Cross My Heart – free easy dress pattern

Cross My Heart – free easy dress pattern


This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

You know sometimes how you look about and everyone seems to be wearing the same thing, the same styles, the same colors?  That’s especially true on a small island where there are only a few places you can buy clothes anyway, so it’s no wonder everyone has the same pieces.  So I set out to make myself a dress.  Something I could wear to dinner, or if I had to go somewhere smart, or heaven-forbid, ever get a job!

I was really liking the Simple Shrug pattern and wanted to see if I could incorporate the idea into a dress because I think it gives a really flattering look by having the fabric fall from the bust, making the waist look smaller – or at least I hope so!  I’m very rectangular through the waist, so anything that draws attention to the bust is a plus for me.

This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

The Cross My Heart Dress – This dress has crossover pleated drapes from the shoulders that are caught into the side seams just under the arms.  It creates a modest v-neckline and frames the face, hanging loose from the bust to emphasize the smaller waist.  It’s certainly unique!  I’ll never come across another one like it – unless some of you sew it and then visit the Cayman Islands.  That would make my day!

Plus, it’s a very quick and simple sew.  Bonus!

This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

Features:

  • Quick and easy to sew
  • Figure skimming fit
  • Pleated crossover drapes from the shoulders
  • Longer length – pick your own skirt length
  • Center back seam to help get a nice fit
  • Short sleeves
  • Sizes 29- 41 bust, 33-45 inch hips
  • For knit fabrics only – I used a ITY knit  (Read more about different types of knit fabrics here.)
  • Fabric needed for all sizes – 2 yards
This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!
This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

Download the Cross My Heart Dress pattern

You can download the pattern from my design account on Payhip.  Add it to your cart and check out – its FREE.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.

How to sew your ‘Cross My Heart’ free easy dress pattern

1/2 inch seam allowances throughout unless stated otherwise.

Cut out your pattern pieces on a double layer of fabric, with the front on the fold.

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Turn a narrow 1/4 inch hem on the top and bottom curved edges of the front drapes and stitch close to the edge.  Press. Set aside.

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Optional – add a piece of tricot interfacing to the center front to reinforce the V at the neckline.

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Add a 1/4 inch snip at center front and then turn a narrow hem up each side of the center front and stitch close to the edge.  Press.

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Join the center back seam. Turn down the back neckline in a smooth curve and stitch.  Press.

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Add the front drapes to the shoulders.  Line up the inside seamed edges, then line up the outer edge of the drape 1/2 inch inside the outer edge of the shoulder.  This 1/2 inch is the seam allowance where the sleeve will be sewn.

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Create 3 even pleats in the fabric and pin them in place.

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Place the dress back over the front, RST, and match the shoulders.  Repin through all layers and pleats.  Stitch through all layers.  Reduce the bulk in the seam by trimming the pleated layer.  Press the completed seam towards the back.

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Repeat for the other shoulder.

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Match the center top of the sleeve with the shoulder seam.  Ease in sleeve, pin, and stitch. Take care NOT to catch the fabric from the front drape in the sleeve seam allowance.  It should only be caught at the shoulder seam. Repeat for the other side.

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Take the front drapes across the front of the dress, taking care not to twist them, and pin into the side seams matching the top of the drape at the point under the arm.

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Baste the drapes into the side seam of the dress front, within the seam allowance.

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Pin the side seams and check for fit.  Make alterations as necessary.

Pin and stitch side seams.  Press.

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Finish the bottom of the sleeves – twin needle finish is optional.  You may also simply turn in a 1/2-inch hem and stitch.

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Check for length and finish the bottom hemline with your favorite finish.

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Give the dress a final press and it’s ready to wear.

This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

Download the Cross My Heart Dress pattern

You can download the pattern from my design account on Payhip.  Add it to your cart and check out – its FREE.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.

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This dress is so elegant. I love how easy it is to sew too. h and it's a free pattern!

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Tropical Wrap Dress maxi dress pattern hack

Tropical Wrap Dress maxi dress pattern hack


Oh wow, on my summer sewing list for sure. Free pattern and tutorial on how to make this tropical wrap maxi dress pattern.

