Introduction: DIY Halter Dress Tutorial
When my daughter was asked to be a flower girl in my cousin's wedding I began a search for a classy girls halter dress sewing pattern. Since I was unable to find what I was looking for I decided to draft a pattern. Today I am sharing that pattern with you. It is available as a free download HERE. I am also going to show you how to sew it up. (There is a 3/8 inch seam allowance included on all pattern pieces.)
This halter dress pattern is a girl's size 7 (chest-24.8", waist-23.5", height-48-50"). It features gentle gathering on the front bodice, a rounded "V" neckline, and a knee length gathered skirt. The halter strap closes with snaps and the back closes with a zipper.
For this pattern you will need the following:
2 yards of fabric
1/4 yard lining
2 size 20 snaps
1 seven inch all purpose zipper
small scraps of fusible interfacing 2" x 3"
iron and ironing board
fabric marker or tailor's chalk
point turner tool or chopstick
Step 1: Sewing the Bodice
First, we start by basting two lines at 1/4" and 3/8" from the bottom edge of the upper bodice front.
Pull bobbin threads to gather until the bottom of the upper bodice is the same width as the top edge of the lower bodice.
Sew the lower bodice piece to the upper bodice with right sides together. Press seam allowance up.
Fuse interfacing to 2 of the four back strap pieces.
Sew the interfaced back strap pieces to the straps and sew the back bodice pieces to the front bodice. Press seam allowances open.
Step 2: Sewing the Lining
Sew the two un-interfaced back strap pieces to the lining straps.
Sew the back bodice lining pieces to the front bodice lining.
Press seam allowances open.
Step 3: Attaching the Lining to the Bodice
Sew the lining to the bodice along the upper edge as indicated above using 3/8" seam allowance. Leave 1 inch unsewn on both ends.
Clip corners and curves.
Fold bottom edge of lining only up 3/8 inch and press.
Turn right side out pressing corners out a point turner tool or chopstick. If you do not have either of these any long, semi-pointed small object will work, such as a pencil.
Step 4: Preparing the Skirt
Baste two lines along the upper edge of the skirt at 1/4" and 3/8".
Fold bottom edge up 1/2 inch, press, then fold up another 1 inch and press again. DO NOT stitch the hem just yet. We will come back to it.
Pull bobbin threads to gather skirt until it is the same width as the waistline of the bodice.
Step 5: Attaching the Bodice to the Skirt
Flip the lining out of the way and sew the outer bodice to the skirt.
Press seam allowance up.
Step 6: Finishing the Skirt
With your fabric marker or tailor's chalk, place a mark on your skirt where the bottom of the zipper stop is.
Flip the hem down flat and sew skirt with right sides together up to the mark you just made.
Press seam open.
Flip hem back up and stitch it 1/8 inch from the upper fold. (not pictured)
Step 7: Attaching the Zipper
Turn bodice wrong side out again. You don't need to push the straps back through to the wrong side; only the body of the bodice. Pull the lining back where it was left unsewn.
Place zipper face down along back edge of bodice. (Please ignore that the zipper pull is showing on the wrong side in the image above.)
Line up the edge of the lining with the back bodice with the zipper sandwiched in between.
Using a zipper foot, sew close to the zipper teeth all the way down the zipper. Careful not to catch the other side of your dress in the stitches.
Sew across the top edge of the bodice where we had left it unsewn. Clip corner.
Flip this half of the lining right side out to reveal the zipper.
Repeat all the steps above for the other side of the zipper.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
Stitch in the ditch along the waistline catching the lining in your stitches to secure the lower edge.
Alternatively, you can hand sew your lining with a slip stitch. For the flower girl dress I chose to hand sew.
Topstitch around outer edges of bodice 1/8" from edge.
Apply your snaps to the strap and you are done!