This Summer dress pattern is very versatile. Make it without the sleeves for a tank dress, add to the length for a more business look or make it shorter for a peplum top. You can also make a cute crop top by leaving off the skirt entirely.
This is a great layering piece. It would make a great "Little Black Dress"
Thanks to my beautiful sister for modeling it for me.
Step 1: What You Need to Get Started
Jersey, ball or stretch needle
Pattern download and assemble ( you can also get the pattern form my web site supersimplesewing.com )
4 way stretch fabrics about 2 yards
This fabric should stretch both top to bottom and left to right.
Step 2: Tips for Stretch Knits and General Directions
All seams have a half inch seam allowance
Tips for stretch fabrics:
Use the appropriate needle for the fabric you have chosen. Before I realized the importance of the proper needle I was plagued with skipping stitches and poor stitch quality. All this magically disappeared when I found the correct needle. Buy several different kinds of needles; Jersey, Ball needle, and knit's needles. It is difficult to predict which one you will need without testing. They have sizes as well. Lower the number on the needle the thinner the fabrics it should be used with.
Set stitch on machine to a long but narrow zigzag stitch.
Some machines have a preset for this. This stitch allow the fabric to stretch without breaking the thread. When sewing pull on the fabric from behind the machine as well as from the front but just slightly. This will bunch less when sewing as well as letting the fabric stretch more. Avoid stretching too much or the seam will be wavy when you are done. A bit of practice on scrap fabric goes a long way.
If you have a serger, all seams but the hems can be serged.
Step 3: Cut It Out.
Use the line with the size you want . The sizing is based off of juniors small, medium, and large. (think Forever 21 sizing.)
2 sleeve (one right one left)
Step 4: Hem Sleeves
Fold bottom of sleeve up 1/2" to the wrong side, press and pin in place. Sew at 3/8" from edge.
Step 5: Top Front and Back
Pin the top front and back together right side facing. Sew just the top shoulder seams.
Step 6: Neck Line
Press and pin 1/2" seam allowance in all the way around the neckline. Sew with a 3/8" seam allowance.
Step 7: Working on the Sleeve
Pin the sleeves to the top be sure to match front and back of sleeves with front or back of top.
Start at the far sides and work to the center. You will need to stretch the top to match the fullness of the sleeves. With just a little stretch they should look even.
Step 8: Set Sleeve
Sew sleeve in with 1/2" seam allowance, stretching as you sew so that it look flat. Press when done sewing.
Step 9: Side Seams of Top
Pin front and back together. be sure to match up the seam under the arm hole. Sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.
Step 10: Assemble Skirt
Sew the front and back of skirt sections together down the sides.
Press and pin up the the hem of the skirt with a 1/2" seam allowance and sew at 3/8"
Step 11: Bring It All Together
Turn top right side out. Turn skirt right side out as will. line top and skirt up at the side seams. Bring the skirt right side up to the right side of the top. Pin them together and sew with 1/2" seam allowance.