The most downloaded pattern from So Sew Easy is the Wrap Dress. It came second in the Craftsy best pattern award some years ago when Craftsy was still a thing and at the time of writing has been downloaded more than 100,000 times!  If I had a dollar for each one….. 😉

Wrap dress pattern - free sewing pattern. Easy to sew and great looking wrap dress - everyone should have at least one of these. From So Sew Easy.

So when I wanted to sew a tropical maxi dress, this pattern immediately sprung to mind.  Sometimes you just don’t need to mess with a good thing!  I bought this amazing ITY knit print from Fabric Mart (sadly now sold out) and it’s just perfect for island life.  But I wanted to make just a few changes:

  1. Maxi dress rather than knee length
  2. Enough room to walk properly in the longer skirt
  3. Loose flutter sleeves
Oh wow, on my summer sewing list for sure. Free pattern and tutorial on how to make this tropical wrap maxi dress pattern.

We looked before at skirts when we made the Perfect Maxi Skirt.  If you take a straight skirt that is hip width and then simply extend it down to the floor, you won’t be able to walk properly, you’ll only be able to move your legs as wide as your hips.  This works OK in a knee-length skirt but not in a maxi.

How to make the perfect fitting maxi skirt without it being too flared or too tight.

At the same time, we don’t necessarily want to add a lot of volume to the skirt all over so there is more fabric at the waist and hip to be gathered in. So I used the same idea on the Perfect Maxi Skirt to extend and increase the flare slightly on the Wrap Dress skirt.  I also made sure to use the whole width of my fabric too.

Oh wow, on my summer sewing list for sure. Free pattern and tutorial on how to make this tropical wrap maxi dress pattern.

I changed the shape of the sleeves to give them a looser more summery look too.  Both are very simple changes you can make to this, or any pattern, to change up the look.  I’ll show you how to do these simple pattern hacks in the video below.

The video below covers the two different pattern hacks to convert the wrap dress into a maxi with flutter sleeves and also has the full sewing step by step too.  So if you’ve not yet made the original wrap dress, there are some pointers here that might be useful.  It’s a very quick and easy-to-sew dress, has optional elastic at the waist and I’ll be wearing mine everywhere!

Oh wow, on my summer sewing list for sure. Free pattern and tutorial on how to make this tropical wrap maxi dress pattern.

Pattern hacking the Wrap Dress into a Maxi Dress Pattern

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Oh wow, on my summer sewing list for sure. Free pattern and tutorial on how to make this tropical wrap maxi dress pattern.

Useful links:

If you want to see the step-by-step sewing instructions in word and picture format, these are included in the pattern download and are also in the original article about the wrap dress here.

Oh wow, on my summer sewing list for sure. Free pattern and tutorial on how to make this tropical wrap maxi dress pattern.

Give this one a try, I think you’ll like it.  Or start out with the original Wrap Dress too.  Either way, please do come share what you sew in our sewing chat group on Facebook.  24hr sewing chat, inspiration and sharing – on all sorts of sewing activities!  We can’t wait to see what fabric you use for your maxi dress.

Download the free Wrap Dress Pattern

Wrap-dress-009---v-small

As usual, to make downloading easy and reliable, the pattern is hosted in my design account with Payhip. If you don’t already have an account, you will need to sign up to download, but don’t worry, it’s free, quick and easy. Add the pattern to your cart, and then checkout – no payment/address details etc needed.

Download multi-size pattern pieces from my design account at Payhip…

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Oh wow, on my summer sewing list for sure. Free pattern and tutorial on how to make this tropical wrap maxi dress pattern.

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Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern – A Transformation Made Easy…

Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern – A Transformation Made Easy…


short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

This weekend we’ll be making a short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern using the Linen V-top Pattern I shared with you recently.  This is not the first kimono top I have shared with you.

On the previous one, the top actually crosses over and you can tie the top in the front if you wish to do that.  I happened to not like tying a top on my waist since I am short-waisted and it makes me look wider than I am.  So this is more my style.

This short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern is specially designed with the “apple” body shape figure.  This type of figure is very tricky to dress since a protruding stomach might be a bit challenging to hide.

