Hey BurdaStylers! I am pretty excited about my June magazine mash-up, as one of my favorite burda style magazine collections ever debuted in this issue. Yes I am talking about the Surfer Girl pattern collection…pretty sure by the end of of the summer I am going to make ALL these patterns. On top of that, I received some fabulous and fun printed fabric from Spoonflower. Check out what I have created this month and how. This project took me one evening from start to finish, so you can make this dress tonight if you want!
It was extremely hard to figure out which pattern I wanted to make from the Surfer Girl pattern collection. I decided to go with the Elastic Mini-Dress because I wanted a dress this summer that I could throw on over a swimsuit for the beach, or at the cottage. But sooner or later I am totally making the ‘wetsuit’ look from the collection (and not wear it surfing, haha). I really like the elasticated waist and the short hemline (I did lengthen it a bit tho!). Now for the awesome fabric I used. I received this Lego printed knit fabric from Spoonflower. The flared-flirty skirt on this dress complemented the vibrant and youthful print of this fabric, so I knew the two would look great together!
I changed up the style of the skirt a little bit, and also wanted to break up the print of the fabric. In stead of an elastic casing for the waist, I bought a thick black elastic to insert at the waist to act sort of like a belt. In my spandex scrap bin I found a virant blue mesh that matched the blue in the fabric perfectly, so I decided to use that as the binding.
Firstly, I measured the width of my elastic (which was 2 1/2"). Then on either side of the waistline (indicated on the pattern) I drew a parallel line half the width on either side (1 1/4"). You then need to add seam allowance to those new edges (towards the original waistline). On the side seams I just added 1/4" because the edges just get serged together (knit fabric). I added NO seam allowance on the armhole and neckline edges because I was applying binding to them.
I know this dress is supposed to be mini. But I don’t like my dresses THAT mini, especially at the back hemline of the dress. To the entire hemline I added an additional 1 1/4", and then to the center back I added an extra 2" and curved a new hemline with my hip curve.
I cut all the pieces on fold, and then measured the elastic to be my waist measurement plus 1/4" on each side (for seam allowance).
For the binding strips I cut 1" long pieces with my rotary cutter and ruler (so much easier this way!).
On the skirt pieces I marked the CF and CB with a pin (the middle of the pieces on the waistline). Then on the elastic I quartered it, and marked each quarter with a pin. I serged ONE side seam of the skirt together and then spread open on a flat surface. I then aligned the pins on the elastic with those on the skirt waistline. The middle pin in the elastic corresponds with the side seam, and then the pins on either side of the middle connect with the CF and CB pins of the skirt. Take away one of the pins and just use one pin to keep these markings together. I used another pin to mark these quarter marks on the other side of the elastic for when I attach the bodice.
When all the quarter markings are pinned together it will look like this. The ratio of fabric to elastic is about 2:1.
I started sewing the elastic to the skirt at the other open side seam edge. I stretched the elastic to meet the fabric length as I serged together (see image). When finished you will get a gathered effect from the sewn-in stretched elastic.
Now I serged ONE side seam of the bodice together (make sure it corresponds with the side seam on the skirt). I then sewed the bodice to the other edge of the elastic the same way as I did the skirt.
It was then time to serge the other side seam together. I made extra sure to match up the elastic! Right after I did that, I serged the shoulder seams of the bodice together.
After I serged the shoulder seams together it was now time to attach the binding (yay!). For the binding I always start at the underarm seam (for the armholes) and the shoulder seam (for the neckline). I stretched the binding as I serged so it would gather these edges in a bit (see image).
After I serged on the binding, I planned on flipping to the inside and zig-zag stitching down in place. But I ended up loving the look of the mesh binding flipping out and with a raw edge…so I left it that way!
It was now time for the hem (almost done!). Since I used a knit fabric I overlocked the hemline. You could zig-zag stitch the hem as well, or even single needle because the hemline is so flowy and wouldn’t stretch across the legs.
I thought I was done my dress, and tried it one to see the finished product. But the big black elastic was a bit overwhelming so I decided to use a leftover binding strip to sew in the middle of the black waistband. I started sewing the blue mesh strip at the side seam where the elastic is sewn together, I overlapped a bit at the edge and secured in place. Voila!
I love my new lego-printed dress! It is really fun to wear and the flowy skirt is perfect for warm weather. I plan on wearing this mini-dress as a coverup to the beach, since it is a bit short. Or I would wear it over a pair of tight black biking shorts for a look that is ‘totally 80s’, hey I might even wear a matching scrunchie! See more images of my bright primary-colored dress here
How would you wear this dress? Have you made this dress pattern? I would love to see it!
Meg Healy is BurdaStyle.com’s Online Editor and eCommerce Manager. She has an education in fashion design and earned several awards for her technical skills in pattern making and sewing.