I found a pretty pink gingham fabric in my collection and was inspired to make a sun dress. Beside the dress fabric I used a white cotton for lining, thread, and D-rings and decorative ribbon for the trim and belt. Basic sewing skills and equipment will also be needed to create this dress. I used fabric shears, pattern weights, tailors chalk, dressmakers marking paper and wheel, rulers, cutting mat and rotary cutter, seam ripper, pins and thread snips.
First I selected some trim and lining fabric to go with the gingham.
Then Blackie and I made a pattern.
Starting with the white lining fabric, I used washers as pattern weights and drew around the pattern with blue tailors chalk. Then I cut out the white lining fabric.
Mark the darts on the fabric. Sew the darts. Iron them toward the center or down. Place front and back dress lining pieces right sides together and sew the side and shoulder seams. Press seams open and finish the seams with zig-zag or another decorative stitch.
Layout the pink gingham fabric and mark it with blue chalk the same as the lining fabric. Cut out the dress pieces.
Mark and stitch the darts. Blackie will help with this. Press toward center or down. Place front and back pieces with right sides together and sew side seams and shoulder seams. Finish seams and press open.
Place lining and dress right sides together. Pin and stitch the hem. Slash seam to the stitching to ease for turning.
Turn right side out and press hem. Pin in place along bottom edge. Match armhole and neck edges and pin in place.
I made matching bias tape. I followed the directions with the bias tape maker. I cut bias strips of fabric the required width for the size bias tape I decided to use. I seamed the strips together to make one long piece. Then I pulled the fabric strip through the tool and pressed the resulting folds into place.
I used the bias tape to bind the armhole and neck edges. Open one folded edge of the bias tape out and sew, right side together to the armhole and neck edges. Use the pressed fold line as the seam line. Fold the ends to create a neat finish. Trim the seam very slightly to neaten it up. Wrap the bias tape around the armhole and neck edges and pin into place so fold of tape goes a little past the first seam. On the outside of the dress, stitch around the neck and armhole edges just outside the bias tape. This is called stitch in the ditch. I creates an unobtrusive line of machine stitching, instead of hand stitching the bias tape in place.
Stitch the trim to the bottom edge. I stitched two rows of trim on the dress.
Next I tried on the dress and marked my waistline on the dress. Then I measured from the marks to the hem. Using a disappearing fabric marking pen I marked the distance from the hem to my waist all the way around the inside of the dress. Then I sewed 1/2" on either side of this line to form a casing for the elastic. Then I opened the casing at the center back and inserted the elastic into the casing using a safety pin to assist this process. Then I joined the ends of the elastic and let it all into the casing.
To make the belt, I cut two pieces of heavy interfacing the width of the belt and a little longer than I thought it needed. On each length of interfacing, I stitched two rows of ribbon the whole length of the belt. Then I trimmed the excess interfacing. Place both belt pieces right sides together and stitch across one end. Put two D-rings on one side of belt and then sew other end with right sides together, being careful not to twist the lengths of ribbon and interfacing. Turn the belt right side out and push the D-rings to one end seam, keeping rounded side out. Stitch the two lengths of belt, wrong sides together along the long edges from the finished end to the D-ring end. Stitch as far as your machine will comfortably go. Do the same along the other long edge of the belt. Then using your zipper foot and moving the needle over, stitch as close as you can to the D-rings.
This is the finished dress. Light and bright and summery.