For more thoughts on Tips to Make Your Style Match Your Figure, please check out this popular post.

Pay special attention to my fabric recommendations so you end up with a top that is both flattering and attractive no matter what your size.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

The trend this Autumn and Winter is going to be monochromatic outfits cinched at the waist.  As I always say; there’s no need to always chase the fashion trends to avoid becoming a fashion victim, the classics are always in style.

However, the monochromatic look is one that will notably add elegance and make your outfit look more expensive but we are not going to explore it today.  Rather, I am using very thin silk, super soft that I picked up years ago in Bangalore, India.  It is not the easiest thing to sew, and I choose not to use fusible interfacing because it would ruin the collar band. However, it does make for a questionable hanger appeal. I do need to steam the seams more, but I have identified the culprit of the bit of puckering in the fabric.  The thread is very tight.  So I will be taking the stitch out and loosening it a bit to avoid the puckered look at the front.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

I am keeping the sides open since the type of vent we are using adds fluidity to the top.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

The long neckline will also streamline your figure.

Soft fabric will follow the curves of your body without adding pounds.

Materials

  • 2.5 to 3 yards of fabric (depends on size) of silk, rayon, or 20% stretch knit
  • Thread to match
  • Fusible interfacing matching the length of the front-facing

Tools

Fabric Recommendations from Fabric.com

How to Get the Pattern

I am using the same pattern from the Linen V-Top, so download that pattern and follow me on how to transform it into this short sleeve mid-length Kimono pattern.

Linen V-Top Pattern HERE

You will only need the front and back pieces.

Experience Level

This project is for beginners who want to learn to do a simple pattern transformation.  At the end of this series, you will end up with 4 different looks.

Read the additional tutorials before cutting the fabric.

How To Make Your Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern

The first thing we will do is to make the opening at the front so the top can be worn open or crossover and tied with a belt.  Next, we will elongate the top, we will draft the sleeves, then we will be sewing the top.  The whole thing should take you no more than 4 hours to make.

Step One:  Transform the Front

Lay the front of the top on the table. Trace a straight line from the neckline to the hemline.  This straight line should be parallel to the grainline and to the sideline.

Cut off the front with your paper scissors.

Step Two:  Elongate the Top

Follow this tutorial to learn how to lengthen a top.  I am making mine 15″ longer, however, lengthen yours by however much you need.

Step Three:  Sew the Shoulders

Sew the front to the back at the shoulder seam.

Step Three:  Making the Collar and Sleeve

Measure from one side of the collar through the neckline to the end of the other side of the collar hem, plus 3/4″.  For example 89″ + 3/4″= 89 3/4″

Step Four:  Cut the Collar and Sleeves

Measure the armhole from the front notch to the back and add the seam allowance times two.  I go into detail on how to sew the armband or sleeve on STEP FOUR here.

Cut the collar and sleeves on a straight grain line.

Wrong sides together, fold both collar and the cuff of the sleeves in half lengthwise.

Step Five:  Sewing the Collar

Attach the collar starting at the hem leaving 3/8″ to fold the hem.  Pin the collar all the way to the other side of the top leaving the 3/8″ for the hem.

Step Six:  Sewing the Sleeve Cuff

The cuff is sewn in the same way as the Linen V-neck top, so follow that section well.

Ideally, you have already downloaded and made the first top, so this step will be just a breeze for you.  If you have not, it is important to read the instructions for the Linen V-Top and understand the sewing procedure.

With that done your Kimono is all finished!

Do you have another idea for transforming the original pattern?  The V-neck top pattern is very well suited for transformation and experimenting.  Did you like the transformation into a short sleeve mid-length kimono pattern, or would you rather download your own?  Do let me know in the comments section below.

A Quick Response To A Comment

I also wanted to take a moment to address a trend that has been happening in the USA and one that causes a bit of confusion for those of us who do not live in the USA and are not familiar with the Politically Correct movement.

Here is a comment I received from a reader on the first Kimono top pattern:  “I know you mean well, by calling a top kimono you are culturally appropriating it.”

