We’ve heard your requests for a free milkmaid dress sewing pattern, and we’re so excited to debut our new Anthea Milkmaid Dress pattern! We’re all smitten with it here in the Sewciety studio, especially made out of our dreamy new Zimmerman fabrics. I can think of countless occasions to wear this cottagecore dress to: garden parties, afternoon weddings, picnics, brunch, you name it. Milking cows might not be the most practical purpose, but hey, never say never!
For a guide on how we made the shoes and bag featured in these images, click here!
All seam allowances are 1/2″.
How to piece together the bodice:
1. Match the notches on the G (back bodice) & F (side back bodice) pieces. Sew right sides together. Repeat.
2. Sew together C (side front bodice) & F (side back bodice), leaving notched sides free. Repeat. See photo for final placement.
You should now have four back/side bodice pieces – two outer and two self facing.
How to attach the shoulder strips:
1. Iron shoulder strips in half lengthwise. With the raw edge facing towards the armscye (as pictured above), sew a strip to F or the side back bodice, then repeat on the other side.
2. Sew the strip’s other free end to piece C or the side front bodice. Repeat.
3. Right sides together, stitch along the top of two bodice pieces and clip seams. Repeat. You should now have two bodice pieces.
4. Turn right sides out and press.
Optional: Depending on your fabric, temporary zig zag stitches down the length of G (the back bodice piece) is recommended if using a fabric that frays easily.
Keep in mind that the widths of the shoulder strip & C (the side front bodice) will differ (as pictured). This is correct, and we’ll be attaching A (the bust inset piece) to it later.
How to sew the bust:
1. Transfer both buttonhole markings to the bust piece A and sew. Alternatively, you may use elastic if you prefer.
2. Fold in half lengthwise and topstitch 1 inch from the fold.
3. Insert 2 18” drawstrings into the casing, then secure with some stitches at each end.
4. Sew two rows of basting stitches between the notches on piece A, then gather. We’ll attach to the bodice soon.
How to sew the sleeves:
1. Sew two rows of basting stitches between notches on the sleeve shoulder.
2. Sew the length of the sleeve closed. I used a French seam.
3. Press the raw edge inside by 1”, then fold again to create a hem. Sew, leaving enough space to insert elastic. Once the elastic is in, close the hem up.
How to attach the underbust and sleeves:
1. Right sides together, pin B (front bodice) to both ends of outer C (side front bodice), matching notches. Sew. Repeat on the self facing. You should now have one complete bodice piece!
2. Pin a sleeve to the armscye and raw edge of shoulder strip, right sides together. Be sure notches are aligned, then sew. Repeat on the other side. I finished the raw edges with a zig zag stitch.
How to complete the bodice:
1. Right sides together, pin A (the bust inset piece) to front facing B and both Cs. Even out the gathers in A, match notches, then sew.
2. Trim and press seam away from A and towards the underbust.
3. Fold and pin the self facing (B and both C pieces) then stitch in the ditch.
How to sew the skirt:
1. Sew J to H, then repeat with the remaining J piece. I used French seams for the skirt.
If you’re adding a slit, sew to the marker on the wearer’s left side. Go ahead and finish the two seams and secure.
2. Sew H to J. Repeat.
3. Sew I to J. Repeat.
4. Sew the two I pieces together to close up the skirt, stopping at the appropriate length to add your zipper.
5. The hem allowance is 1”, but because of this particular fabric I chose to sew a ⅜” hem.
6. Sew an invisible zipper at the center back.