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Here is an easy to follow sewing lesson for our Dress with Peter Pan Collar sewing pattern that debuted in the May 2011 issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. Check out all the great diagrams to help you sew this summery retro-style dress with Peter Pan collar.

This petite sized pattern has every you need for a perfect summer dress. A loose silhouette, gathers, little sleeves, and a collar. I love how retro and feminine this dress is, and I think it would look great sewn in a novelty fabric with contrasting white collar.

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.

Place right sides of fabric together to baste and stitch. Secure start and end of seams by backstitching.

Step 1- Centre back seam (dress bodice): Lay bodice backs together, right sides facing. Pin the centre back seam. ­Stitch. Press the seam allowances open and neaten edge.

Step 2- Centre back seam, slit (skirt): Lay back skirt panels right sides together. Pin centre back seam, pinning back vent closed. Stitch centre back seam from upper edge to slit mark. Backstitch to secure start and end of ­seam. ­Stitch vent closed, at a long stitch setting.

Step 3- Press seam allowances open, from upper edge to approx. 5 cm (2 ins) above vent allow­ances. Press vent ­allowances onto left skirt panel, ­tapering allowance of right skirt panel above top of vent, to avoid needing to clip into it. Press facing on right back skirt panel to inside, on fold line. Trim away ­facing of left skirt panel 1.5 cm (5/8 in) from line ­marked LEFT EDGE. ­Neaten vent allowances and seam allow­ances. Work from right side of skirt to top­stitch left skirt panel diago­nally, as marked on pattern, catching vent allowances.

Step 4- Darts: For each dart, fold front and skirt ­pieces so that dart lines meet. Pin dart lines together. Stitch darts toward points. Do not backstitch at points of darts but knot ends of threads securely (4). Press bust darts down. Press waist darts toward cen­ter front or centre back.

Step 5- Waist seam: To gather lower edge of back, stitch a line of matching basting (longest ­stitch setting) to each side of marked seam line. Hold bobbin threads of ­stitching and slide the fabric to­gether along the thread until it ­matches the upper edge of the skirt back. Knot gathering threads. Distribute gathering evenly.

Step 6- Lay bodice back right sides together with skirt back and lay bodice front right sides together with skirt front. Pin waist seam. Stitch. Neaten seam allowances together and press up.

Step 7- Right side seam: Lay front right sides together with back. Pin right side seam, matching seams and seam lines. Stitch. Press seam allowances open and ­neaten edges of allowances.

Step 8- Invisible zip, left side seam: Open the zip and push the coil back with your thumb nail to reveal the marked seam line between the zip tape and the coil. Place the open zip face down on the right fabric side of back opening edge so that teeth of zip begin at marked top slit mark. In ­order to stitch the zip in place ­exactly along the marked seam line, the edge of the zip tape must lie 5 mm (3/16 in) from the fabric edge (1.5 cm/ 5/8 in wide seam allowances minus 1 cm (3/8 in) wide zip tape width). Pin top end of zip tape in place the ­calculated distance from the edge of the fabric. The bottom end of the zip will extend past the marked end of the opening. Place the presser foot on the zip so that the coil is in the notch to the right of the needle. ­Stitch the zip in place between the slit marks.

Step 9- Close zip. Place the other zip tape face down on the front opening edge (right fabric side) and pin in place at the top.

Step 10- Open zip. 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. Sew the zip in place between the slit marks.

Step 11- Close zip. Lay dress front right sides together with dress back. Pin left side seam edges together, from upper edge to slit mark and from lower edge to slit mark. Stitch, stitching as close to last stitches of zip seams as possible, laying loose end of zip over seam ­allowance. Press seam allow­ances open and neaten edges.

Step 12- Sleeves: Lay sleeve fronts right sides together with sleeve backs. Pin top sleeve ­seams. Stitch. Press seam allow­ances open and neaten edges. Fold sleeves lengthwise, right side facing in. Pin underneath sleeve seams. ­Stitch. Press seam allowances open and ­neaten edges. Neaten lower edge of each sleeve. Press hem allowance to inside and stitch in place loosely by hand.

Step 13- Setting in sleeves: Pin each sleeve to armhole, with right sides facing. Match seam number 5 on sleeve back and bodice back. Match side seams and sleeve seams and match seam number (6) on ­sleeve front and bodice front. Baste and stitch ­sleeve in places. Press seam allowances open from upper edge to beginning of underarm ­curve. Neaten edges of seam al­low­ances.

Step 14- Collar and neck edge: Lay collar pieces right sides facing. Pin edges together. Stitch, leaving join­ing edge open. Trim seam allow­ances and clip curves. Turn collar right side out. Press seamed edges. Baste open edges to­gether.

Step 15- Pin collar right sides together with neck edge – front edges of collar meet at centre front and seam marks meet top sleeve seams (15). Baste ­collar to neck edge.

Step 16- Lay front facings right sides together with back facing. Pin shoulder edges together. Stitch shoulder seams.

Step 17- Press seam allow­ances open. Neaten inside edge of ­facing. Pin facing right sides together with neck edge, over collar, ­matching shoulder seams to mark­ings/ top sleeve seams. Stitch. Trim seam allowances and clip curves. Turn facing to inside. Baste neck edge, turning collar up. Press. Top­stitch neck edge close to collar join­ing seam. Sew inside edge of facing to seams.

Step 18- Hem: At back vent, turn allowance out flat to the side again. Neaten hem allow­ance, press to inside, and stitch in place loosely by hand. Fold allow­ances of vent to inside again and sew to hem allowance.

Since this dress is so feminine I suggest pairing it with an edgy leather jacket like this white biker style one. Then I would continue the feminine feel with a nice and bright floral pair of shoes and a bright red lip!

Happy Sewing!

Meg

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