I did not approve the comment, because where will we end up if we cannot appreciate the works and art of cultures different from our own?  Appropriation is such a politically charged word and is used to mean that what we are doing is disrespectful, I prefer to use adaptation, assimilation, or even just borrowing.  After all, it is how we learn and a great way to show our appreciation.

Adapting and assimilating is how we learn to write, sing, and dress.  In fact, nearly everything that we know, especially in the arts, has come from some other country, time period, or culture.  I believe by learning and adapting from other cultures is why today we have the advances in all fields that we enjoy today.  But that’s just my opinion, take a look at this young YouTuber on the subject of Americans wearing kimonos.

This is the opinion of the Japanese about a highly controversial and criticized concert that Katy Perry did in 2016.  (Personally, Katy Perry is not my cup of tea but I can appreciate artistically what she was going for.)  If you’re interested, watch the reaction from real Japanese people on the street about Americans wearing kimonos and the criticism by the media of the video.

I can say as a Panamanian, that I am proud when I see a foreigner wearing our national costume because I know that that woman took four hours to get dressed and she is wearing it with pride and she feels beautiful because people cannot stop admiring her.  We see it as the highest form of respect for our culture.

What do you think? I am very interested in your opinion on this subject please comment in the section below.

Anyways, Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern
recycling old placemats
short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

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Culottes Tutorial For Summer Glamour

Culottes Tutorial For Summer Glamour


culottes tutorial

Culottes, one of the most trendy styles of the 50’s and 60’s, are back!  Culottes are flared pants or shorts that can often look like a skirt or a dress when you’re wearing them.  I have been trying to help you build a warm-weather wardrobe that is both easy and practical  –and that is easy to make.  Here is another free pattern to add to your collection of projects for the summer.

culottes tutorial

photo credit: Spring and Summer 1955 Lane Bryant via photopin (license)

“Culotte” is a French word that means the lower part of a garment or knee-breeches.  They have been fashionable since Henry III made them popular at court in France in the latter part of the 1500s and were worn mostly by the upper class.  Later, in the time leading up to the French revolution in the 18th century, the lower classes who wouldn’t have worn culottes became known as “sans-culottes” or literally “without short pants” — a term these partisans and revolutionaries embraced as they manned the street barricades.

There are two things I really like about this culottes tutorial and pattern –there is an option of adding front pockets to the pants without adding bulk to the tummy and you can easily transform them into long pants by adding length at the hem.

culottes tutorial

My choice of fabric is a Jacquard Knit since this pattern is for knits only.  For some ideas of the right sort of fabric to use, please check the link below.

Materials

Fabric Recommendations

Pattern sizes

These culottes are in sizes 6 to 22.  The Lower Waist measurement relative to the Hips measurement below may appear unusual to some readers, but for this design to fit right, I can assure you it is correct for the knit fabric I am using.

Finished Garment Measurements

Size Lower Waist Hips Hem Width
6 31″ 52″ 60″
8 32″ 53″ 61″
10 34″ 54″ 63″
12 35 1/2″ 55 1/2″ 64 1/2″
14 37″ 57″ 66″
16 38 1/2″ 58 1/2″ 67 1/2″
18 40″ 60″ 72″
20 42″ 62″ 74″

Pattern Pieces

  • Two backs
  • Two fronts
  • Two pockets front
  • Two pockets back
  • One waistband (not included in the pattern).  Please follow instructions on how to cut your waistband.

Features

  • These pants look like an A-line skirt or amazing super-elongating silhouette palazzo pants.
  • A flattering feature in this pattern is the pockets in the front but they are OPTIONAL.
  • Soft waistband that does not add bulk to the tummy area.
  • For the girls that do not like to wear pants in summer, this is the perfect style to feel very comfortable and still look like you are wearing a skirt.
  • 5/8″ seam allowance in all pattern pieces.

Video Tutorial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixdTAjl3Etg

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Pattern Layout

Culottes tutorial

Step One: Download the pattern

We’re going to continue to use the new Payhip webstore to distribute our patterns.

Our patterns are still free, but now you now have the option of making a small contribution if you like our work! We’d really appreciate it and it will help is keep going with new and fun designs like this. Even a dollar or two really goes a long way.

Thanks so much in advance for helping us out.  You can use any credit card and you don’t need a Paypal account, although you can use one if you have one.

