For years I have been in love with this red Valentino dress. It’s been all over pinterest and worn on the red carpet. I picked up this beautiful orangy-red stretch fabric a little over a year ago and knew I wanted to make a fitted dress out of it, but never got around to it. I say, no better time to make a fitted dress than when you’re 7 MONTHS PREGNANT! amiright? (*face palm) But our 8-year-anniversary was coming up and I wanted to make something special. Then that bow sleeve dress popped into my head and I just had to make it.
That fabric is extremely stretchy, let me tell you. And I created the pattern from this exact dress that I wore in this post. I just added a bow, which is removable. I wore it without the bow in this post a few weeks back. I even made the same dress in a blush color (I just didn’t make a bow and made the sleeves shorter), which I wore in this post.
Shop my look below and click on the link at the very bottom for the full tutorial for this dress…
- 2 1/2 yards of thicker stretch knit fabric
- Fitted dress to use as a pattern
- Pattern paper
- Matching thread
Using a fitted dress that has a good amount of stretch, create a pattern onto your pattern paper. Add your seam allowanced and add an additional 1/2″ to each side of the front for your seam allowance for your cut-outs. Add an extra 1″ to either side of the back of your dress, and cut the back of your dress down the middle. The added fabric will give you room to place a zipper in the back, as well as add the cut-outs
Trace 2 sleeves, and front and back neckline.
Refer to the illustration for cutting out the dress sections, cut one center front piece from your front section so that your front side sections have more of an hour glass curve. This will allow the fabric to curve nicely on your body. Do the same thing for the 2 back side sections.
Cut 2 squared of fabric for your bow. One should measure 12″ x 12″ and the other should measure 4″ x 5″
Stitch your two front side sections to your center front section. I stitched these seams with a normal sewing machine first, then serged down the seam allowance.
Attach your two back side sections to either sides of your center back pieces.
Place your back sections on top of your front section, right sides together, and stitch across the top shoulder seams. Make sure to pin your back sides correctly so that the straight center line will match up in the back.
Open up your dress and insert your sleeves, placing the sleeve at the center sleeve curve (see illustration) right sides together. Match up sides and center first when pinning.
Flip your dress inside-out and stitch under the arms and down the sides. Attach your neckline pieces, stitching with right sides together.
Hem the sleeves, bottom of the dress, and flip your neckline piece into the dress, press, and use a wide straight stitch to stitch closely all around the neckline to hold the neckline piece in place.
Take your big bow piece and fold it in half. Stitch up the long side close to the edge of your fabric. The move this seam allowance so that it runs down the middle of the back and stitch across the top and bottom shorter ends. Make sure to allow a 2-3″ opening on one of the sides. Flip this rectangle right-side out.
Fold your smaller rectangle in half length-wise and stitch up the side as well. Turn it right-side out, move the seam to the middle back, and wrap this strip in the middle of your bow and stitch to secure. You can hand stitch this to one of the shoulders of your dress, or simply pin it so that it can be removed if desired.