Here is an easy to follow sewing lesson for our Asymmetrical Jersey Dress sewing pattern that debuted in our Coconut Grove pattern collection from the May 2014 issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. Check out all the great diagrams to help you sew this versatile cocktail dress.
This dress pattern has two variations, make it in a bright floral print like our Asymmetrical Jersey Dress or try sewing it in a neutral like our One Shoulder Ruched Dress. I really like a contrast of a different fabric in the middle, and then a darker neutral on the side panels. It will really give a flattering silhouette to the figure.
Refer to this pattern’s store page here for specific fabric yardage and notion requirements. Also remember to add seam allowance, which can be found in the instructions after purchase.
Step 1- Gather centre front; left side front seam: To gather left side edge of centre front, machine baste (longest stitch setting) from * to * along each side of marked seam line. Interrupt stitching at middle * and leave threads hanging approx. 5 cm (2 ins) long. Between the bottom and middle * , pull bobbin threads to gather the edge to 46 cm (181/8 ins). Knot ends of threads. Distribute gathering evenly. Do not yet gather between centre and top *.
Step 2- Lay left side front piece on left side edge of centre front, right sides facing. Pin edges together from lower edge to middle *. Pin top seam ends together at seam mark (seam number 1). Hold bobbin threads of maching basting and gather centre front to match left side front. Knot ends of threads. Pin remainder of seam. Stitch left side front seam. Neaten seam allowances together and press allowances toward side front.
Step 3- Right side front seam: Lay right side front on centre front, right sides facing. Pin right side front seam (seam number 2). Stitch seam. Press seam allowances open and neaten edges of allowances.
Back section seams: Lay side back pieces on corresponding edges of centre back piece, right sides facing. Pin section seams (seam numbers 3 and 4). Stitch seams. Press seam allowances open and neaten edges of allowances.
Right side seam: Lay dress front on dress back, right sides facing. Pin right side seam (seam number 7). Stitch. Press seam allowances open and neaten edges.
Step 4- Zip, left side seam: Make small clips in the seam allowances on left side front and back edges, to mark the zip slit. Open the zip and push the coil back with your thumbnail to reveal the stitching line between the tape and the coil. Place the open zip face down on the right fabric side of the back slit edge. In order to stitch the zip in place exactly along the marked seam line, first calculate the distance between the edge of the tape and the edge of the fabric as follows: width of seam allowance minus 1 cm (3/8 in) tape width = distance from edge of fabric. This will result in 5 mm (3/16 in) if the width of the seam allowance is 1.5 cm (5/8 in). Pin top end of zip tape to edge of seam allowance – teeth of zip begin at marked armhole edge. Place the presser foot on the zip so that the coil is in the notch to the right of the needle.
Step 5- Stitch zip in place as far as slit mark. Close zip. Place the other zip tape face down on the front slit edge and pin in place at the top.
Step 6- Open zip again. Place the presser foot on the top end of the zip so that the coil is in the notch to the left of the needle. Stitch zip in place as far as slit mark.
Step 7- Lay dress back on dress front, right sides facing. Pin left side seam below zip, turning loose zip end out of the way, over seam allowance. Use the zipper foot of your sewing machine to stitch the seam from the lower edge to as close to last stitches of zip seams as possible. Press seam allowances open and neaten edges.
Step 8- Strap: Pin strap pieces together, right sides facing. Stitch as pinned, leaving front end open. Trim seam allowances, trimming corners diagonally.
Step 9- Turn strap right side out. Press edges. Pin front strap end to neck edge of centre front, next to section seam.
Step 10- Face neck edges, left shoulder seam: Lay front facing on back facing, right sides together. Pin right side seam (seam number 9). Stitch seam. Press seam allowances open. Neaten inside facing edge. Trim allowances on shoulder edges (seam number 8) to 7 mm (1/4 in) wide and fold to wrong side of facing. Press. Lay facing on corresponding neck edges, right sides together. Pin to neck and armhole edges.
Step 11- Turn side facing edges back, 5 mm (3/16 in) before marked seam line, and pin. Fold allowances on slit edges of dress to outside, together with zip and pin to neck edge, over the facing.
Stitch along neck edges, beginning and ending exactly at marked shoulder seam line. Trim seam allowances. Turn facing up or into armhole. Stitch facing to seam allowances, close to attachment seam, stitching as close to zip and shoulder seam as possible. Turn facing to inside. Fold allowances on slit edges to inside. Press.
Step 12- Lay dress front on dress back, right sides facing. Pin shoulder seam edges of dress together. Stitch.
Step 13- Trim seam allowances to 7 mm (1/4 in). Slide allowances under facing edges. Press. Turn shoulder edges of facing under and sew together by hand. Turn facing edges under, pin to zip tapes, and sew in place by hand. Sew facing to seam allowances of section seams and right side seam.
Hem: Finish lower edge of dress. Press hem allowance to inside and sew in place loosely by hand.
Sew back strap end in place: Lay strap end under back neck edge. Pin strap end to centre back, next to section seam. Try on dress and adjust strap length, if needed. Sew strap end in place by hand.
Which ever way you choose to sew this dress it is such a versatile style, and the gathered mid panel is super flattering. Sew it up in a neutral to make a great cocktail dress even suitable for work! Or break out of your shell and get creative with print and color combinations with the different panels.