Download the pattern HERE

If you need any help with down How to download and print PDF patterns or How to print and assemble a PDF pattern, please check out the linked tutorials.

Step Two: Cut the fabric

Use a rotary cutter or very sharp scissors and as many pins or weights as you can so your fabric does not move while cutting.  Pay special attention to the grain on the fabric indicated in your pattern.

For more guidance on Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting Fabric, please read this guide.

Step Three: Sew the pocket.

Culottes tutorial

We will start by stabilizing the seam and the opening of the pocket by adding fusible interfacing or stay tape.  This step is a must because this area will stretch and become baggy if you do not use fusible interfacing.

Culottes tutorial
Culottes tutorial

Place the front pocket piece right side down on the front side of the pants.  Prints are going to be facing each other.  Sew the front pocket side to the front pants using a 5/8″ seam.

Culottes tutorial
Culottes tutorial

Turn the pant piece print side down and pin the seam allowance to the pocket. Iron and stay stitch the seam allowance to 1/8″ from the seam. Trim the seam allowance, turn the pocket and iron.

Turn the pocket to the inside of the pants as it is going to hang and make two rows of stitches for decoration and for reinforcing the edge of the pocket.  You can use your twin needle here as well.

For guidance on How to Use a Twin Needle, please follow this guide.

Culottes tutorial

Do the same to the other pocket.

Trim the seam allowance, turn the pocket and iron.

Change your needle to a twin needle and stay stitch on the right side.  The use of a twin needle is optional.  To have the same effect without the twin needle just make 2 rows of stitches.

Culottes tutorial

Turn the front side with the pocket you have been working on print side down, place the back side of pocket on top of the front side of the pocket.  Sew around the pocket at 5/8″. 

Culottes tutorial

Zigzag the edges or use the serger.  Please note that many knits do not need the edges to be finished because they do not ravel.  If they do, serge them.

Step Four: Assemble the culottes

Culottes tutorial

Sew the two fronts together but stop two inches from the end.

Culottes tutorial

Sew the back pieces the same way, stopping 2 inches from the end.

Culottes tutorial

Sew the sides of the culottes and finish the seam either with a zigzag or a serger.

Culottes tutorial

Sew the inseam and zigzag the edges or use your serger.

Step Five: Check fitting and add the waistband

Culottes tutorial

The pants at the waist should be close to your hips but not tights,  there should be no gaps between the waistline and your hipbones.  Adjust the pants according to your body, then measure the waist and cut a band 1″ to 1 1/2″ smaller than the measurement.

Culottes tutorial
Culottes tutorial

Fold the band in half.  Sew the ends at 5/8″. 

Culottes tutorial

Fold the band lengthwise in half.

Culottes tutorial

Mark the middle top and bottom by making a small notch with your scissors.

Pin the band seam to the seam of the back of the culottes and the center mark you did before to the front seam of the pants.

Culottes tutorial

Pull the bands to distribute the stretch of the waistband evenly.

Culottes tutorial

Using a small zigzag, stitch sew the waistband to the culottes.  If you have a serger you can finish the seam with it.

Culottes tutorial

Finish the edge with your serger or using a zigzag stitch.  And there you have it.  Done.

Whether you decide to make the culottes or the palazzo pants you are sure to have an outfit for many occasions.  Team them up with a tank top or pretty blouse and you can go anywhere.

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Culottes tutorial



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Easy Dress Pattern for Summer – and it’s Free!

Easy Dress Pattern for Summer – and it’s Free!


You asked – you got it.  The next free pattern from So Sew Easy is an easy dress pattern for a great summer dress with option to shorten for a top. Made in just a few simple steps, I’ll hold your hand all the way with this one and show you some tips and tricks along to way to help you sew beautifully with knit fabrics.

Easy Summer Dress.  Free multi-size pattern and step by step photo tutorial from So Sew Easy.

Styling options – wear it strapless (it includes an elastic back so won’t fall), or with a center halter strap or two straps from the bust or sides.  You can also cut this off at hip length and wear it as a top too.  It’s up to you.

Easy Summer Dress.  Free multi-size pattern and step by step photo tutorial from So Sew Easy.

