photography by Kendra Maarse Photography
- 2 yards of knit fabric
- 28″ of thin elastic (1/4″ works best)
- Wonder Tape for the neckline (not necessary but makes things so much easier!
- matching thread
Using an existing fitted dress as a pattern template, lay it on pattern paper or your fabric and trace and cut around each section to create your pattern pieces. For the length of the dress, you will want to make it pretty long. Mine went to my mid-calf before I added the elastic. Make sure you include a 1/2″ for seam allowance, and make the sleeves and dress length 1″ longer for the hem. Cutting out your pattern pieces on the fold will give you nice symmetrical pattern pieces.
With right sides together, stitch up the top shoulder seams.
Open up your two dress pieces and lay one of your sleeve pieces like the picture in step 2. Match up the center curve of the top of the sleeve with the shoulder seam and pin. Then pin evenly down either side and sew with 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat with second sleeve.
With your dress inside out, stitch up the sides of your dress from the bottom of your sleeves all the way down with 1/2″ seam allowance. Serge down the sides if you would like.
Cut your strip of elastic in half so that you have 2 pieces that measure about 14″ long. Mark on the sides of your dress 4″ down from your armpit and about 8″ up from the bottom of your dress (do this to both sides). Stretch the elastic as tight as it will go and pin it to your seam allowance at the top, bottom, and evenly down the side. It will bunch up when you let go. Stitch it to your seam allowance with a straight stitch, stretching the fabric and elastic as you sew. Once it is stitched in place, your fabric will scrunch up and create the ruching effect.
If you cut out a neckline lining, attach it to your neckline with r.s. together, and stitch around with a wide straight stitch. Flip your neckline lining inside your dress, and topstitch around your neckline to secure in place.
If you have Wonder Tape , now is the time to use it! I just discovered this tape for finishing necklines and I was so amazing and easy to work with! Simply attach the stick tape all around your neckline along the edge, stretching the tape a bit as your go to keep the neckline from becoming lose. Fold under 1/4″ twice and pin around your neckline. Your fabric will stick to the tape and make it easy to fold under twice. Top stitch around your neckline securing the folded fabric. This tape won’t gum up your needle as you sew, and will disappear after your wash it.
Hem your sleeves and bottom of your dress with 1″ seam allowance.