How to Sew a Summer Dress – video

How to Sew a Summer Dress

I would like to show you how to sew a summer dress. The dress-pattern is taken from Burda. We will use only front and back-piece from it. If you have seen my previous video, when we sewed a dress from a maxi by adding sleeves to it, mind that front and back-piece of this dress-pattern will be used for our new dress. As for fabric I have taken Chinese staple, called “Savannah”. One meter of length will be enough, while the width may vary from 1.3 to 1.6 or so. If you take fabric of this kind, the dress will look totally evening. Crep-de-chine or chiffon – it doesn’t really matter.

If you haven’t used Burda dress-pattern called raglan fly-away yet, I will tell you how to do it. First of all you should choose your size. You can do it in the following way – measure the chest like this in the most prominent breast points, for example I’ve got 95 sm. In the journal you’ll have this kind of dress-pattern, so you should just measure it under the arms, taking the lowest place of arm-hole – and measure it in order to fit this width. For example if I have 95 sm of chest circumference, I will need 36th sizing.

Also we are going to make a pocket. It will be situated in a seam and the only thing we will need for is a pocket pattern. Well, probably it won’t be necessary at all. You should make it in this shape. I’ve used cotton because staple is a little bit loose and it may crumble as we are going to whip it, so it may loosen after the 1st or 2nd wash. The height is 26, and the width is 17; and the corners should be cut away.

If you use cellular fibre fabric, you had better presoak it in warm water, wring it and leave to cool down in the water. When the water is cold, rinse it in a proper manner and hang it out to dry. Iron the fabric after it has gone dry. I also recommend you to cut the fabric edge off. So we have a nice fabric edge, which we will need it later. The width is 3 sm. The edge is very practical, it is already bound. This is a good finding for people who have little experience in tailoring. Leaping ahead I’ll tell you that we will use it for running the armhole. Well, technologist would kill us for this, because there must be another kind of conditioning according to the technologies. But I’ve already tried it and was happy with the results.

We have cut away the 3 sm of fabric edge. So here we got a back-piece. Locate it in the way that the back crease is situated in the centre of the width. So after clipping an edge I’ve got 66 sm and – divided by 2 – 33. Just line it with the pencil. We use pencil because that it is erased in washing and is invisible on the front. So you can see that the front is folded inside. This is a cut-off and this is crease. Now just draw it out with pencil. Place dotted lines here…you had better leave bigger inturns from the top as there will be a black cord, run into a neck hole, so I have left 5 sm.

The length of a finished dress will be approximately 90-95 sm. If we have taken a meter of the fabric, we will get a length of 95 sm including this neck hole binding. There will be a binding in the bottom. As a result we have 90 sm of a dress length, and it’s quite ok. After having drawn it out from the arm hole up to the very bottom and the crease, the next thing we do is take upper level of the fabric according to the line fold it this way. Now we have a new place of fabric crease. Only after that you may rip it out. But you had better outline the back first. So we fold it this way. Take this…and as you see, design of the fabric is in the form of animals: the feet are here and the head is in the upper part, do not mix it up.

Now we do the same thing with the front: we put it in such a manner that locations of the armholes of the back and front parts coincide. So the neck hole will be with over-measure of 5 sm. Over-measure of side seam will be 2 sm or so. We don’t make over-measures for armhole as it will be run with the strip. So bind the arm hole for 5 sm. In this line we will snip the neck hole. Make sure that the armhole is drawn out apace with it…and right here…So there will be no over-measures for armhole, 5 sm for neck hole, 1.5-2 sm for side seam, and as for turning down of the bottom nous verrons. That’s all and now we can rip it out either from the top or bottom part.

Now we can tack it for fitting. Take the side seams and tack it from the top to the bottom. I would recommend you to stick it with pins in the edges and the centre and tack after that. The pin goes here and here. As for this part it will be turned down for about 0.5 sm and also tacked in. We will thread a string right here. So now we are trying it on. That’s it. I will make the utmost wide binding. We will have a pocket here, right on the hip. I will mark it with pins so that we can see the location of the pocket from the seamy side. As you see these places are a little bit loose, so I would narrow the side seam. Like so. The length of string is at your option. I have let it down according to the head circle because it was situated really high. So I lowered it. Maybe I will let it down even more. It will depend on armhole lifting.