 

Download your easy dress pattern

The pattern is available to download from my design store account with Payhip.  You can tip something for it if you want, but that’s not necessary.  It’s free, quick, and easy.  Add the pattern to your cart, and then checkout – no payment is needed, no address details etc.  Then you can download the pattern in a PDF made of 16 separate sheets of paper.

Opt In Image

Download the Easy Summer Dress pattern

Download your Easy Summer Dress pattern pieces here.

Constructing your PDF pattern.

(Note – these instructions are written assuming you are fairly new to sewing and give plenty of detail.  If you have used digital patterns before, or have sewn similar garments, do skip on through and sorry its so long!  If you are new to sewing, take your time, and do leave a comment if you have any questions.)

First time you’ve used a digital pattern?  Don’t worry, I’ll show you what to do.  Load your printer with regular printer paper, open the PDF file and print. Do not select any of the fancy printing options such as center, scale, fit to page etc.  You just want to print it out straight as it is.

If you are worried about printing out at the right size, then just print page 1 first, because this one includes a test box to measure.  The box is drawn at 5cm square, so print this one page, measure the box and if it’s 5cm you are good to go.  If not, then you might need to check your print settings to see what settings might need to be changed before printing again.

Once you have all 16 pieces, keep them in order.  Then set them out from left to right, 4 pieces across in a row and then another 4 underneath, and another 4, and the last 4 on the bottom row.  This is how the pieces will be assembled.  Each piece comes with a border that overlaps the next piece of paper, so you should cut off or fold over the top and the right-hand side of each piece lining up your cut or fold with the guideline on the printout.

Each piece is numbered so start with 1-4 on the top 5-8 on row two and so on.  Overlap your pieces, matching up the pattern lines, and stick them in place with tape. It should look very much like this–>

Easy Summer Dress. Free multi-size pattern and step by step photo tutorial from So Sew Easy.

Once you have your jigsaw completed you can read and note any instructions and directions, and then refer to the sizing chart below and cut out your pattern pieces.

What Size Do I Need?

The dress is made from a stretchy knit fabric and is intended to be skim the body and be fairly fitted.  The size I made for myself I am calling the Medium.  My measurements are high bust (around the back and over the bust high under the arms) 35.5, Bust 36, Waist 31, Hips/Thigh widest point 39.

The amount of stretch in the fabric will alter the fit and feel of the dress so use this table as a guide only.

  Bust Waist Hips
Small 32-34 27-29 35-37
Medium 35-36 30-31 38-40
Large 37-39 32-34 40-43

To make your own alterations to the pattern, increase or decrease at the center front and center back from the size closest to you above.    For the mid-section – increase at the side seam.  Always test the fit using the paper pattern pieces, or an inexpensive test fabric before cutting your expensive fabric for this dress.  If in doubt or between sizes, make the larger size and adjust for fitting at the side seams during construction.

Adjustments to length.  If you want the dress longer, simply add some length to the center back piece at the bottom, and add the same length to the front skirt piece.  To shorten and wear as a blouse, remove length from the bottom and chop off at hip length or where required.

Cutting your fabric

All main pieces for the dress are designed to be cut on the fold of the fabric.  If you prefer, you can print two copies of the pattern, stick the pieces together opposite each other, to double the pattern pieces and cut on a single layer of fabric.  This would be useful if you have a large design and want to see how the design will lie on the finished dress.

  • To cut on the fold – fold your fabric along the grainline, just folding over enough to accommodate the size of your pattern piece.  Then place the edge of the back pattern piece on the fold of the fabric and hold it in place there.  You can use proper pattern weights, pins, or even tins of tuna.
  • Take note of the stretch of the fabric and make sure your pattern pieces are lined up the right way.  The maximum stretch should go across and around your body not top to bottom.
  • Before you cut ANYTHING, make sure that you have enough fabric for all of the pattern pieces.  So fold in the other side of the fabric and place the other pieces on the fold too.
  • Once everything is laid out, cut out your pattern pieces.

If you need further directions for cutting out your fabric, follow the directions for the Summer Drape Top.

