sure to use a contrast color thread and to secure your gathers once you’ve checked that the skirt matches your waistline and that the gathers are evenly spaced.
23. Lastly, pin the gathered skirt to the bodice right sides together and matching the side seams.
24. Sew at a 3/8’’ (1 cm) seam allowance.
25. Remove the gather stitches using your seam ripper. This is why it’s recommended to use a contrasting color thread – so that you don’t make a mistake and rip out wrong stitches.
26. Trim the fabric and serge or zigzag the raw edges together. Press the seams flat folding the serged/zigzagged edges towards the skirt and you are all done!