So we have a dress after fitting. We turn it out. Pull out the pins under arms and create a new side seam. It is 2.5 sm far from the previous tacking. And bring it to naught up to the very bottom. These are our two new side seams. Mark the location of the pocket. So it will be here, on each of the side seams. The pocket entry will have length of 13 sm. Now we will draw 2 lines on each of the sides, right here and here. Ok. Then we cut away the side seam – unnecessary one. Keep just 2 sm. So now we will work with a bag, i.e. a pocket. You can make it by yourself or use Burda’s one. I’ve got my own. The width is 16 sm, height is 25-26 sm. Then just cut away the corners. Trim off more fabric from the top and from the bottom, make a round edge for hands.

Then we make splittings of 2 sm from top and 13 sm for the pocket entry. We will tack it to the back in such a way. So the back is here. Just split it. Apply it to the tacking of the pocket entry. This is the first splitting and the other one. After that, make a seam of the splitting width. Or you had better make a closing seam. Ok let’s make a closing seam. We will remove extra tacking if it gets in the way. Just remember that the seam is 2 sm. Apply pins to each bag up to the very bottom. As the string is thin, I would like to make a thinner binding of the neck hole. It will remain here but I bind it more so that it will be of 2.5 sm and will look more aesthetic. Let’s fasten it with a pin or just tack it.

Now stitch our bag or pocket so to say. This seam needs serging. You can make it either with a serger or zigzag or even by hand. We will also run opposite side on the level of the pocket length, just bind it. The length of the seam is the same as the pocket’s one. I mean the pocket itself, not the pocket entry. So here we go. You should clean it up after that. We have an appropriate fiber hue; in this case it is of milky color. The next step is to make a backstitch up to the pocket entry. We make a barred end at the top. Maximally turn off our running of the pocket. Make a barred end on the pocket. We have one more pocket tacking which is a bit lower and we start with it. The distance is 2 sm. Put away the pins and serge out side seam. Look the way it is elaborated. Here are the barred ends. The side seam will be up to the bag. As you see in this place the bending just comes to naught. You may leave it unchanged as it won’t become loose because the bend from the inside is quite fair. The same thing is here. And here is the pocket entry. Then we whip the bag. First turn it out. Then whip it at the top, at the bottom and full-circle in the end.

You can also make an outline frame so that it will be easy to stitch it from the upper side. Or you can do it from inner side (I do it from the upper side usually). Ok, let’s have an experiment. Put it in the sewing machine so that the pocket is in our sight. As you remember there is a splitting on the pocket, which determines the pocket entry. We start stitching abutting to the line of side seam. So we make a barred end on it and 2 sm of full-circle. Ok we have reached a side seam and made a barred end. We will iron finished dress as well as the pocket. Pull out the pins or tacking. Cut away the fibers. So now we have a nice pocket. It will look more decent after ironing. Then we run our arm hole. Take a fabric edge and put it edge-to-edge with a cut edge (not a selvage). Stitch it with distance of 0.5 sm. The side seam lies on the front so we turn to the front side. You may stretch the fabric edge but not the armhole, leave it loose. Run it strictly edge-to-edge. That’s it.

So we circuit our arm hole and stitch it in shade of the seam i.e. make the seam invisible. You had better pin or tack it. As a result the fabric edge (this cut strip) doesn’t thicken the armhole, and is perfectly sewed together with the arm hole. That’s all, cut away undue fibers and do the same with the other arm hole. We have a nice result. Then you may circuit the neck hole. Run it with closing seam, make a barred end. Stitch it 0.1 – 0.2 sm from the turndown on the front and back parts. As you can see I have ironed it as it makes the process easier. Stretch a string. I won’t cover the turn down of the bottom part as it is easy – you just tack it and make a closing seam. I’ve got a big one as I want a long dress and I wouldn’t like to cut it off. That’s all the dress is ready-made. You just still have to stretch a string.

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