Now you have your fabric cut and ready, we can start to sew your easy dress pattern.  Come back for the full step-by-step construction tutorial in Part 2.

Easy dress pattern - the Easy Summer Dress.  Free multi-size pattern and step by step photo tutorial from So Sew Easy.

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Sewing an Invisible Hem – Sew A Skirt Series

Sewing an Invisible Hem – Sew A Skirt Series


Welcome to Episode 10 in the How to Sew A Skirt Sew-along series.  The subject for today is: Sewing an Invisible Hem

How to Sew A Skirt. Beginners tutorial series covers fabric, patterns, cutting out, darts, zipper, lining, hems and more. You can totally learn to sew from this set of tutorials - from So Sew Easy.

Our skirt is nearly finished.  For me, it’s been a marathon of not just sewing, but taking notes, taking photos and blogging too.  My new skirt is already finished so I know it’s been worth it!  I’m using the example of the skirt in the middle here during our Sew A Skirt series.

How to Sew A Skirt. Beginners tutorial series covers fabric, patterns, cutting out, darts, zipper, lining, hems and more. You can totally learn to sew from this set of tutorials - from So Sew Easy.

Sewing an Invisible Hem

When it comes to hemming the skirt there are SO many options.  You can simply turn up the hem once, press then turn up again, and sew around with a regular straight stitch.

Or you could do a fancy hem finish with a hemming tape -from Stitch in my side.

Or you could turn and hand stitch – from Megan Neilsen.

You can try any of these options, or if you fancy, how about having a go at an Invisible Seam, sometimes called a Blind Hem?  An invisible seam isn’t completely invisible – depending on the fabric and thread used, you might still see some regular tiny stitches.  And in a patterned fabric like mine, you cannot use a thread that matches all parts of the pattern, so some stitches will show.  But it does give a very nice result and I recommend having a try at this.

I’m working on a leftover piece of fabric from my skirt so that I can show you the process using a bright pink thread to make the stitches easier to see.  If you haven’t done this type of hem before, then do practice before trying it out on your skirt.

Preparation

The preparation of the hemline is important for this type of seam.  Once you have tried on your skirt and decided where you want the finished hemline to be, do measure this and mark it.

  • First measure up 1/4 inch all the way around your fabric and press the seam to the wrong side.
  • Then fold the fabric inside again until your skirt is the correct length.  Measure how much you have turned and turn this same amount all the way around to get an even hemline.  Using a sliding hem gauge will help.
Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.
  • Once everything is pressed, you have to fold your entire hemline back to the outside of the skirt, just leaving a small area of the first turn visible.  This is where your stitching will go.
  • Select the invisible hem stitch from your sewing machine – consult your manual if you need to for how to set up the width of your stitch and adjust it if necessary.
  • If you have a Blind Hem Foot, great.  If not, you may still be able to do this with a regular machine foot if you line up the fabric carefully and stitch slowly.
Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.
  • Take your fabric to the machine and line up as shown….
Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.
  • When you sew, most of the stitches will be on the right hand side in the folded part of the hem fabric, and when the needle swings to the left, it should just catch the fabric to leave a tiny stitch.
  • Practice on spare fabric first to get your stitch width settings correct.
  • Once sewn, the hem should look like this from the inside…
Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.
  • And like this on the outside of the hemline.  Remember I am using the bright pink thread to show you the tiny stitches.
Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.
  • If you are happy with your practice, now go on and do the same to the hemline of your skirt.  Press when you are done.
  • If you don’t have the right presser foot, or don’t feel confident – that’s OK, just try one of the other more simple hemline finishes instead – try here, here or the links above.

Our next step

A quick recap of what we have completed so far in case you have missed a step and need to review :

  1. Overview, tools and equipment and choosing your fabric
  2. Drafting your custom fit pattern, and all about ease and seam allowances
  3. Cutting your fabric and pattern matching
  4. Marking darts perfectly
  5. Sewing darts perfectly
  6. All about zipper feet
  7. Sewing an invisible zipper
  8. Lining a skirt – part 1
  9. Lining a skirt – part 2, the zipper
  10. Sewing the hemline

Join me soon for the next step in our Sew A Skirt series – Finishing and series round up


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