Sewing Lesson: #107A Shirt Dress with Gathers 05/2019
Refer to the "pattern’s store page" : for specific fabric yardage and notion requirements. Also remember to add seam allowance (you can either add to the paper pattern before cutting or to the fabric around the pattern… see below), further info and amounts can be found in the instructions PDF after purchase.
Fabric Step 1
STEP 1: CUT OUT THE FABRIC PIECES Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, right side facing in and matching the selvages. Pin paper pattern pieces to the fabric as shown in the pattern layout. Use chalk to mark 1.5 cm (5/8") seam allowance and 3 cm (11/4") hem allowance round all edges of the pieces. Finally, use chalk to mark piece a directly on the fabric. Cut out all fabric pieces on these lines.
Step 2
STEP 2: TRANSFER PATTERN MARKINGS Use dressmaker's carbon paper and a tracing wheel to transfer the pattern outlines (seam and hem lines) and also the darts, lines, notches and * to the wrong side of the pieces. Follow the instructions included with the carbon paper. Use basting thread to mark centre front and fold lines on right fabric side. Remove the pattern pieces from the fabric. See step 15 for marking buttonholes and buttons.
Step 3
STEP 3: THE INTERFACING Cut off the self-facing along the FOLD LINE on paper pattern pieces 1 and 3. Fold interfacing in half, adhesive side facing in. Pin on pieces 1, 3 (front facings) and piece 6. Add 1.5 cm (5/8") seam allowance at edges (except at cut edges of pieces 1 and 3). Also mark piece a on the interfacing. Cut out interfacing pieces. Iron interfacing on wrong side of respective pieces. Lay pieces with interfacing right sides together again and fold in half. Pin on paper pattern pieces again. Transfer pattern outlines to the interfacing.
Step 4
STEP 4: BUST DARTS / SHOULDER-SEAMS AND SIDE SEAMS Pin bust darts on front pieces and stitch toward points. Knot ends of thread. Press darts down. Lay fronts right sides together with back. Pin (forward) shoulder seams. Pin side seams. Stitch seams. Trim allowances to 7 mm (1/4"). Neaten allowances together and press onto back.
Step 5
STEP 5: SKIRT / CENTER BACK SEAM, SIDE SEAMS Lay back skirt panels right sides together. Stitch centre seam. Lay front skirt panels right sides together with back skirt panel, stitch side seams. Neaten allowances of seams and press open.
Step 6
STEP 6: GATHER WAIST EDGES To gather upper dress and upper skirt edge, stitch two lines of machine basting each from * to * spaced 3 mm (1/8") apart. Slip fabric together along bobbin threads to a length as follows on back and back skirt panel: 25 – 26 – 27 – 28 – 28 – 30 cm (10" - 10 1/4" - 10 3/4" - 11 1/8" - 11 1/8" - 12"), on fronts and front skirt panels to: 8.5 – 9 – 9.5 – 10 – 10.5 – 11 cm (3 3/8" - 3 1/2" - 3 3/4" - 4" - 4 1/4" - 4 3/8"). Knot threads. Distribute gathers evenly. (Measurements in order for sizes 34 – 36 – 38 –40 – 42 – 44)
Step 7
STEP 7: WAIST SEAM Pin upper dress right sides together with upper skirt edge, matching side seams and also centre front and back. Pin seam (seam number 5) and stitch, stitching between lines of gathering. Trim allowances to 1 cm (3/8") and neaten together. Secure seam by pinning cotton tape over seam from centre front to centre front. Work from other side to stitch again exactly in line of seam, catching tape. Remove gathering threads. Press allowances onto upper dress.
Step 8
STEP 8: HEM / FACINGS Neaten hem allowance, press to inside and baste. Stitch hem loosely by hand.Pin back facing right sides together with shoulder edges of front self-facings. Stitch shoulder seams (seam number 2). Press allowances open. Neaten facing edge.
Step 9
STEP 9: NECKLINE / FACING Turn self-facings of upper dress out and pin right sides together with neckline, matching shoulder seams. Stitch neckline edges together. Trim allowances, clip curves. Lay facing into neckline, press allowances onto facing and stitch as far as possible close to seam.
Step 10
STEP 10: SEW ON FACING Turn facing to inside, go on to turn self-facings to inside on fold line. Baste edges, press. Sew inside facing edge to allowances of shoulder seams, waist seam and at hem. Also sew on bottom facing edges at hem by hand.
Step 11
STEP 11: SLEEVE SEAMS Fold sleeves lengthwise, right side. Trim allowances to 7 mm (1/4"), neaten together in. Pin sleeve seams and stitch. Trim allowances to 7 mm (1/4"), neaten together and press to one side.
Step 12
STEP 12: SLEEVE BANDS Stitch lines of machine basting to each side of marked seam line to gather lower sleeve edges. Fold each sleeve band, stitch across ends. Press allowances open. Pull bobbin threads on sleeves to gather to fit sleeve bands. Knot ends of threads. Distribute gathers evenly.
Step 13
STEP 13: STITCH ON SLEEVE BANDS Pin sleeve band right sides together with lower sleeve edge, matching seams. Stitch sleeve between lines of gathering. Trim allowances and press onto sleeve band. Press other edge of sleeve band 1.5 cm (5/8") wide to inside. Fold sleeve band so that pressed under edge meets with joining seam. Stitch close to edge or sew along joining seam by hand.
Step 14
STEP 14: SET IN SLEEVES Pin sleeve into armhole with right sides facing. When setting in sleeves, 3 points are important for proper fi t: Match markings 7 on sleeve and front. Match sleeve seams with side seams. Match marking at sleeve cap with shoulder mark on back. Baste sleeves, easing sleeve cap slightly between •. Baste and stitch sleeves from sleeve side. Trim allowances, Neaten together and press toward sleeve at sleeve cap.
Step 15
STEP 15: FASTENING For sizes 36 to 44, mark top buttonhole (x) on paper pattern piece 1 the same distance from neck edge as for size 34. The x below the waist seam is the same for all sizes. Centre an x in between on upper dress. Also mark four more x on front skirt panel at intervals of 10.5 cm (41/4") each. Use pins and chalk to transfer all x to the dress fabric. Work buttonholes on the right crosswise from each x. Sew buttons on the left to match.
Dress Finished
FINISHED! For a striking effect, use a solid color fabric for the yoke – it will look like a wide belt at the waist!
Want more sewing lessons? Check out our last one here on our "Shaped Waistband Skirt" :