A-Line styles are my all time personal favourites. I like to sew them as they don’t require darts or precise measurements, and I like to wear them since they are very flattering and comfortable. This is why this week I wanted to share with you a simple pattern for an A-Line dress.
The great thing about this pattern is that it’s so simple to work with and you should be able to polish one off in an afternoon. And once you’ve made a basic version you can vary it according to your own personal style: you can either shorten or lengthen the hem, the sleeves (or no sleeves at all) or add some embellishments (like our cute little patch pocket). It’s easily tweaked into lots of different looks.
But the real magic of an A-Line dress is that it flatters literally all body shapes. For those with fuller hips, the A-Line design with its flare towards the hem draws the eye’s attention upward. For those with slimmer figures, it creates curves where they don’t exist. And for those with larger busts, it provides a more balanced silhouette.
This pattern is so versatile and a worthy addition to your sewing experience.
2 yards of IL051 885 Softened 100% Linen
Matching sewing thread
Pattern paper, scissors, pins, ruler, fabric marker, measuring tape, chalk, sewing machine
Note that you’ll also need to make a strip of bias tape (1,5 in wide and 30 in large) for the neckline binding. For detailed instructions on how to cut and make your bias tape please follow this tutorial.
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.
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 with the pocket. Before attaching it to the front of your dress, you need to serge/zigzag all raw edges (except the top edge that will later be enclosed inside a rolled hem) to prevent them from fraying in the future.
2. Finish the top raw edge of your patch packet with a large rolled hem. Fold the fabric twice to the wrong side, 3/8″ (1 cm) to 1 inch (2,5 cm), press and pin.
3. Edgestitch in place.
4. Fold the three serged/zigzagged edges 3/8″ (1 cm) towards the wrong side and press. Be careful to press the bottom corners so they do not stick out beyond the sides of the pocket.
5. Pin the wrong side of your pocket to the right side of your front panel.
6. Topstitch onto the dress 1/8″ from the fabric’s edge.
7. Pin the front and the back of your dress right sides together at the shoulders.
8. Sew the shoulder seams right sides together at 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance, remember to backstitch.
9. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″ (6 mm) and serge or zigzag the raw edges together to prevent the fabric from fraying. Press the seams flat folding the serged/zigzagged edges towards the back of your dress.
10. Bind the neckline following this tutorial. Make sure that when you attach the binding the serged/zigzagged shoulder seam edge is folded towards the back of your dress.
Now that we’ve finished with the neckline, we can attach the sleeves.
11. Pin the sleeves to the armholes right sides together.
12. Sew at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.
13. Serge or zigzag the raw edges together to prevent the fabric from fraying. Press the serged/zigzagged seam allowances up towards the sleeves.
14. Following this tutorial, attach the inseam pockets 10 inches from the underarm.
15. Finish the raw edges with a serger or a zigzag stitch to prevent the fabric from fraying.
16. Sew the sleeves and the side seams right sides together at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.
16. Finish the sleeve opening with a rolled hem. Fold the fabric twice towards the wrong side, 3/8″ to 1 inch. Press, pin and stitch.
17. Finish the bottom hem the same way you finished the sleeves: fold the fabric twice towards the wrong side, 3/8″ to 1/2 inch. Press, pin and stitch.