Sweet summer style making know how

making know how
making know how
summer style
Pair a floaty summer dress with a chic and simple scarf.
By Jeanne Spaziani
one front bodice, one back bodice, one
front skirt and one back skirt.
Shoulder seams
2. Sew the front to the back bodice at the
shoulder seams. I used French seaming
on this dress but you can use a different
seaming method if you prefer.
BACKDROP FABRIC: Great Dahlia on oyster linen, Bennison Fabrics, 020 7730 8076, bennisonfabrics.com
Neckline and armholes
3. Stay stitch the neckline and both
armholes 5mm in from the edge. Be sure
not to stretch the curves as you do this.
They can then be finished with either
a fine pin-hem, which is what I did and is
the lightest, most delicate method for thin
fabrics, or by using a narrow purchased
cotton bias binding. See the (below/above)
link to a video showing how to do pin-hems.
Practice on some scraps of fabric first.
Because these are curved areas you really
do need to stay stitch both the armhole
and entire neck before either method or the
curves may stretch out very badly. After pinhemming (or binding) lay the bodice out on
your ironing board and carefully press the
curves so they lay nice and flat.
Summer dress
You will need
2m of 148cm wide lightweight fluid
woven fabric such as poly or silk
georgette, cotton lawn, crêpe de chine,
rayon challis etc
Sewing machine
Matching thread
Hand sewing needle
Safety pin
20mm wide elastic – enough to go
around your waist
2m of 15mm/16mm bias binding
to finish neck and armholes
Cutting out
Darts and side seams
4. Next sew the front bust darts. Join the
bodice side seams together, matching the
1. You could sew a second elastic
casing 3cm above the first, and even
a third one above that to completely
gather in the entire midriff of your dress.
2. If a fishtail hem isn’t for you, lengthen the
pattern so it measures the desired length
from the waist seam all the way around.
Remember to add hem allowance.
3. For a level hem style you can have
a wider hem turning if you prefer.
Do lay your pattern pieces out on
a table or floor to work out just how
much fabric you’ll need if you are
changing the skirt length!
1. Cut the five dress pieces on page 84
from your fabric: one elastic casing strip,
making know how
finished armhole edges very accurately.
Sew the skirt front and back together by the
seaming method you prefer.
Attach bodice to skirt
5. With right sides together, matching the
side seams and the centre notches, join
the skirt to the bodice with a 1cm seam
For dress pattern
templates see page
84 or for full size
templates visit
Elastic casing
6. Take the waist elastic-casing strip and
press 1cm to the wrong side of it along
one long edge. Press the seam allowances
at the short ends to the wrong side too.
Starting at a side seam and with the
unpressed right side of the casing strip
against the wrong side of the skirt, pin
and sew the casing to the waistline seam
allowances close to the waist stitching line.
Press the casing and the now enclosed
seam allowances up towards the bodice
(the seam allowances can be trimmed a
little smaller if you think they need it). Pin
and topstitch the casing onto the bodice
along the pre-pressed edge.
7. A good rule of thumb for an elastic
measurement is your waist measurement
minus 7cm. Safety pin the elastic closed and
try it on your waist to see if this feels snug
You will need
enough. If not, adjust as needed. With the
50cm of 148cm–160cm wide
safety pin pinned to one end of the elastic
fabric (soft fabrics work best)
thread it through the casing, making sure it
doesn’t twist along the way. When the back
end gets close to the casing opening anchor
it with a pin so it doesn’t disappear into
Sewing machine
the casing! If it does disappear just
Hand needle
1. For different effects your
carry on threading the front end
Matching thread
scarf can be pieced together from
through until you can pull it out and
different fabrics. For example try
start over again. When the elastic
a pattern and a solid or using two
is finally in place overlap the two
1. Press your fabric
contrasting colours.
extended ends and securely hand
and make sure the
2. In step 4 before the ends are
sew them together. Give the waist
edges are straight.
joined, one end can be given a half
a few stretches in and out to help
With wrong sides
before pinning together which
distribute the gathers along the
out fold it in half
forms a mobius strip which adds
elastic. Close up the casing opening
lengthways and sew
another element to your
with a few hand stitches.
a seam 1cm in from the
scarf. en.wikipedia.org/
long raw edges. Leave a
10cm gap in the stitching as
8. Try on your dress, adjust the hem length
as needed and finish with a fine pin hem.
shown in the diagram below.
Scarf diagram
Mustique chiffon fabric in orange:
YouTube pin-hemming tutorial:
Bias binding tutorials:
Printed at 50%. Reproduce
at 200% for actual size.
3. Turn the whole tube right
side out and tuck the raw ends
into the turned back edge,
lining up the seam.
4. Reach your fingers through
the 10cm gap and grab the
edges. Pull them out through
the gap and pin together.
Stitch all the way around.
5. Pull all right side out and
press the join seam flat.
Press the long edge seam so
it is right on the edge of your
scarf and press the fold along
the opposite edge.
6. Pin the gap and slip stitch
it closed.
Cotton Hummingbird fabric:
10cm gap
width of fabric 148-160cm
2. Turn back 1cm seam
allowance in the end nearest the
gap and lightly press in place.
fabric wrong side out