With real leather on the rise in fashion right now, your budget may be screaming at you. When it comes to leather though, sometimes less is more. The Calanthe Dress features contrast cuffs, a patch pocket, and a paneled belt, all perfect for piecing together on a small leather hide or two. Rather than jumping on the “all leather everything” trend, try elevating this simple square neck dress with a few elegant leather details.
Purchase Materials Used Below:
- 4 yards Gray and Pure Cashmere Plaid Linen Woven
- 2 hides Small Estate Chocolate Stretch Lamb Leather
- 7 Italian Dark Brown 4-Hole Plastic Button -40L/25mm
- MDF220 – The Calanthe Dress Sewing Pattern (free download below!)
All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.
First, attach your side front bodices to their respective side front skirts at the waistband. Since this dress is unlined, I recommend using French seams to keep the inside of your garment clean. Although, if using a fabric that doesn’t fray to badly, you could also use regular seams and press them open, like below.
Repeat with your side back bodice and side back skirt. Once each side panel is created, it can be attached to the center panels. Side front attaches to each center front, while side back panels attach on either side of the center back.
The front and back of your dress can then be attached at the shoulders and side seams.
Form each of your sleeves, sewing up the inseam, and then insert into each armscye. Since it needs to be gathered along the top, I recommend using a regular seam here, bound with bias tape for a clean edge.
Create the sleeve cuffs like below and gather the bottom of each sleeve into a cuff.
Finish the raw edge of your neckline with a 1/4″ rolled hem and do the same along the bottom of the skirt.
Fold the center front edges of your dress inward 1/2″ followed by a full inch. Press and stitch into place to create your button plackets. Evenly place your buttons and buttonholes along the placket.
Fold the top edge of your pocket down one inch and stitch. Fold the raw edges under 1/2″ and pin onto your skirt. Top-stitch into place.
Since I was working with a natural leather hide, I freehanded my belt based on the size of the hide, but the pattern does include a piece for a symmetrical. Sew your 4 pieces together along the short edges and then fold it in half along the length, faces together. Sew along the raw edges, leaving 3″ open to pull it right side out. Once it’s right side out, top-stitch along the edges to complete.
Will you be trying the Calanthe Dress? Let me know what fabric types you’re considering in the comments below!