And my obsession with dresses continues! Especially when it comes to spring and summer sewing, I just can’t get enough. They’re cool and cute and flirty and fun; not to mention, they take no time at all to sew!
This spotted sheath dress is no exception…read on for the super easy tutorial!
1. First, you’ll need to download and print the free pattern here (be sure to print from Adobe Reader/Acrobat and NOT a browser! Make sure your printer is not scaling the pages). Then tape all your pages together (just overlap the margins of the pattern pages before cutting- no need to trim them off!).
I drafted it to fit my body pretty loosely, and my measurements are 37-29-38 (about a size 6 or medium). If you’re bigger or smaller than this, you can grade the pattern out or in, simply by adding or subtracting inches to your bust, waist and/or hips. Since the pattern piece represents 1/4th of the dress’s measurements, you’ll only need to add or subtract 1/4 of the difference in our measurements.
For example, if your bust is 2 inches larger than mine but your hips are 1 inch smaller, then add 0.5″ to the bust area (2″ divided by 4) and subtract 0.25″ (1″ divided by 4) to the hip area. I hope that makes sense…it’s really simple once you get started!
I made my dress a little looser than a traditional sheath dress because I wanted to avoid needing an opening (my fabric also had some stretch to it). If you’d like a closer fit or are using a fabric with no stretch, you’ll need to insert a zipper or other opening.
2. Now, cut out out your fabric by laying the straight edge of your pattern pieces on the fold of your fabric (where indicated). You’ll need to cut one bodice front (along the lower neckline curve) and one bodice back (along the higher neckline curve), as well as 2 sleeve pieces. Now, cut out a neckband bias strip measuring 27″ (68 cm) x 2″ (5cm). You can avoid cutting this piece on the bias if your fabric already has stretch to it, as long as you cut with the stretch running lengthwise.
**Remember after sewing each seam, to finish your raw edges and press well!
3. Sew your front to back bodice pieces together at the shoulders, and then at the sides, RST, using a 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance. Sew your underarm seam by stitching the sleeve to itself along the short, straight edge, RST. Repeat with 2nd sleeve. Turn dress inside out and sleeve right side out; insert sleeve into dress at armhole, pin together, keeping raw edges even and matching side seam to underarm seam. Ease through the shoulder curve to fit. Baste sleeve to dress and check for puckers or folds. Stitch sleeve to dress and repeat with opposite sleeve.
4. Stitch short ends of neckband piece together, then fold loop in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press again. Pin neckband to RIGHT side of dress neckline, raw edges even. Stitch neckband piece to neckline, using a scant 1/4″ (.6 cm) seam allowance. Fold neckband to inside of dress and press well. Topstitch neckband in place, close to fold.
5. Hem sleeves and dress as desired.
And, you’re done! A quick, easy project with a big “wow” factor. Let me know how yours turns out!