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My love for dresses extends well beyond June, July and August (and did even when I didn’t live on a tropical island that basically calls for year-round dress wear). In fact, I haven’t worn shorts or pants since I arrived in Saipan. This great Dress Love makes Melissa’s Sundress Series one of my favorites every year!
You guys will laugh- I committed to making a sundress before I realized that I’d be sewing in a temporary apartment with a hilariously ill equipped set of sewing supplies. However, I did ship some pink and gold fabric here to Saipan that is a perfect fit for Piper’s upcoming sparkle party… and so the falling glitter dress came to be.
To make a sweet, glittery dress-
Lay an A-line dress that fits on top of your folded fabric. Trace around the bodice, extending down about an inch under the arm cutouts, and leaving seam allowances (1/4″-1/2″, whatever you prefer). Cut out.
Move the dress 3 or 4 inches over, away from the fold. Keeping the fold of the dress and the fold of the fabric parallel, trace the bottom edge and A line. Cut, again, leaving a seam allowance perimeter. Add an extra inch to the bottom of the dress for hemming.
Cut another set of bodice pieces for the bodice lining, using the bodice you already cut as your pattern. Trim the neckline of one set of bodices (a lining and an exterior piece), following the neckline curve of the A-line dress you are tracing. Cut the other two bodices in half down the middle.
Fold the bottom hem of the skirt pieces over, about half and inch and press. Repeat so that both skirt pieces have doubled over folded edges along the bottom.
Press the bottom edge of the lining bodice pieces under, toward the right side (don’t worry about doing this for the exterior pieces).
Pin the front bodice pieces to the back bodice pieces at the shoulder seams (for both the lining and the exterior). Sew along the shoulder seams. Press.
Cut a 4″ x 1″ rectangle of coordinating fabric. Press in half, right sides facing in and sew along the open edge, making a tube. Turn right side in and press.
Lay the sewn together bodices on top of each other, right sides together, matching up the front bodices and the back bodices.
Tuck the tube of fabric in between the front and back bodice pieces, leaving enough of a loop for a button to fit snugly through. Pin and sew along the neck hole, arm holes and center back bodice lines. Don’t sew along the straight lines under the arm holes.
Turn right side in and press.
Take the straight lines under the arm hole curves and line up with their coordinating bodice piece. Pin and sew together, completing the bodice (this part is tricky to show, but if you pin until the bodice ‘looks right,’ you’ll get it)
To make the french seams on the skirt, pin the two skirt pieces together, wrong sides facing each other (yes, you read that right). Sew along both edges.
Then turn the skirt inside out and sew along each edge again with a wider seam allowance (I used a 1/2″ seam allowance just to be sure). This encases all of the raw edges.
Leaving the skirt right side in, turn the bodice inside out and slip it over the skirt, matching the raw edge of the bottom of the bodice to the raw edge of the top of the skirt. Pin the exterior of the bodice (but not the lining). Since the skirt is much larger than the bodice, it was easiest for me to match up the side seams and pin, then match the centers of the bodice and skirt and pin, the find the center of that distance and pin. Then sew around the entire perimeter, making sure that the pleats in the skirt all fall the same direction.
Pull the pressed under edge of the bodice lining down over the raw seam where the skirt and exterior bodice meet. Pin the bodice lining in place so that the raw edge is covered. Then top stitch around the bottom of the bodice, securing the lining in place and encasing the raw seam.
Hem the bottom of the dress. Hand sew a button on the back of the bodice.
Wear… Twirl… Wander on the beach… Love!
And be sure to check out the other dress goodness (and a giveaway!) at Melly Sews Sundress Series!