The summer is officially here and this means that it’s time to sew a new dress! We decided to keep the design simple but embellish the neckline with a woven ribbon to add some color and originality. Our version turned out pretty eclectic: the V-neck has something of a Japanese kimono, whereas the ribbon is totally Aztec. This dress would also look fabulous with floral or pompom ribbons, there are a huge plethora of embellishments nowadays and the possibilities are endless!
1.5 yard of IL019 KRISTA NATURAL Softened
Matching sewing thread, 2 yards of ribbon of your choice
Pattern paper, scissors, fabric marker, pins, ruler, chalk, measuring tape, fabric glue (optional), sewing machine
You can find the pattern by following this link HERE. The diagram shows the pattern for US size 6 (UK size 10). Remember to add seam allowances as indicated in the pattern.
If you need help grading your pattern, please follow this tutorial.
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.
1. Let’s start by attaching the ribbon to the neckline. Place your two bodice pieces right sides up and with the shorter edges facing each other. Fold the raw edges 3/8” (1 cm) toward you and press. Carefully pin the ribbon to the folded edge. Make sure that it doesn’t go past the folded edge.
2. If you are using a large ribbon like the one we have here, you’d want to make sure that it lays flat on the fold and doesn’t pop up. To avoid any wrinkles, you can apply a little fabric glue in the middle.
3. Cut the excess ribbon.
4. Topstitch the ribbon into place as close to the edges as possible.
5. Use a serger, or choose your own method to protect the raw edges on both ends from fraying.
6. Finish the sleeve openings and the side seams by folding twice the fabric to the wrong side. Pin.
7. Stitch the fold from the wrong side as close to the inner edge as possible. Remember to backstitch.
8. Fold your bodice pieces in two right sides together and match the corners. Measure 7” (18cm) from the bottom end and make a mark using your pen or a piece of chalk. This mark will determine the size of your sleeve openings and the side seams.
9. Pin the two sides together and stitch just outside the rolled hem starting at the bottom end and up to the 7” mark. Make a little curve when you come to the mark. Press the rolled hems open.
This is what it looks like from the right side:
10. Now it’s time to sew the skirt. But before we start, you need to serge or zigzag the raw edges of the skirt (all sides except the bottom hem) to prevent them from fraying. Once you have done that, you can pin the side seams of the skirt right sides together.
11. Stitch at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance and press the seams open.
12. Finish the bottom edge of the skirt with a rolled hem by folding and pressing the edge of the fabric 3/8” to the wrong side. Now fold again to 1/2″ enclosing the raw edge within this second fold. Pin.
13. Place the fabric under the foot wrong side up and sew using the straight stitch (always remember to backstitch at the beginning and the end of the stitch line). Press the hem.
14. Now we need to attach the two bodice pieces to the skirt. Pin the two bodice rectangles to the skirt’s waist right sides together (wrong sides facing outwards) matching the side seams. If you want a less plunging neckline you can slightly overlap the two embellished edges.
15. Now stitch all around the pinned edge to attach the skirt to the bodice at a 3/8 in (1cm) seam allowance. Press the seams open.
That’s it, your pretty dress is all done and ready for the summer!