Rafaella Fitted Dress with Collar Tutorial and Free Pattern
No summer wardrobe is complete without a white linen dress! Crafted from our pure and soft linen, it is ideal for staying cool and comfortable in the heat all through the summer season. So breezy, feminine and chic, Rafaella is a pleasure to sew and to wear.
With its fitted bodice, button-up front and collared neckline, Rafaella is a timeless classic. Plus, it looks gorgeous with a tan!
For our sample US size 6 pictured in this tutorial we used 2 yards of IL019 OPTIC WHITE FS Signature Finish medium-weight linen. For other sizes, please refer to the yardage table in the PDF pattern to determine the required amount of fabric.
Matching sewing thread, lightweight fusible interfacing, 16” invisible zipper, five ½”-wide buttons
Scissors, pins, ruler, chalk, measuring tape, fabric marker, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, seam ripper, needle, sewing machine
You can access the multi-sized printable PDF pattern by following this link HERE. All seam allowances are included and are 3/8” unless otherwise specified. The model is wearing US size 6.
Remember to transfer all the notches onto your fabric.
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry at room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
1. Sew the front waistline darts following the instructions in this tutorial. Press the darts towards the center front.
2. Sew the back waistline darts and press towards the center back.
3. Pin the front and back bodices right sides together at shoulders and stitch at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance. Finish the seams with your preferred method (serge or zigzag the raw edges together) to prevent fabric from fraying. Press towards the back.
4. Interface the facing pieces and assemble at the shoulders right sides together. Stitch at a 3/8” seam allowance and press the seams open, then finish the outer edge of your facing with a serger or a zigzag stitch.
5. Sew the collar pieces right sides together along all edges except the bottom. Trim the seam down to 1/4″ and clip the corners to reduce bulk.
6. Turn the collar right side out and press rolling the seam slightly to the inside.
7. Now place your collar on top of your bodice (both right sides facing you), then layer the facing on top (wrong side facing you). Match the shoulder and center back notches and pin all the pieces together along the neckline and front opening.
8. Stitch the pinned edges at a 3/8” seam allowance, then grade to 1/4″ and clip the corners and curves.
9. Bring your facing to the inside of the bodice and press.
10. Pin and stitch the right side seam at a 3/8” seam allowance and finish the raw edges together using your preferred method.
11. Finish the raw edges of the open left side seam. Once we’ve attached the skirt, we’ll insert the invisible zipper here.
12. Sew the buttonholes and attach the buttons to the front opening. For the buttonholes, you can follow our detailed tutorial HERE. As for the buttons, check our tutorial HERE for instructions. Refer to our PDF pattern for the exact buttonhole placement. Overlap the bodice and place a pin into the center of each buttonhole. This is where you’ll need to attach the button.
Set your bodice aside for now and let’s sew the skirt.
13. Pin and stitch front and back skirts right side together at the right side seam only. Finish the raw edges and press towards the back.
14. Finish the raw edges of the open left side seam.
15. Run two lines of basting stitches along the waist edge of your skirt (back and two fronts separately). Use contrasting color thread and leave long tails.
Please check our detailed tutorial if you don’t know how to gather fabric.
16. Pin your skirt to the bodice matching the side seams and center notches and gather your fabric evenly in between these notches.
17. Sew the pinned edges at a 3/8” seam allowance and finish raw edges with a serger or a zigzag stitch. Press seam towards bodice.
18. Pin the top of your left side seam and stitch from the armpit down to zipper notch. Remember to backstitch at both ends. Press the seam open.
19. Prepare your zipper by pressing it lightly with iron (use low heat setting) to unroll the teeth. If you’ve never installed an invisible zipper before, please check our detailed tutorial with all the instructions and tips.
20. Unzip your zipper and pin to left side seam edges right sides together. Place the top of the zipper teeth right at the zipper notch.
21. Put the invisible zipper foot on your machine and stitch both edges of the zipper stopping at the second notch (around the hip area). Remember to backstitch.
22. Now that you have installed the zipper, sew the remaining edges of the left side seam at a 3/8” seam allowance. Press open.
23. Finish the hem with a rolled twice hem. First fold your fabric ½” to the wrong side and press, then press another 1” and edgestitch.
The last thing to do is to attach the sleeve bands.
24. Pin and stitch short ends of your bands right sides together at a 3/8” seam.
25. Press the seams open, then press your fabric in half lengthwise wrong sides touching.
26. Pin the bands to the armholes right sides together aligning the underarm seams.
27. Stitch and finish the raw edges. Press the seam allowance towards bodice.
28. Give your dress a good press and you are all done!
We love seeing what you make! Don’t forget to share your pictures and tag your creations with #FabricsStoreRafaellaPattern hashtag.
Is there a way to select the size you want to print when using Adobe on an iPad? Or is there only the option to print all sizes from the iPad?
Thank you Rima for your response.
I noticed the collar is not interfaced. Since my fabric is lighter weight linen I am debating whether I should interface or underline (both pieces?). What would you suggest?
I am sewing this dress for my daughter. She doesn’t like that the linen is a little sheer so I am going to underline it, probably with batiste. I am wondering how to do the darts, I am thinking I should do the fashion fabric darts and underlining darts separately, Will plan to press underlining darts towards the back and fashion fabric darts towards the front in order to reduce bulk. Does this sound like it will work? Any suggestions?
Dear Audrey! Yes, this is exactly what you should do if you want to line it! Good luck and please share with us the pics of your finished dress using the #FabricsStoreRafaellaPattern hashtag.