I love to make my own clothes when I can find the time. This is just a quick photographic tutorial showing how easy it is to sew up a pretty, breezy, summery dress. The actual pattern contains details instructions.
This particular design works best in a soft fabric such as cotton voile or this pretty rayon fabric by Amy Butler which I must say sews like a dream!
The Maria Top pattern ranges in size from 2 – 22. All sizes are in the one pattern so you can make a top or dress for all the girls in the family. To purchase the pattern see if your local sewing shop has it in stock or purchase on line from: www.lunabrilla.com.au
You’ll need the pattern to refer to the sizing chart and fabric requirements on the back cover. Firstly work out you your size and the fabric width that you’ll be using, then work out how much extra fabric you’ll need.
The long line ladies top measures 56 cm from the middle of the shoulder to the hem, just work out how much longer you would like your dress to be and double the amount. I made mine 30 cm longer so I purchased an extra 60 cm of fabric but I’m quite short, I’d say that an extra 1 m would be plenty for a knee length dress.
There are only 2 pattern pieces, the body and the sleeve, you’ll need to cut 2 of each piece on the fold. Just extend the dress straight down to the length that you would like. The pattern contains an extensive cutting out chart for the different fabric widths.
Place the 2 body pieces with right sides together and sew the side seams.
Fold each sleeve in half and sew the under arm seams.
Zig Zag or overlock the raw seams
Insert the sleeves into the armhole openings of the body and overlock or zig zag to neaten the seams.
Make the elastic casings around the neck and sleeve hems by firstly neatening the raw edges by either turning the fabric edge to the wrong side by 6 mm (1/4”) and pressing or overlocking the raw edges and trimming away 6 mm (¼” ) off the fabric edge with the blade of the overlocker as you sew.
Next fold the fabric edge over to the wrong side by 2 cm (3/4”) and press.
Stitch the casings, leaving a small opening to thread the elastic through.
Sew another row of stitching close to the top edge of the casings.
Thread elastic through the neck and sleeve casings, the pattern will tell you how much elastic you’ll require.
Try your dress on and using a tape measure, work out where the casing will best suit your figure, I like high waisted but it might look better at your waist or maybe hips, it’s all about what suits you! Have someone mark with pins around the top edge of the tape measure for you.
With the dress laying flat on your work surface and right side facing out, use the pins as a guide to mark a line with a fabric pencil to indicate where the casing will go onto the front and back of the dress.
To Make the draw string casing, cut a 2” strip across the width of the fabric, make sure that it’s going to be long enough to go around the dress, cut 2 strips and join if necessary.
Run the strips through a 25 mm (1”) bias tape maker, pressing as you go.
Using a pin, mark the centre front of the garment on the draw string casing line. Starting at the centre front, position the casing strip below the marked line and pin the casing strip from the centre front, around the back of the garment and back to the centre front, folding the raw ends under at the centre front to neaten.
Sew the casing onto the garment, sewing close to either edge of the strip, leaving the centre front edges open.
Hem the dress and you’re finished!